147 occurrence(s) found.

United Rescue Aid

Communicates between boats, coast guard and land support. There are other similarly named groups, but this is the one people on Lesvos work with.

Alarmphone: Safety at Sea

Guidelines for crossing the Aegean, with emergency protocols in many languages

Lesvos for Refugees Google map

Major camps, services and safe landing spots marked.

Volunteers returning from Lesvos and the Syrian refugee crisis

A Facebook group for discussing next efforts and sharing experiences.

Refugee Crisis Volunteer -- Share Your Story!

Do you like public speaking? This Facebook group can help you arrange opportunities to talk about your experience.

IRC/Mercy Corps website with info in English / Arabic / Farsi. Covers Serbia, Macedonia, Greece (Athens, Lesvos and Kos). Nicely designed and mobile-friendly. Good internal links to legal details, news, communication tools, etc. Also available as an app.

Help refugees from home

Suggestions for ongoing work at home, with local organizations or through remote support for Greece-based groups.

How to use social media effectively

Lesvos-experienced PR pros' advice for getting the word out.

Red Cross Restoring Family Links

ICRC's missing-persons team.

How to talk to reporters

Compiled by PR pros with Lesvos experience--to help you get your message across.

Greek - Arabic - English phrase list for refugees

Key phrases to help Arabic speakers to communicate with Greeks.

Working with children in Greece (official recommendations)

Assembled by the Child Protection Sub-Working Group (CPSWG): NGOs, UN agencies and other partners on Lesvos.

Unicef ethical photography guidelines

Short answer: respect.

Greece Skype asylum schedule

Advisers available via Skype in different languages, depending on the day -- see schedule for days and times. Downloads as PDF. Current as of 8 August 2016.

Life Vest Upcycling

Collected wisdom and ideas

How aid workers stay healthy: a psychologist's guide

Guardian story

Refugee Phrasebook

Giant compilation of phrases in many languages. In a Google Sheet; better used on a laptop than a phone.

Tips for Self-Care

Excellent compilation of wisdom and resources for maintaining a healthy outlook on Lesvos and after returning home.

Asylum info: Germany, Switzerland, Greece (folder)

Link to folder continuing information on the asylum process in (so far) Greece, Germany and Switzerland. Larger PDFs inside. (Current as of February 2016.)

Are You Syrious? news

Daily updates on the situation, from Turkey up through the Balkans. Also at

News That Moves

Quick short updates about the situation. Very practical. Multiple languages. From Internews.


For sending international money wires with lower fees. Money earned through this referral link will be donated to refugee efforts.

Mytiline city bus schedule (in Greek! PDF)

Schedule for buses around Mytilene town (including buses to Moria and to the airport). Direct link to a PDF file. In Greek only. Moria schedule is line 15 (weekdays), line 3 (next section, for Saturdays) and line 1 (last section, for Sundays).

Infant feeding guidelines

Guidelines for volunteers and refugees, in English, Arabic, Farsi and Greek.

Relocation program info

Compiled by w2eu

KTEL Lesvos bus schedule

English language site for buses across the island. This link goes to the interactive schedule page.

Information Point for Lesvos Volunteers

Facebook group for discussion

Hypothermia / CPR / AED guidelines

Illustrated. In color. Prepared by Boat Refugee Foundation.

Legal contacts for refugees in Greece

Collected by the Elena organization. List of legal aid groups and other NGOs offering legal support.

Greece and Cyprus donation-collection points (IN GREEK)

Updated with regular needs. Use Google Translate. Maintained by

Information Point for Greece Volunteers

General umbrella Facebook group. Ask questions here if you can't find answers at region-specific groups.

Lesvos Volunteers ride sharing

FB page for ride sharing.

How to Use an Emergency Blanket under Wet Clothing

Handy photos! Remember: emergency blankets do not *warm* a person; they only keep them from getting colder.

Guidelines for Medicine Donations

From the World Health Organization

Lesvos Volunteers accommodation sharing

FB page to share accommodation.

Hypothermia Treatment Basics for Volunteers

Learn the difference between mild and severe hypothermia.

Schedule of weekly UNHCR meetings (PDF)

Updated as frequently as possible. Best to subscribe to the UNHCR newsletter to be sure of getting most current details.

Communication icons

Sheet of common icons for nonverbal communication -- just point! (Different version, simpler, in color:

Arabic broadcasts on Greek TV

News bulletins in Arabic, after the usual Greek news broadcasts on ERT1 (Greek: EPT1) at 16:00, 19:00 and 22:00. Stream online.

