Refugee Humanitarian Work Greece

WHY we need you in Greece

syrian refugee crisis greece

HOW can you help?

WHAT you can do?

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

At the nutrition center greece refugee camps






  MIN AGE: 18+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required


The Situation of Refugees in Chios

*Please note, since the Covid pandemic, we are no longer able to go inside the camp or attend boat landings as authorities have stopped all organisations from doing this. The team responded quickly to the ever-changing environment on the island and has adapted the projects accordingly.

The Camp:

The refugee camp stands as the sole camp on the island and operates as a Closed Control Access Centre under the management of the First Reception Greek government and the Greek Army. Despite its official “closed” status, residents have the freedom to leave at any time.

The camp is an 8-minute drive from our warehouse. Chios town, located 7 km from the camp, lacks complimentary transportation. Camp residents must cover their own expenses for taxis or infrequent bus services. For those who opt to walk, it is a challenging journey, taking approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes, particularly when carrying heavy shopping bags.

It is essential never to approach the camp without a legitimate reason and prior permission from our legal representative on the ground. The numbers of asylum seekers and refugees on the island are in constant flux. Notably, following the Pylos tragedy in which 650 refugees tragically drowned in Greek waters, there has been a surge in arrivals.

Although the camp’s official capacity is 1100, the present population of refugees and asylum seekers hovers around 550. This diverse population includes individuals from countries such as Somalia, the State of Palestine, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and others. The demographic makeup continually changes due to recent transfers to the mainland, as well as those who have been granted refugee status and those no longer allowed to stay in the camp.

Our ongoing initiatives

Pop-up shop for unaccompanied minors:

We run a pop-up shop outside the camp for unaccompanied minors, which is a top priority. This project has had a positive impact on one of the most vulnerable groups in the camp.

Hospital transfer project:

We offer taxi transfers to the refugees for hospital visits, both scheduled medical appointments and emergencies.

Free shop:

We operate a free shop where people can select non-food items, including clothing, shoes, hygiene products, and blankets. Children under 2 years old can also receive strollers. Additionally, we provide services such as printing and laminating important documents. A detailed induction will follow the general orientation, explaining the system and various roles in the free shop. The shop opens with a minimum of 5 volunteers and closes every Friday if the coordinators deem it necessary.

Skin Infection Packs (project on hold):

We prepare clothing packs for individuals in the camp undergoing scabies treatment, although this project is temporarily suspended due to a lack of supplies.

Landing packs:

On request, we provide landing packs with essential non-food items to new asylum seekers arriving in Chios. These packs have not been requested during the summer.

Newborn babies:

We provide baby baskets containing clothing, hygiene items, strollers, and supplies for mothers when a new baby is born.

Supplying other organisations:

We offer supplies, including clothing and hygiene kits, to other NGOs. We also assist with funding medical tests within our financial capabilities. These NGOs may operate not only in Chios but also on the mainland or other islands.

Other distributions outside the camp:

When inventory permits, we arrange additional distributions for people residing in camps. Priority is given to babies, children, women, and men. Seasonal distributions include sleeping bags and blankets during winter.

Apartment distribution (project on hold):

When feasible, we deliver supplies directly to individuals’ homes when they are unable to visit or during separate distributions like the food project.

Local shop (project on hold):

Depending on seasonal demand, we supply clothing and other non-food items to local Chios residents through a small boutique.

Emergency projects:

We respond to unforeseen emergencies, such as fires in the camp, by providing clothing and supplies to those who have lost everything.


Our warehouse is divided into four areas: storage, free shop, office, and local shop-plastic area. It serves as our central hub for sorting, storing donations, and running operations.

In order to support these projects effectively, we depend on the organised operation of our warehouse. Daily tasks vary, with a primary focus on preparing clothes for the free shop. You will receive a brief warehouse orientation on your first day to familiarise yourself with the setup. 


Chios, the 5th largest Greek island is bulging with character and culture. Chios is most famous for it’s medieval villages, ghost villages, castles and monasteries. Also with incredible beaches and clear blue waters, it’s a destination for tourists that want a unique Greek experience. Due it’s close location to Turkey, Chios has been inundated with refugee’s. This has taken a significant toll on tourism on the island and the economy is very weak with the local residents largely divided between helping the refugee’s or blocking them in order to sustain their livelyhoods. It’s a very difficult situation. 

Project Tasks

  • Assist in any way you can, providing vital supplies to the refugees
  • Help with essential items distribution and packing
  • Work in the warehouse or in the free shop, providing clothing and toiletries to camp residents 

Food & Accommodation

Food and accommodation are not included and will need to be booked independently. The warehouse is situated in Thimiana. During the summer months (June to September), it’s important to plan your accommodation well in advance since it tends to get fully booked quickly. Additionally, be prepared for potentially higher prices during this period.

