The New York-based Greek America Foundation is seeking young adults to participate in a month-long volunteer program a Greek island on the forefront of the international refugee crisis.
Volunteers will work alongside an accredited Greek non-profit organization named METAdrasi, which provides various services to “unaccompanied refugee minors,” or underaged children who have arrived in Greece alone.
The Greek America Foundation’s team will work on the island of Chios from July 1 – August 2, 2020. The island has received thousands of refugees since the peak of the crisis in July 2015, when arrivals reached as high as 50,000 — mainly on Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Samos and Leros.
More than 32,000 refugee and migrant children remain in Greece and more than 4,000 are unaccompanied minors.
One team of volunteers will handle everyday tasks at METAdrasi’s shelter in Chios town. These tasks include cooking, cleaning, painting and other home improvement work. This team will also engage the refugee children in lessons and activities on various topics such as English language, music, yoga and meditation.
Meanwhile, another team with teaching experience will volunteer at METAdrasi’s education center outside of the VIAL refugee camp. They will teach young refugees about topics such as English, mathematics and other basic subjects.
The volunteer program on Chios falls under the Greek America Foundation’s volunteer division, known as Greek America Corps. In addition to volunteer duties, the program entails cultural immersion experiences such as excursions to historic, religious or otherwise significant sites — as well as local celebrations and festivities.
Students with financial aid may apply for scholarships that cover the cost of housing, program expenses such as cultural excursions, local transportation and various group meals. Airfare to Greece is not included.
Applicants who do not require financial aid may also pay for themselves. But regardless of application type, students must first apply and be accepted into the program in order to participate.
For an additional fee of $840 USD, students from the US/Canada have the option to receive college credit through the Greek America Foundation’s partnership with the Athens-based Hellenic American University. A counselor from the university will provide a curriculum and coursework. Applicants may specify in their application if they wish to receive this credit.