Lesvos Volunteer Map

All the spots on it (shopping, hotels, camps, beaches, etc) are also under 'Places' on this site. Click each point for more info (phone numbers, bus schedules, etc). You can hide layers that aren't necessary, and save the whole thing to your phone (star to save under My Maps).

Basic principles of crowd management


UNHCR Lesvos newsletter

Sign up to receive email bulletins about various topics. (Anyone can sign up--don't be put off by the questions about what organization you're with.)

Aegean Shopping Directory

Awesome Aegean! Recommended refugee-friendly shops and other services on the islands, and some around Athens and Thessaloniki. Support local business!

German - Arabic - Dari/Farsi phrase list

With Greek at the bottom.

RefuComm communication for refugees

As of October 2016, single best one-stop legal info point for refugees in Greece. Practical bulletins about asylum, relocation and reunification procedures, in Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, and some in Pashto and Urdu. Pre-registration flowchart from UNHCR is here ("Legal pathways flowchart"), with helpful color-coding. "Preparing for your asylum interview" section, including a long list of questions that may be asked.

Best distribution practices

How to safely and effectively distribute food, clothes, etc. Developed for Idomeni but applies anywhere.

Greece camps map

For easiest searching and orientation. All the spots on it are also under 'Places' on this site.

10 Tips for Individuals Volunteering in a Refugee Camp

Blog post by Gillian Seely

Aegean wave height forecast

Higher waves, fewer boats...usually.

Luggage-fee waiver letter template

Coordinate with the group you're working with to add signature and registered charity/NGO letterhead, then file with your airline.

English - Arabic - Dari/Farsi phrase list

With a bit of Greek at the bottom!

Internews "Refugee Rumours"

Dispelling rumors, one at a time. The newsletter is circulated weekly, on Fridays. Farsi: Arabic: Greek: Email subscription at .

Volunteer registration for mainland Greece

Some sites require this; others don't. Confirm with the group you will be working with.

Communications Google Drive

Public folder for all signs, phrase lists and other tools for communicating with refugees. (Most developed on the island of Lesvos, so some are very location-specific.)

UNHCR daily data on Lesvos

Numbers are based on police reports, largely from number of people *registered* (not necessarily arrived).

Warehouse categories/labels

Print for use in warehouses, or when preparing donations to send. Designed by Cyril Romann.

Boat landing protocol

Developed by Stichting Bootvluchteling and UNHCR -- the best procedure for calm and safety.

Volunteer registration on Lesvos (Ministry of the Aegean)

Police registration for groups and individual volunteers is required, and can be done via email before you arrive, or at the Ministry of the Aegean in person. **If link is not working (site goes down periodically), the form is here: Return to**

Information for Volunteers on Lesvos (Google doc)

Want to volunteer on Lesvos? This is all the information you need to get started--and plenty more after that.

General work principles

Best practices. Every volunteer should read these. Links to the main Lesvos info doc.

Greece asylum info in 18 languages

What to say to claim asylum in Greece. Note that this guide is somewhat out of date--it was *not* written for the current situation, and is not totally accurate in some spots. But for an overview, and in the absence of other details, it is a helpful starting point.

How to Volunteer in Greece (Info for Greece Volunteers)

Basic info to get started, with brief profiles of camps and lists of which camps need which language skills.

Reimbursements for Refugees

Facebook group where volunteers on the ground can request one-off donations from people at home, to buy supplies for refugees.

UNHCR Data Platform -- Mediterranean

Dig down for lots of maps and reports.

Refugee Crisis Reality Check

Good overview of what to expect as a volunteer -- mental prep, rather than logistical. Compiled by Campfire Innovation.

Refugees Deeply

In-depth analysis of the refugee situation, following the model of Syria Deeply.

information for Athens (Google folder)

Compiled documents for Athens volunteers. Please read first if you are headed to Athens.

Rapid Response Refugee Translators

Facebook group with a pool of translators available to help with projects in many languages.

Conflict De-escalation

How to calm down a volatile situation, how to soothe angry people.

Info Guide for Volunteers in Katsika Ioannina

This main document provides all the basic info for volunteering at Katsika.

Katsika Ioannina Volunteers Information Point

Facebook group for coordination

Information Point for Northern Greece Volunteers

Facebook group for coordination.

