Help refugees on a Greek Island – update 20th August 2020
Hello everyone, we need volunteers at Samos Volunteers to come and help us develop and expand our language classes and support our hygiene and logistics team.
Samos Volunteers is an NGO based on Samos which was established to support people living in the refugee camp on the island. We run a community centre which offers activities to people of all abilities including English, German, Greek, French, yoga, fitness, sewing & guitar.
Alongside the community centre, we also run the island’s only laundry service, which gives people the simple dignity of having their clothes washed and dried. Rather excitingly, we are expanding this service to help even more people living in the camp.
We are looking for people who can join our friendly team and help us expand our activities in our community centre and laundry station.
Find out more in the contact details section below.
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𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗗𝗮𝘆 August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day (WHD), on which humanitarian workers around the world are appreciated for delivering essential services to people most in need. This year will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic confronts aid workers with hurdles to assist people. In this cycle of posts, we highlight the role of our volunteers as aid workers during the pandemic. Today’s post features Michael, our Hygiene and Logistics Coordinator. Samos Volunteers provides the only free laundry service for the more than 5,000 displaced people on Samos. Six washing machines and six dryers are operated continuously for twelve hours per day, six days a week, in order to wash around 2,000 bags of laundry every month. “This is a massive challenge,” Michael says. “We need a very clear and structured work process to make sure that clothes are sorted, washed, dried and returned to the same person. This systematic environment leads to a sense of flow and peace of mind, despite the chaotic surroundings of working close to a refugee camp. This is why almost all volunteers love working in the laundry." The pandemic has affected the quality of our work. Before COVID-19, we’d go ticketing in the camp every day, allowing people to drop off their laundry on the same day. Now, we need to use a referral system for minors and medical cases. Although this serves a huge group, we’re only reaching people that are sent to us by other organisations. We tell people to come back in two or three weeks for their bed bugs or scabies treatment, which is far beyond their event horizon and leads to confusion and anxiety of missing the opportunity to finally have one’s clothes washed. Meanwhile, hygiene remains a constant challenge on Samos. Parasites, bed bugs and scabies still plague the camp. Although the new Coronavirus adds another layer of fear and uncertainty to our work, it hardly affects the priorities of our hygiene service. We are still looking for volunteers to join our Laundry Legion. Would you like to give people the simple dignity of clean clothes? Have a look at the link in our bio to read more about volunteering opportunities.
Previous announcement August 2019
A volunteering invitation from Ester – Hi everyone! I’m currently volunteering for the grassroots organisation Samos Volunteers, which focuses on hygiene, educational and psychosocial support for asylum-seekers trapped on the Greek Island of Samos. The camps here are built for 648 individuals, however, at the moment there are over 5.000 persons living in and around the area of the camp.
The conditions are inhumane and devastating.
Samos Volunteers provides essential assistance to the men, women and children living in these circumstances, but they are currently very short on volunteers, which might seriously jeopardise the successful continuation of their activities.
So my questions to you are; do you want to make a difference in the lives of people? Are you over 20 years of age and can you commit for a minimum of 4 weeks? If yes, JOIN THE SAMOS VOLUNTEERS TEAM!
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𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝗛𝘂𝗺𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗗𝗮𝘆 August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day (WHD), on which humanitarian workers around the world are appreciated for providing essential services to people most in need. This year’s WHD will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic confronts aid workers with unprecedented hurdles to assist people. Our community centre is closed, leaving hundreds of daily visitors without a place to go to. Our class capacity is reduced, and we are not able to go ticketing in the camp for laundry and rely on a referral system instead. COVID-19 prevents us from reaching a significant number of people. Facemasks change the interaction between students and teachers. Our Alpha Centre is too quiet. The requirement for social distancing feels extraneous, being so close to an overcrowded camp housing 5,000 people who have limited access to proper sanitation. In this cycle of posts, we highlight the role of our volunteers as aid workers during the pandemic. Today’s post features Riham, who teaches Women’s English ABC and English level 1. Air is a beautiful blessing, we did not realise its importance until after the spread of the virus. The teacher's responsibility is bigger under these circumstances. Alpha was always crowded before the pandemic, during all classes and activities. The issue of disinfection was always present, but it’s the social distancing and face masks that affect our work as I cannot see the most beautiful of my students, which is their smile. At first, I didn’t recognise my students without a mask when they greeted me outside Alpha. As a teacher, my vision is not clear whilst wearing a face shield; I literally do not have a clear view of who I am teaching. We taught hundreds before, but now only dozens, but it is fine for me because I am sure that the success of my students will lead to many successes. I always encourage my students to share what they have learned with those around them, to help each other in this new language. Even in a limited capacity, we can still help each other to grow. Everyone has the right to education, under any circumstances. We must be stronger than this virus.
The mission of Samos Volunteers:
A grassroots movement of volunteers on the Greek Island of Samos, attempting to improve the daily lives of refugees and asylum seekers by offering psychosocial support in our Alpha Centre, and many other activities. Samos Volunteers provides necessary help and support to refugees living in the camp and shelters on Samos, instilling a sense of normality, combatting boredom, and empowering people while they wait for their asylum to be processed.
Who we are looking for
We are looking for team players, who are also able to work independently. We need people who are patient, who will remain professional and respect pre-existing systems, but who can bring new, fresh ideas. Our timetable and each volunteer’s role varies depending on the day-to-day needs. For this reason, an open mind and a flexible approach to work are essential.
If you are a teacher, you probably won’t just be teaching!
Please check out their website, Facebook and Instagram for more information (do not use the comment section below)!
Volunteer page: https://samosvolunteers.org/volunteer
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Meet the Teachers At Samos Volunteers, we have a wonderful and diverse team of dedicated teachers. It’s a industrious mix of professional language teachers and volunteers from all over the world who provide English, French, German and Greek classes on a daily basis. In Meet the Teachers, we highlight their role in providing services that are indispensable for people’s career and integration, in establishing a routine and a feeling of dignity, and instilling a sense of normality. This is their story. Annie started teaching Greek in November 2018. When lockdown restrictions were lifted, Annie decided to offer Greek classes in a park close to our Alpha Centre. Being in the outdoors, the ‘classroom’ has a larger capacity, and the inviting ambiance is a conversation starter for interested locals and students alike. “Teaching Greek in the park means we are visible, people see us, come and ask for classes. People who are more advanced help to teach. Locals are interested to hear what we are doing. It is a very nice atmosphere,” Annie says. “During the lockdown, I was teaching online all day,” she continues “It was different because I would teach one, two, three people together at most. Nearly like private lessons, but with difficulties due to the lack of internet access for my students.” Last week, during the annual congress of the Sennacieca Asocio Tutmonda—an association that uses Esperanto for cultural and social aims throughout the world—Annie organised a presentation with her class called ‘For a better world, for Samos’. During her presentation, held in Esperanto with Annie as a translator, she brought attention to the situation on Samos and the challenges of living in the hotspot. She had even taught her students a few words in Esperanto for the occasion; many were able to present themselves in this language. Earlier this year she organised an official Greek language exam for her students, proofing their language skills and allowing them to integrate into Greek society more easily. Annie is building bridges between the various communities on Samos, every day. #samosvolunteers #ngo #class #teacher #classroom #education #togethertowardsdignity #community