Most of our volunteers prefer staying in or around Megas Limnionas, Agia Ermioni, and Karfas, as these locations are in close proximity to The Warehouse. This provides an ideal setup for ride-sharing and socialising with fellow volunteers after work. If you have your own vehicle and prefer independence, Chios Town is also a good option.

Our local Field Coordinator, manages the Sunrooms guesthouse. It’s an excellent choice for newcomers or individuals with short-term commitments, as well as solo travellers. Many volunteers opt to stay here, making it a highly social environment. The guesthouse offers en-suite studio rooms available for solo occupancy, or you can opt to share a room with fellow volunteers. Pricing may vary with the season but is typically discounted for volunteers. 

Meals are not provided so it is advisable to bring your own food to the Warehouse, where you’ll have access to a fridge and a microwave, as well as drinking water. Additionally, there is a nearby supermarket and numerous cafes in the vicinity of the warehouse that you can visit for your meals. 


- Refugee Humanitarian Work

All prices in USD
  • Application Fee - $299
  • Suggested Donation of $200 or more

    (not mandatory)
Own accom
What's Included
  • Airport Pickup
  • Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion



Anyone can apply. This is a ‘raw’ experience with few luxuries and a very challenging set of local circumstances so those with an appreciation for this type of experience are necessary. 

  • Arrival airport transfer 
  • In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
  • Fundraising support
  • University course credits (where applicable)
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Airfares
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
  • Daily Meals
  • Accommodation

A meeting is scheduled every morning from Monday to Friday at 8:30 am in the warehouse. On your initial morning, or as soon as it’s feasible, you will receive a comprehensive orientation and be shown around the warehouse and be given an induction in the free shop. Typically, your first day will be spent in the warehouse, where we conduct various orientations. Following your registration with the authorities, you can engage in shop or distribution activities.

If you possess specific skills or have particular interests, please inform us in advance by including this information on your application form.

The typical workday concludes around 4:30pm. Volunteers have weekends off on Saturday and Sunday. 

You have the option to reach Chios either by air or sea. Chios Town’s ferry terminal is centrally situated, while the airport is located on the outskirts of town. Both are approximately a 15-20 minute drive away from the Warehouse.

We can arrange to pick you up after coordinating through the WhatsApp Welcome Group. We can give a lift from the airport or port from 9am to 9pm, ideally arrive on the weekend to help you settle in. If getting a taxi the cost should be around €15+.

Daily flights are available from Athens, and less frequently from Thessaloniki. The ferry services connect Chios to Athens and various other North Aegean Islands. All ferry companies offer overnight voyages on alternate days to and from Piraeus Port in Athens.

Alternatively, you can opt for a more intricate route through Turkey. If you can reach Cesme, there’s a 40-minute ferry from Cesme to Chios, arriving at Chios Port. However, this option involves more connections and necessitates carrying your passport with you. 

Our daily meeting takes place in the warehouse every morning at 8:30am. Saturdays and Sundays are designated as days off unless there is an emergency that requires our attention. Your attendance at the morning meeting is mandatory.

Most volunteer accommodations are within walking distance of the warehouse. Nonetheless, we also provide transportation arrangements with coordinators or other drivers when necessary.

During the morning meeting, we organise the day’s schedule for all projects and share updates from the previous day. We strongly encourage and value everyone’s input during these gatherings. In addition, we hold a debrief at the end of the day to address any issues that arose during the day, which we can discuss in the following morning’s meeting.

At the morning meeting, volunteers sign up for tasks in the free shop or the warehouse area, which involve checking and sorting supplies and preparing items for the shop or other distributions based on our current needs. We also determine the allocation of general cleaning and tidying responsibilities at the end of the day during this meeting.

We always strive to ensure that each team member has the opportunity to explore different tasks and be a part of the projects they are interested in. You may discover a specific area where you can consistently contribute.

Given the nature of our work, flexibility is essential. Our standard working hours are from 8:30am to 4:30pm. However, if there is a substantial workload, we may need to stay longer, or if work is lighter, we may have the option to leave earlier. We also take breaks for coffee and lunch during the middle of the day. 

Here are some of the best things to do on Chios Island… 

Explore Historical Sites: Immerse yourself in the island’s rich history by visiting ancient sites like Anavatos, a fortified village, and the medieval villages of Mesta and Pyrgi with their unique architecture.

Relax on Beautiful Beaches: Chios offers stunning beaches with crystal-clear waters. Relax on the sandy shores of beaches like Mavra Volia, Karfas, and Komi.

Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavours of Chios by trying its unique local dishes. Don’t miss out on tasting Mastiha-based treats and fresh seafood.

Visit Monasteries and Museums: Discover the island’s religious heritage by visiting monasteries like Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore museums that showcase the island’s history and culture.

Enjoy Nature: Hike through picturesque trails, exploring the diverse flora and fauna of the island. The Kampos area is known for its scenic beauty.

Admire Byzantine Architecture: Chios boasts impressive Byzantine architecture. Explore churches like Agios Minas and Agios Isidoros to appreciate their intricate designs.

Take a Day Trip to Turkey: As Chios is close to Turkey, consider taking a day trip to explore the nearby Turkish town of Cesme for a cross-cultural experience.

Experience Local Festivals: If your visit coincides with local festivals, such as the Mastiha Festival, join in the celebrations to experience Chios’s cultural vibrancy.

Explore Cave Networks: Venture into intriguing cave networks like the Cave of Olympi, where legends and mysteries abound.

Top places to visit in Greece…

Athens: The capital city is a treasure trove of ancient history, with iconic sites like the Acropolis and Parthenon.

Santorini: Known for its stunning sunsets and white-washed buildings, this island is a romantic getaway with breathtaking views.

Mykonos: Famous for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches, Mykonos offers a lively atmosphere and charming streets.

Crete: The largest Greek island boasts a mix of ancient ruins, picturesque villages, and captivating landscapes.

Delphi: An archaeological site with a rich history and the famous Temple of Apollo.

Meteora: A unique site featuring monasteries perched atop towering rock formations, providing incredible views.

Olympia: The birthplace of the Olympic Games, showcasing ancient athletic history.

Rhodes: Known for its medieval Old Town, stunning beaches, and ancient ruins.

Corfu: A lush island with Venetian architecture, vibrant culture, and beautiful coastline.

Nafplio: A charming town with well-preserved architecture, offering a glimpse into Greece’s past.

Thessaloniki: Greece’s second-largest city, known for its vibrant culture, history, and waterfront.

Zakynthos: Famous for Navagio Beach and its turquoise waters, this island is a paradise for beach lovers.

Chania: A picturesque town in Crete know for its Venetian harbour and narrow streets.

These are just a few of the many incredible places Greece has to offer, each with its own unique charm and attractions. 

Before arriving you will be required to send a valid police check from your home country. This is required because we work with vulnerable people. During your first week you will also be taken to the port police to be registered as a new volunteer; a further criminal record check will be done by the Greek port police.

You will also be sent a copy of our safeguarding policy and be required to sign a code of conduct.

All volunteers must respect cultural sensibilities and differences when around refugees and asylum seekers. All volunteers must wear clothing of at least knee length, and keep their shoulders, chests and stomachs covered. If unsure of the dress code for a particular project or activity, please speak to a coordinator. 

As the southernmost country in Europe, Greece enjoys the longest coastline in Europe and with over 6000 islands in total and around 3000 years of history it is a fascinating, diverse and unique cultural destination.  

Greece is considered the birth place of civilisation and highly influential in ancient times, is often called the cradle of Western civilization. Athens, the capital, features historic landmarks including the 5th-century B.C. Acropolis citadel with the Parthenon temple. Greece is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.

Worldwide awareness of the refugee crisis grew following a sequence of events beginning with the record number of people who fled into Greece in June 2015 with now over a million refugees taken refuge in Greece.

These refugees are now stranded across Greece in Refugee camps, often with poor conditions, minimal access to information, support agencies or opportunities to improve the quality of life for their families. These asylum seekers have undertaken perilous journeys from unberable conditions in their home countries through highly dangerous escape routes frought with conflict and risk. In most cases these people just want to go home, but simply cannot.  

Greece has gennerally sunny climate throughout the year but can get quite cold in the north during winter, with snow in some areas. 

Greece enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with its summer from June to August. Temperatures get go up to 40 degrees celsius in the summer, but may be cooler up north or by the coast. This is a popular time to visit.

March to May (Spring) and September to November (Autumn) are good times to travel when days are still warm.

Greece has a rich and vibrant culture and it’s people are very passionate about their traditions, language, food and music. The Greek people will often gather their large families to eat around the dinner table, where they love to socialise.

Around 98% of people in Greece are Orthodox Christians, so many traditons and festivals are celebrated around this faith. Greece is also the home of ancient civilizations, going back 5000 years. From the ancient ruins to modern day art galleries and museums, Greece is full of culture and history. 

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality.

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options

GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.

We encourage all our Greece volunteers to fundraise to supply as many resources as possible to the local people and also to cover volunteer travel costs where required.

Weekends & Extra Tours

Ready to Volunteer in Greece?