- Is a minimum period of stay required?
Yes, the minimum is 3 weeks. This will allow you to acclimatise and integrate with the community, to have a global idea of life in the camp and not to draw rash conclusions. Thanks to the experience we have come to the conclusion that a shorter period of stay creates confusion, firstly to the volunteer, secondly to the community, and therefore to the coordination of the mission itself.
- Is a minimum/maximum age required?
Yes. You must be at least 18 years old.
- Must I be able to speak English?
A basic knowledge of English is desirable and recommended in order to facilitate the relationship with the people living in the camp and to integrate in the best way possible into the volunteer team, which is often international. However, speaking English is not a prerequisite for becoming a volunteer.
- Should I self-finance my stay?
Yes. Such a mission has important costs and the volunteer’s food and accommodation cannot be covered by the organisation. However, sleeping in QRT’s flats has an economic cost and Thessaloniki is not an expensive city.
In addition to food and accommodation costs, a contribution of 50 Euro per month is required. This “fee” is used to cover the costs of the countless trips with the cars provided by the organisation.
- How does it work with accommodation?
As far as accommodation is concerned, QRT’s flats are mostly located in the upper part of Thessaloniki and all have a kitchen, a bathroom and shared rooms.
The cost: € 10/night
However, from the second month of stay for medical staff (doctors and nurses) the accommodation becomes free, while for the rest of the volunteers the cost becomes € 200/month.
- How does the procedure to become a volunteer work?
Click on the “Become a volunteer” icon and answer the questions as precisely as possible. It is important to note that this is a humanitarian mission and, as such, should not be approached in the spirit of a holiday. The acceptance of the application will depend mainly on the answers given.
If your application is accepted, you will receive the necessary rules and information to know before departure. A few days before your arrival in Greece you will be contacted by the coordinator.
Please remember that communication should only and exclusively take place via the official email of the organisation (firstname.lastname@example.org), even if you know a team member.
- Do I have to do a fundraiser before leaving?
That would be the best! So… yes!
Fundraising is fundamental. In fact, without the money raised by the volunteers it would be difficult to do what we are doing in Greece. A fundraiser can also consist of talking about your future departure with relatives and friends, in order to stimulate their interest and possible support in economic terms. On the website you can find the details of the organisation’s account.
- How do the transfers to and from the camp take place?
The organisation provides the coordinator with a car, as well as another car for volunteers (when necessary).
- Are there days off during the week?
Yes, there are days off during the week. In addition, the volunteer is free to take half a day or the whole day to rest when and if needed.
- Is it dangerous to enter and work in the camps?
It is spontaneous to answer no, but there is no guarantee of 100% certainty. Working in such delicate contexts leads to delicate situations that are difficult to accept and understand. There are thousands of people who live in limbo every day, so behind those smiles are hidden fragilities and worries, which must be respected. Moreover, in the camps there are more ethnic groups who are forced to live in the same place. The suffering and difficult living conditions have repeatedly led to physical confrontations between refugees, without any volunteers ever being involved.