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Volunteer with us
Our volunteers come from all over the world, and all walks of life. We are activists, photographers, university students, nurses, computer programmers and aroma therapists. We are writers, mechanics, bartenders, and out-of-work novelists. We are Christians, Muslims, Jews, and nothing-in-particulars.
The one thing we all have in common is that we are here to help in any way that we can.
We would love for you to join our team of dedicated volunteers!
Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us. Volunteers are the heart of Better Days, and we grow and succeed thanks to their love, support, and incredible contributions. We believe in the power of collective intelligence and team-work. Based on Lesvos, where Better Days was born in November 2015, we are now co-managing the following three projects:
- ECO-Hub, a permaculture and gardening center for asylum seekers and locals alike.
- Gekko Kids a school for unaccompanied & separated asylum-seeking children on Lesvos
- TAPUAT Child and Family support Hub for children and mothers from Moria camp
We are looking to recruit skill-specific volunteers on a per project basis to help us design and develop these projects with a focus on sustainability. Our potential volunteers should be able to commit to a minimum of TWO weeks. We need people who are confident and take ownership over their areas of responsibility (both practical and administrative), work with teams, and embrace the Better Days ethos.
We need people who fulfil at least ONE of the following requirements
- Teaching experience
- Field experience: previous experience in humanitarian assistance and/or relevant training
- Language skills: fluent language skills on at least one of the following languages: Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Greek, French or on any African dialect. Confident spoken and written knowledge of English is a prerequisite.
- Business administration, accounting, management and other office experience
- Craft / technical skills: skill specific crafters, confident with infrastructure, experience in construction work, metal work, wood work etc.
- Permaculture and ecology relevant experience and knowledge
If these skills do not match your background and strengths please keep an eye out on our Facebook page, as our needs change!
When possible, we provide long term volunteers with financial support after they have volunteered with us for 30 days. If you feel you are a match, please send us your CV and/or a letter of intent to the following address : firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to working with you in creating a better world.
”Even though the greater situation may feel hopeless, seeing how utterly grateful people are for the little things, like giving someone a blanket, tent, or pair of shoes, that makes all the difference.“
WHERE CAN I STAY?
Finding affordable, comfortable accommodation in Lesvos can be a challenge. Our projects are based between Mytilene and Moria. Therefore, we advise our volunteers to look for accommodation in Mytilene, Moria or Panagiouda. Daily bus transport is available to/from the city centre of Mytilene. Within Mytilene everything is in walking distance. While a vehicle isn’t necessary, renting one will make your life much easier and give you the chance to explore this beautiful island. When looking for accommodation we recommend AirBnB as a good option. Prices vary but quite often you can negotiate the offers, especially for long term stays. This Facebook group is also a great resource for finding housing: (https://web.facebook.com/groups/informationpointforlesvosvolunteers/?_rdc=1&_rdr). Please note that upon approval of your volunteer application you will receive our Volunteer Manual which has additional information regarding your traveling arrangements.
We hope that the information provided has been helpful and that you are ready to join us.
WILL MY PHONE WORK IN GREECE?
Probably. But, it’s a good idea to get a Greek SIM card. Using a Greek number will enable you to communicate with volunteers and coordinators without causing them to incur large international charges. A lot of our day-to-day communication is also done over WhatsApp and Slack, so having data on your phone is essential. You can buy a SIM card easily from Cosmote or Vodafone. You can get a SIM with calls and data for as little as 10 euros.
IS THERE A MINIMUM REQUIRED STAY?
Yes. Because of the nature of our projects, we ask that you commit to at least two weeks.
IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT FOR VOLUNTEERING?
Yes. For legal reasons, you MUST be at least 18 to volunteer.
DO I NEED ANY SHOTS (VACCINATIONS) BEFORE I COME?
DO I NEED A CAR?
It is much easier to get around with your own car. Two of our projects are outside of Mytilene center. Both are served by public transport, so taking the bus is also possible. We also rideshare when possible if there are enough drivers.
DO I NEED AN INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE IN GREECE?
Do you have an EU passport?
- If yes, then you only need your driver’s license from your home country.
- If no, then it depends on the rental company. If possible bring one, but not always necessary.
I HAVE A SPECIAL SKILL, CAN I USE IT?
Maybe, and if not now, eventually. Our needs for volunteers change regularly. Check under the volunteering section of our website.
ARE CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED?
Greece is a big cash economy. Smaller family-run business and even larger companies are not always equipped to take credit cards or are not happy to do so. However hotels, car rental companies and other tourist oriented businesses will accept credit cards no problem. Usually it’s quite easy, to take money out of an ATM when you arrive but often it’s a good idea to bring some Euros with you – just in case you run into problems. Check your international ATM fees charged by your bank and never exchange money at an airport.
CAN I DRINK THE WATER?
DO PEOPLE SPEAK ENGLISH?
Most Greeks you meet will have some basic English skills, and many speak fluent English. Likewise for many refugees. However, speaking even a little bit of the languages in use is great–Greeks are flattered, and refugees will be comforted.
Study up on useful phrases with these documents:
Volunteers: Greek/Arabic/English/Farsi phrase list (printable) (German version)
Refugee Phrasebook database (sort by language and select which ones to print)
IS IT SAFE?
In general, the people who live in the camps are extremely friendly and generous. But due to the stress of the situation you might find yourself in a potentially intimidating position. In general, we recommend not walking around alone and always carrying a functioning phone or radio. The emergency number in Greece is 112.
SHOULD I BRING DONATIONS, OR CASH TO BUY ITEMS?
In general, it’s best to help by donating money to existing trusted warehouses and organizations, which can buy goods locally. The advantage is this benefits the Greek economy and works within a system that provides immediate help. Check this list for updated needs or our own needed in-kind donations on our website here.
If you do bring goods to donate, help the warehouse workers as much as possible following some basic labelling and techniques used locally.