Volunteering at All4Women Community Centre, Lesvos, Greece
female volunteers only
*Minimum 5 days*
1. What to Expect
All4Women Community Centre is located near the Mavrovouni Refugee Camp (Moria 2.0) on Lesvos, Greece – a crisis area where more than 7.000 refugees currently live. The camp lacks the basic structure to accommodate so many people, which forces individuals, families and children to live in extremely challenging conditions.
All4Women Community Centre was established in 2018 in response to the lack of shower and laundry facilities for the women and children living in the former Moria Camp. It was also intended as loving environment where hospitality, educational and recreational activities could be offered.
Following the fire that burned Moria Camp to the ground in September 2020 and the relocation of refugees to the new Mavrovouni Camp on Lesvos, we leased a new building and relocated our All4Women Community Centre to be within walking distance of the new camp.
At the All4Women Centre on Lesvos we currently provide the following services:
- 8 safe warm showers for use by women and children (girls any age / boys under 6);
- A laundry facility with 10 commercial washing machines where women can wash clothes;
- A shop (distribution area) providing clothing and personal hygiene items (diapers, wipes, feminine pads, bras, etc.);
- A hospitality area where our guests are served tea, take part in activities and workshops, as well as receive manicures, pedicures, hairstyling, etc.;
- A Children’s Corner where our young guests can play;
- A baby bath area where mothers can bathe their infants in a warm, safe environment;
- A sewing workshop with 10 robust and portable mechanical sewing machines.
The model developed for our work at the centre is simple, but not necessarily easy. There are language barriers and cultural differences. The people we serve have been through all sorts of ordeals. They are still dealing with it all and they all process their trauma and experiences in different ways. As a consequence, some will respond to us and our support with love and gratitude. A few others may appear ungrateful or even rude. Our calling, however, remains the same, to show love to all and to serve them as best as we can.
2. What Will You Do
You will support the All4Women’s operations in any necessary way, as requested by the centre’s coordinator. You will perform tasks such as:
- Operate and help to run the shower room and the laundry room;
- Sort out and help to distribute non-food items such as: diapers, wipes, feminine hygiene products, clothing, etc.;
- Welcome refugee women and children, serve them tea, provide them with hospitality;
- Provide child care for our younger guests while their moms take shower and do their laundry;
- Provide and support any special activities and workshops in accordance to your gifts, such as: craft sessions for women, beauty services (manicure/pedicure/hairstyling) music lessons, crochet, painting, dancing, yoga, self-defence, sewing workshops, etc.
As a short-term volunteer you will serve 5 days per week, 8 hours per day. You will work alongside a wonderful team of people who have the same heart to serve those in need. You will be able to meet and talk to refugees on a daily basis.
3. The Volunteers We Need
Volunteers must be:
- at least 18 years old (minor girls can also volunteer when accompanied by their mothers or an assigned responsible person / guardian);
- able to communicate in English and
- be financially independent (able to cover their own costs for travel, accommodation and meals).
Volunteers must also display the following characteristics:
- Team Player: working well with others and thinking more of the team’s good than of personal preference;
- Flexible: willing to make adjustments – and have adjustments made for them – joyfully;
- Teachable: open to learn and be taught new things with a positive and responsive attitude;
- Compassionate: caring deeply in a tangible way for the needs of those around them;
- Respectful: showing dignity to those whom they serve and those whom they serve with;
- Encouraging: intentionally uplifting and building up those around them with their words and actions.
4. Financial Contribution
Please note: All4Aid does not demand a payment from those volunteering with us. We simply request volunteers to make a donation to All4Aid, with such funds being utilised in our programme for the benefit of the refugees we serve.
5. Your Flights
Volunteers should make their own arrangements of flights to Lesvos (Mytilene Airport).
All4Aid has a fully furnished apartment that we make available for volunteers on a first come first served basis. It has a living room, one bedroom (twin beds), private bathroom, A/C, kitchen and access to an outdoor pool (May-Oct only). For the stay, we request a donation of 30 € p.n. (min. 5 nights), 25 € per night (min. 30 nights) and 20 € p.n. (min. 60 nights).
Volunteers coming as part of a large team should make their own arrangements for accommodation. We recommend Victoria & Aella Studios in Panagiouda, a village located 5 minutes drive from the camp/centre. Each studio has its own bathroom with towels and hairdryer available for guests. The studios are fitted with air conditioner / heating, oven, stovetop, kitchenware, kettle, washing machine and a fridge. We can give you a direct contact to the owner for a special price for teams serving with All4Aid.
7. Local Transportation
The use of public transport on Lesvos is NOT recommended as it is very unreliable.
Individual volunteers staying in Panagiouda who do not have a driver’s license and/or want to save money, may want to take a taxi to/from the airport on their arrival/departure date and then participate in the costs of car sharing with our long term workers, riding to/from work each day (5 € per day).
Large volunteer teams, as well as individual volunteers who have a driver’s license and would like to be more independent, are encouraged to rent their own car car. We Recommend AutoUnion (right outside the airport) as they give special prices for those serving with All4Aid.
Volunteers are responsible to organise their own meals.
Ready to apply? Click on the link below to fill out the application form.
Still have questions? Please, don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be glad to answer your questions, as you consider this opportunity to serve as a volunteer on Lesvos.