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Project Elea consists of a group of International volunteers from around the world, who have come together to help improve the living conditions and time usage of the refugees and migrants who are being hosted at the ELEONAS Camp in Athens, Greece. Approved by the Greek Ministry of Migration, Project Elea will work as an independent team assigned, with providing specific services, improving processes and setting-up a variety of new structures. Eleonas is an open government-run centre, meaning that the refugees residing there are free to enter and exit as they wish but access is restricted to outsiders. The population currently stands at 2400 people of various nationalities. Their basic needs in terms of security, housing, food and medical attention are provided for by the Greek authorities and some of the large NGOs, but otherwise there are dramatic needs that our team will attempt to cover, particularly in the following areas:
- infrastructure improvements
- food distribution
- clothing distribution
- creative engagement
- playground & activities for children
- culture centre
- skill-sharing workshops
- waste management & recycling
These are the areas that Project Elea aims to focus on initially; later on, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and other actors, we will possibly take a role in facilitating the education of children while one of our long-term objectives is to set-up an industrial kitchen onsite to prepare food of higher quality for the whole community, encouraging the direct involvement of refugees in the production of meals closer to their culinary traditions, thus ultimately replacing the meals presently provided by catering companies. By all indications, the refugees who are currently in Greece will be staying in the country for the medium-long term and taking this into consideration, our project is one without a defined timeline, we will be around as long as we are needed!
The main goal of Project Elea is to create a strong feeling of community and the guiding philosophy is to achieve this through the engagement and empowerment of the refugees, by seeking their active participation in all the different services and processes. Refugees should be allowed and even expected to contribute in the building of their own, new, community; in the process of significantly improving their living conditions, they will use their time in a productive and satisfying way ultimately feeling respected and integrated, both comfortable and proud to be living there. In the long run, the goal is for the community to become as self-sustainable as possible, instead of continuing to depend entirely on the help of the authorities and the volunteers.
Here to Volunteer! Project Elea is entirely based on volunteers who are not receiving any type of financial compensation. They are however receiving tremendous satisfaction on a daily basis by helping people and empowering them to stand on their own feet. The team is made up of Greek and International volunteers with a variety of background and skills working together towards one common goal. We are looking for volunteers (18+ years) who will join our team ideally for 2 weeks or longer; everyone who wants to help in the goal of significantly improving the living conditions of the people housed at Eleonas Camp is welcome and certainly needed! If you are considering to volunteer with us, please provide the following details in your first message:
- arrival & departure dates
- country of origin
- spoken languages
- background & previous experience (just a couple of lines, no CV required :) )
- special skills and hobbies
And of course feel free to ask your questions in order to understand more about what to expect and how to prepare. Every kind of background, skill, hobby and level of experience can be put to positive use, our team is ready to welcome you and help you adapt quickly so as to be able to contribute to the maximum. During these early stages of our project, there are particular needs for volunteers with skills in construction/handy work, teachers of all specialities, sports instructors as well as dance, theatre, music and yoga specialists among others.