Immigrant and Refugee Support Group in Athens

Facebook group for coordination.

Bienvenidos Refugiados Voluntariados Grecia

Facebook group for sharing information in Spanish for volunteers

Medics for Greece

Facebook group for coordinating placement of people with medical skills.

NGO registration form (northern Greece)

For registration of *groups*, via the ministry in Thessaloniki

Northern Greece -Volunteers Accommodation and Ride Share

Facebook for sharing rooms and rides in Thessaloniki and around (formerly for Idomeni area only)

Information for Volunteers in Northern Greece

Basic orientation document, with work tips and more.

Northern Greece Volunteers Map

Thessaloniki and northern camps and services. *For general orientation only. For the most current collection of pins, see the Places directory on this site.*

Tips for Buying Aid for Refugees in Athens

collected by Anastasia Shepherd For a list of all shopping pins in Athens (dynamic, on this site), see, then click 'show results on map' to create a Google Map.

Chios Refugees: Volunteers Collaboration

Chios Eastern Shore Response Team - Info Point

main coordinating group on Chios

Life After Lesvos - Returning Volunteers Reconnect & Share

Facebook community/page.

Packing list

In the Lesvos volunteer doc, a detailed packing list (some items are just for winter).

Volunteering in Chios

info doc with orientation for volunteers

Chios map for volunteers

From this site: all Chios map pins on a Google Map.

Chios Volunteer Registration Form

Sign-up sheet for volunteering on Chios

Social benefits for refugees in Greece -- master lists

Collection of PDFs listing organizations providing support, in a variety of categories (food, Greek language lessons, psychological support, accommodation, education, legal and medical support). Allegedly in multiple languages, but currently (mid-July 2016) seeing only English. All info was collected April-June; not certain of plans to keep updated.

InterNews "In the Loop"

What refugees are discussing -- good way of seeing current problems, issues, concerns at camps. Also available in Greek: Subscribe:

Voluntariados en Grecia (info doc in Spanish)

Maintained by Bienvenidos Refugiados en Grecia.

I have medical skills. How do I help?

In addition to the Volunteers Needed listings here on the site, also search the Teams directory by 'medical / health care.' And join and post in the Facebook group Medics for Greece,

I speak Arabic / Farsi / Urdu etc. How can I help?

Speakers of Arabic, Farsi, Kurdish, Urdu and more are needed all over. Many of the camps are a majority of one nationality. Please see (work by skill set) for a chart of camps organized by majority language. Also of course see the Volunteers Needed section of this site for specific calls (check the 'language' box when searching) and search the Teams directory for other organisations that need translators but which may not be actively recruiting.

I want to come [on any date more than two weeks from now]. Will my help still be needed?

Short answer: yes. As for's hard to say in advance, as the situation changes frequently. Please prep by reading You can safely commit to buying a ticket to either Athens or Thessaloniki, then adding on tickets to specific destinations later. Reach out to various organizations, but understand that administrative support is limited, and you may not get a response immediately if your planned trip date is more than a few weeks away. It's stressful, we know...but trust that plans will fall into place and you will be useful in the end.

Why isn't there a "Volunteers Offered" section? I'm sure my skills would be useful somewhere.

There are so many talented volunteers with great skills--but very few admins, and no one with the capacity to sift through a huge list of volunteers and their skills and trip dates.* This is why we leave it up to you to read the Volunteers Needed listings and browse the Teams directory to see what groups are working where, and decide which might be a good fit for you. (*Group coordinators: We don't mean to underestimate you; we're just basing this on past experience. If a volunteer database would be useful to you, please let us know:

Providing Housing for Refugees -- guidelines

Collected wisdom from the Immigrant and Refugee Support Group in Athens on Facebook.

Athens map for volunteers

Dynamic list of all Athens pins from this site. Click 'show results on map' to see a Google Map.

Western Greece volunteers map

All pins from this site in Western Greece on a Google Map.

Lesvos shopping map

From this site: dynamic Google Map of all Lesvos shopping locations

Athens shopping map

From this very site: all Athens shopping pins in Athens, on a Google Map.

Northern Greece shopping map

From this site: all northern Greece shops on a Google Map.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Reprot

Compiled by major aid agencies with guidelines for volunteers to provide mental-health support to refugees. Provides "advice on protecting and supporting the mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants in Europe. It describes key principles and appropriate interventions." Link leads to website with links to a downloadable report in numerous languages (English, Arabic, Croatian, German, Greek, French, Italian, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish). Click further to download PDF.

