Should you decide to help as a volunteer there are some key information you should take under serious consideration.
First of all thank you for thinking of helping in such a direct way!
- You should know that our organization cannot take care of costs such as transport or housing for volunteers. This is something you should be ready to pay for yourself.
- If you are thinking of coming to Leros consider staying for at least a couple of weeks. So, although volunteers can be very helpful, when many people come for just a few days it becomes a problem for us to train someone who will leave soon and will not have adequate and quality time and knowledge for the tasks at hand.
- Once here, there are some rules to follow that are very important to our organization and will ensure the smooth operation of our actions in relation to local authorities and other organizations, but most importantly regarding the refugees and locals in need.
A short list of our assignments and duties are:
- Distributing breakfast (sandwiches) water, juice and milk.
- We help parents with small children prepare baby formula and provide them with diapers and wet wipes.
- We distribute dry and warm/cool clothes depending on the need.
- We may also, sometimes, answer questions, but only when we are sure of the answers, otherwise we refer to the UNHCR or the port police (coast guard).
- Show respect for the refugees and their situation as well as their culture and religion, no matter how they behave. Remember that we are the first people they meet in what is going to be their new home for a long or short time.
- Show respect for the people living on the island.
- Take some time to meet them, play with the children, give a helping hand when it is needed. However, be careful not to overstep your boundaries. You are here to help them as a first reception person, and not as a social worker. Never make promises.
- Keep the storage room tidy and organized, so that we can always find what we need.
- Do not leave things in the hallway or in the stairs.
- And, finally remember that we are a team and we have to work as a team! If you want to come here and work as a volunteer you will do it under the flag and rules of Leros Solidarity Network.
- As soon as you arrive on the island you should meet with the volunteers coordinator and he/she will appoint you your tasks, which you should complete and not get involved in other areas of our work.