We are currently re-opening volunteer applications for our operations on Lesvos and Samos. There are new requirements for volunteering, please read through the information below!

Although travel restrictions are gradually being lifted, we will continue to work with smaller long-term teams on the ground to play our part in reducing the very real risk of COVID-19 reaching the camps as the restrictions are relaxed.

Volunteering on Lesvos:

  • Previous experience in a refugee camp setting or similar 
  • A minimum commitment of 3 months (incl. quarantine)
  • Age 20+
  • Good level of English 

Language skills in Farsi, Arabic, Greek and French are highly valued. 

Zone 12 Food line: This is our main operation. We conduct food distribution for just under 2000 people in a section of the olive grove informal camp next to Moria camp. This reduces the wait time for people to receive their meals, and decreases the risk of the spread of COVID-19 through mass-gatherings of people receiving food through one central point for the whole camp. We need international volunteers to support our community volunteers (camp residents themselves) in ensuring the smooth running, fairness and consistency in the food distribution, and dealing with any challenges that may arise. 

Camp Clean Ups (currently on hold): We are hoping to restart this operation when we have enough volunteers back on the ground. The clean up team support the camp community in picking up the trash in the Olive Grove to help keep the area more hygienic and safe, and to ensure evacuation paths remain clear. It is packed into large black trash bags and piled ready for collection.

To apply today or receive more information, please email volunteer@refugee4refugees.gr.

Volunteering on Samos:

  • A minimum commitment of 2 months
  • Age 20+
  • Good level of English 

Free Shop: The R4R “free shopping experience” is designed with the aim of simulating a typical clothing store but at no cost. Refugees and asylum seekers have the possibility to walk through the shop and choose the clothes and hygiene items they want to take in response to their tastes, needs or cultural requirements. This is one of the most important aspects of our work as it brings some normality, dignity and decision-making power to people who have been forced to exist in a system that does not normally enable these things.

Warehouse: Our warehouse is the centre of our operation. We sort donated clothes and hygiene items, pack and store them for them to be sent to the Free Shop in an organised way. We also sort and store emergency items such as tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats so that we can respond in emergencies. We work in close collaboration with Boxtribute, an online software designed for the humanitarian sector to manage and facilitate the distribution of aid.

To apply today or receive more information, please email volunteersamos@refugee4refugees.gr.

Other things to know: 

  • We are working in an ever changing situation, so we cannot guarantee which activities you will perform as a volunteer with R4R. Flexibility, willingness and commitment to help however needed is vital. 
  • Our volunteers usually work 8-9 hours a day, 6 days a week. Sometimes the shifts can be up to 12 hours if needed for big distributions. We try to give long term volunteers extra days off when the situation allows. 
  • The hours can be long and strenuous and the work can be emotionally demanding so we ask that you are physically able and mentally prepared.  
  • In Samos we don’t work directly in the official camp or the unofficial camp known as the “jungle”. Our projects are based in the town close to the camp and a lot of our work also takes place ‘behind the scenes’ in our warehouse.
  • Most volunteers do a range of tasks and projects. We organize our schedule and activities in the way we see is most effective to do this. 
  • We highly discourage “voluntourism”. Of course as a volunteer you will learn more about this humanitarian crisis, and how people are forced to live. However we have very strict rules to ensure that the dignity and privacy of our beneficiaries is respected. We do not allow volunteers to ask probing questions of our beneficiaries, to take photos in an exploitative manner, or to have a “tour” of the camp. Volunteers are given more guidance on this in the volunteer induction on arrival, but if your values do not fit with these please do not apply.