I don't have any special skills. Can I still help?

Yes, definitely! This whole response has been driven by regular people with energy and time to commit. See the "volunteer starter kit" page on this site, particularly the main Google doc.

Northern Greece -- Volunteers Accommodation and Ride Share

Facebook group for coordinating room / hotel sharing and arranging rides and rental-car shares.

FB page feeds: Lesvos

Click over for a one-page feed of organisations working on Lesvos. (Not totally up-to-date. --Sept 6, 2016.)

FB page feeds: Other islands (Chios, Samos, Leros, Kos...)

Click over for a one-page feed of organisations working on all the island *except* Lesvos.

FB page feeds: Mainland: Central (Athens area)

Click for one-page feed of major organisations working in central Greece (Athens and beyond).

FB page feeds: Mainland: North and East (Thessaloniki and Thrace)

Click over for a one-page feed of the organisations working around Thessaloniki and into eastern Greece.

FB page feeds: Mainland: West (Ioannina) and Peloponnese

Click over for a one-page feed of groups working in western Greece and in the Peloponnese.

Dissecting the Propaganda on Syria

This disinformation and propaganda on Syria takes three distinct forms. The first is the demonization of the Syrian leadership. The second is the romanticization of the opposition. The third form involves attacking anyone questioning the preceding characterizations. [posted by Thierry]

The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?

What is the Syrian death toll now? 400,000? Less? More? [posted by Thierry]

Official Greek government: Info for asylum for people arrived after March 20, 2016

In Greek, English, Arabic, Dari

refugees tv

refugee-produced reports التحدث عن معاناة الاجئيين

Sixth EU report on relocation and resettlement -- September 2016

"Boring and nerdy" -- you were warned :) -- "but a really reliable informative look into the problems surrounding relocation, how it's progressing and how the Greek Asylum Service is functioning behind the scenes."

RefuComm YouTube channel

For refugees who don't read, RefuComm maintains this helpful collection of videos. Always expanding!


Translators on call via video.

Appointment search tool / full appointment list.

Find your appointment time using your registration number. If that fails, consult the entire list of appointments, through April 2017, sorted by registration number:

War in Translation: Giving Voice to the Women of Syria

Set aside a little time to read this gorgeous essay--it's about a lot of things, but very key are her details about how individual experience gets flattened in news coverage in translation. [posted by Zora]

U.S. and U.K. Continue to Actively Participate in Saudi War Crimes, Targeting of Yemeni Civilians

A central player of the region is mostly overlooked. With a $30 Billion arms budget and US/UK backing, Saudi Arabia plays a key role in destabilising its neighbours.

Thessaloniki city buses

City bus app (download for Android, iOS, Windows) is highly recommended.

KTEL Macedonia bus schedule

For buses from Thessaloniki to surrounding towns

Safeguarding children / how to get a criminal background check

Compiled by Sumita Shah. Instructions for (highly recommended) procedure of getting official clearance to work with children.

Will the Gulf of Tonkin Fit into the Red Sea?

The United States destabilized Yemen with a massive killing spree known as a “drone war.” The United States armed Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen with jets, supplied the jets, supplied the bombs (and cluster bombs), refueled the jets midair, provided the targeting information, provided the cover at the United Nations, and deployed its ships to the coast of Yemen as part of its effort to achieve U.S./Saudi power in Yemen through mass murder and devastation. If one group or another or nobody in Yemen fired some harmless shots at a U.S. ship the outcome is the same: zero legal or moral or practical justification to continue or escalate the killing, and zero logic in calling such escalation “defensive.”

When Mosul falls, Isis will flee to the safety of Syria. But what then?

Robert Fisk on the motives behind the invasion of Mosul Syria’s army and Hezbollah and Iranian allies are preparing for a massive invasion by thousands of Isis fighters who will be driven out of Iraq when Mosul falls. The real purpose behind the much-trumpeted US-planned “liberation” of the Iraqi city, the Syrian military suspect, is to swamp Syria with the hordes of Isis fighters who will flee their Iraqi capital in favour of their “mini-capital” of Raqqa inside Syria itself.

Athens volunteers accommodations and ride sharing

Facebook group for coordinating hotel and room shares and transport.

First-time volunteer FAQs

Right here on this very site.

