Volunteering with I AM YOU means that you will join a dynamic team of individuals who together support our work to bring a sense of humanity to refugee camps in Greece and make the lives of displaced men, women and children better. We focus on human-to-human aid, putting volunteers at the forefront of our work and building our future on their skills and experience. We celebrate the diversity in our team and believe it makes us stronger.
What to expect
How we work
I AM YOU was built on the hard work and determination of a collection of more than 200 volunteers over time. We utilize the vast skills, knowledge and ideas of our volunteers to continuously improve our work. Our volunteers are appointed to one of our programs: Education (Adults or Pre-School), Lifelines, Communications or Welcome Project according to their skills and experience. Upon completion of an induction and orientation, volunteers will be trained and led by their relevant Program Officer. There is often crossover between all programs and we work together as one team, meaning that the work of our volunteers is varied, interesting and highly valuable.
Qualities & skills
There are a number of core qualities and skills that are required to work with I AM YOU. The most important are to be personable, friendly and approachable. We are often told that the way in which we help the most is simply by being there; listening, smiling and showing that we care. The situation in camp can change daily, therefore we require our volunteers to work from initiative and be flexible to support team members wherever needed. For our current programs, the most relevant skills and experience we look out for are language skills in Arabic, Kurdish or Greek, teaching experience (TEFL qualified preferred), skills within the arts and previous experience in disaster relief or humanitarian aid. We also have a need for drivers.
It is a delicate working environment for two main reasons. Firstly, you will meet people who have been through a great deal of hardship and trauma, and have left behind good lives and jobs or businesses. The conditions they are living in now are very different from the lives they used to lead and in some cases do not reach core humanitarian standards. Secondly, it has taken significant time and effort from ourselves and other volunteer organizations to build a good relationship with the Greek authorities to make it possible for volunteers to help out in refugee camps. This means that all volunteers must be respectful of any rules and regulations and always maintain a positive attitude.
Working as a volunteer is one of the most rewarding things you can do. This is true now more than ever, when news outlets and social media feeds are constantly bombarded with images of disaster and despair from all around the world. To be able to help, hands on, where thousands are suffering and witness the outcome of your efforts has a direct and positive impact and should be experienced by all. In return for their hard work, volunteers learn a multitude of skills and have their eyes opened to new experiences. The main thing our volunteers tell us, is that they are overwhelmed by the love, gratitude and hospitality they receive from the people in camp. It is very much a two-way learning experience.
SOme specific Volunteer Roles
In general we are really keen to have great people who bring energy, sensitivity and positivity to pick up the baton and join the team. At the same time, we are also recruiting for a few specific positions, which are listed here. If you think you have the appropriate skills, continue with the application, making sure to tick the respective position as your 'First Preference'.
English Educator - if your background is in teaching or education and you have the skills to teach English on many levels you will fit right in.
Pre-School Assistant - your experience working with education for children from different backgrounds is just what we need, also your compassion, creativity and an open mind!
Welcome Project Facilitator - in our social enterprise project, the volunteer we need is a self starter who is comfortable with a flexible work schedule (and a driving license). Ideally you should have experience working with budget planning and are fluent in English. But most of all the we need you to have the mind set that you are here to empower the resident women to one day take over your role.
Lifelines Translator - speaks Arabic and/or Kurmanji, is willing to be on the first line, helping in communication while taking into account cultural differences. The volunteer should be prepared for a certain amount of psychological stress and should have great interpersonal skills.
If you think you have what it takes to join us in Greece, first please fill out the form below in English. We aim to respond to applications within 7 working days, and successful applicants of the first stage will be contacted for a Skype interview prior to acceptance.
Secondly, given that we are working with vulnerable populations and young people in many cases, it is really important that we have all the necessary checks on our volunteers, so in parallel to your Application, please click this link and follow the procedure for your country to process a Criminal Background Check. You will not be able to start volunteering without this.
Last thing before you start applying - your age must be at least 24. It's a challenging environment and although age is no indicator for maturity, we as a team have decided that this ensures that all those concerned are satisfied with their interaction with I AM YOU.