As the borders closed in a domino effect across Europe the route of these refugees was stopped at the last land border between Greece and Macedonia. What was a transit train station sprung up into an informal camp as these families held onto the hope that the border would re-open and they could continue their journey. The EU settlement with Turkey to house a large portion of the Syrian refugees in March 2016 stemmed the tide of people making the risky journey across the seas to each the shores of Greece. A recent UN report has highlighted that the numbers coming in the first half of 2017 were reaching similar levels of spring 2016. Many people are still stranded between having fled their countries from conflict and being able to reach their final destination further in to Europe where many of them hope to reunite with other family members. You can read more from one of our team who was there in October 2017.
We have connected with local faith-based organisations who have been working with the government and UNHCR to provide additional supplies and care to these families who have found an unexpected temporary home in Greece. They are working to provide non-food items to those living in the camps and manage the shelter to accommodate new arrivals to the camp. In this environment it is very easy for boredom and lack of purpose to creep in and lead to more tension in the campus.
In a very practical way we can lend a hand with the physical needs but by spending time there we can also let them know we are alongside them and they haven’t been forgotten.
Where? Lesbos, Greece
When will we go? We currently have plans for a team to go in February 2019. Please note exact times to be confirmed, project will likely start with travel on a Thursday and return to UK the following Saturday lunchtime.
How much will it cost? Approx. £550 (Plus booking flights to Mytilini)
How big will the group be? 6-10 people
Who is the project run by? This project is run by GAiN and is organised and administrated by Agape Ministries Ltd.
We are looking for people of all ages who are motivated with a heart of compassion to respond to this humanitarian crisis as well as being prepared to go with an attitude to serve and learn from the people we go to help.
As part of this project we will have opportunities to learn more about the situation for these families who are in this holding pattern of waiting, not knowing when they will be able to find a more permanent place to call home. We will share what are learning and reflect on our experiences together. The project will include training on working cross culturally, team building, leadership and values in humanitarian work. There will also be the opportunity to consider together the impact that our own cultural values and beliefs bring to our experiences.
As part of coming on this project you can seeks to raise the funds to cover the cost of the project travel and in-country expenses. We are not able to provide you with our own dedicated online fundraising tool. Instead we suggest that you set up a dedicated PayPal account and share the relevant email address with potential donors for them to make a gift. We recommend that you do not use fundraising websites that will charge you additional fees and percentages on each transaction.
If you are accepted to come on the project you will be sent a training pack with more detailed information and ideas for raising funds. As soon as you have been accepted on the project we recommend you start raising finances to give yourself enough time to reach your goal. You will not be able to come on the project if you haven’t made the full payment two weeks prior to departure. If you wish to, you can make your required payments from your own personal funds to secure your place on the project and still continue to raise funds to recover the cost you have outlaid up until the time of departure.
You can also seek to raise additional funds to bring with you or purchase items to donate for the children activities.
How to Apply
We’re excited that you are interested in joining us on this project and look forward to receiving your application form and references.
You will need to provide us with two references from someone who has known you for at least two years in a working or volunteering capacity. Please send them this link to the reference form and ask them to complete it as soon as possible. We are not able to process your application until we have received both your application form and one reference form.
You will also be required to provide us with a current DBS certificate that is registered with the Update Service or apply for one as a volunteer with Agapé. More details on this are included in your application.
The deadline for applications is Monday 7th January 2019.
If you have any further questions about the project, you can contact us on the details below and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phone: 0121 765 4404
*Please note that when you are accepted as a participant on the project, we will require an initial non-refundable deposit of £150 within a week of your being accepted on the project. The final balance is due two weeks before departure . Payment will be accepted via bank transfer.