W2EU Welcome to Greece guide

Arabic: Farsi: PDFs in all languages: This guide includes a whole chapter on the special situation on the islands for all refugees arrived since March 20, 2016, in addition to a larger section for those on the mainland, plus detailed information on family reunification and relocation, plus a lot of useful contacts mainly in Athens and Thessaloniki.

Return Watch (Turkey)

Monitors treatment of refugees forcibly returned to Turkey. Contact for legal support if needed; click 'contact form' for link to secure browser form.

Teaching resources (courtesy No Border School)

Google Drive of materials for teaching English and German materials, courtesy of No Border School. Includes Farsi-English and Arabic-English materials.

Aid Logistics

App for coordinating aid shipments.

Social Warehouse app

Open-source tool for managing warehouse stock

WhatsApp groups -- master list

See this post on FB for instructions on how to join various WhatsApp groups (including translation ones)

Compare money transfer options

Site that compares money transfer. Not tested.

LGBTQ support orgs

Link to Facebook post listing major organizations and help centers in Athens. Many are also listed in the Places directory on this site (search 'LGBT').

Gas canister safety videos

In English, Arabic and Farsi. Prevent fires!

Boat Report - Lesvos

FB page where Lesvos boat arrivals are posted. (May not be totally complete.)

An alternative view on the events

This article is the first in a two-part series of one Western journalist’s journey to Aleppo, a city ravaged by an insurgency supported by the United States, NATO member states, and their allies in the Gulf states and Israel.

Athens Volunteers Information and Co-ordination Group

New information and Co-ordination Group for Athens assisting: 1) volunteers on the ground with guidance, hints and tips on volunteering in Athens 2) new and existing volunteers with information on where to volunteer in Athens and surrounding areas 3) with distribution to squats, camps and shelters from Ellinikon Warehouse and other major suppliers/donors in Athens. 4) providing information, help and support to individuals and organisations to connect vulnerable refugees with housing and other urgent and immediate needs (such as access to shelters, food, clothing, medical, psychological, lgbtq support)

Refugees 2 Refugees R2R Solidarity Call Center

Refugee-staffed call center, based in Thessaloniki.

+302311180903 (Mon - Fri 10.00 - 16.00)


Camp populations and map (Ministry of Health)

Was being updated weekly--but seems to have stalled (early Feb 2017). Generally matches UNHCR numbers. Map also shows which medical teams are working where.


--camp locations are imprecise (don't use for navigation; use pins here in Places directory or 

--individual camp populations are not necessarily up to date; every camp does not report every week (applies to UNHCR data too). 

--total population listed here does not include people in apartments, etc. For total refugee population in Greece, see UNHCR numbers (copied to

Camp population data via Greek government

Spreadsheet (feeds to map at showing population numbers, copied from weekly "summary statement of refugee flows." Easier than finding on Greek government site or digging through UNHCR site. Note that not all camps report every week, so data on specific camps may not be accurate at any given time.

Thessaloniki - Polikastro or nearby Camps

If you need regular transportation from Thessaloniki city center/ to nearby camps, safe and quick by car, just drop me line. - Can host 1-3 people for car. Only for fuel cost :)

whatsupp/viber: +306937981241 (upon request and availability)

Coordination Group: Aid Transport and Logistics Greece

Facebook group for organizing aid shipments to Greece. Join if you will be sending large amounts.

Warehouses in Greece

From this very site: all warehouses in the Places directory, pinned on a map.

Athens Markets

Map of the days and locations of the street markets ("Laiki") where affordable prices for fruits and vegetables can be found, especially later in the day (2-4 pm) when stands are starting to close.

Also has dairy vending machines and supermarkets.

Perpetuating a Stalemate in Syria

With no end in sight for the war in Syria, the Obama administration continues to approach the conflict in a way that is prolonging the fighting. As it pursues its stated goal of removing the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad from power, the Obama administration is implementing a policy that keeps the Syrian regime and the many different opposition forces in the country locked in a deadly stalemate.

Refugee Center Online: Free course for volunteering with refugees

5-unit, 2-hour free online course that covers basic communication skills, legal details, etc. (Not yet tested; posting link for info purposes only.)

Sphere Handbook

The official guidelines used by big NGOs -- it specifies things like how many toilets per number of people, etc. Independent volunteers don't need to know all of this, but it can help you with general jargon and standards. 

There's also an online course that walks you through the handbook: