Due to the unpredictable nature of our work, caused by changing local and international policies and circumstances, we ask that you remain flexible and open minded to the tasks you are willing to perform and hours you work. If you have any specific skills or specialties, please let us know and we will try to find a role that uses your skills in the best way possible.
And remember, we are operating in a very difficult, sensitive environment so come ready to work hard physically and be prepared for mentally, emotionally and ethically challenging situations.
Before your volunteer trip to Greece, we strongly recommend that potential volunteers create a fundraising project to help pay for travel and living expenses. We also rely completely on donations for all of our projects and need your help raising money to continue the work that we do.
Possible fundraising projects
-Online crowdfunding campaign
-Seek donations from your employer
-Begging friends and relatives for cash!
Feel free to get creative!
Before you commit to volunteering with us, you should be confident that this type of work is the right for you.
- You should be passionate about volunteering for this specific cause and have strong awareness of cross-cultural communications and sensitivity. The residents in the communities most likely have experienced and witnessed war, murders, bomb explosions, rape or sexual violence, in addition to a lot of torture and trauma. You should have a broad knowledge not only of the issues concerning the individuals you will be working with, but the political history, current events and everything that shape the situation. Northern Lights Aid will give you training when arriving, but it is your responsibility to inform yourself, both before and during your work with us.
- Be sure you're up to the challenges, both emotional and physical. If you don't think you'll be able to handle this environment or working with a high volume of people, volunteering with refugees is probably not the right fit for you. Stress, burnout and psychological issues stemming from this type of work are common and often unavoidable. However, some stress can be prevented or reduced with the right preparation and a commitment from both you as a volunteer and the organization.
- You have to remember that you must not go beyond your scope of expertise and experience. The first rule as a humanitarian worker is DO NO HARM. If you are practicing out of your scope or providing false information, then you may be doing harm. The balance between doing no harm and helping in ways you are not experienced in is a balance that you will have to find. Your team, and especially the coordinator will be able to provide you with support when you feel that you are being asked to act outside of your scope of experience or expertise.
- It is OK to say no. Self-care is a priority. If you are not well, you cannot help others. You must remember to take breaks and days off as directed. If you burn out, you will not be able to help the to the best of your ability.
- You might find yourself in situations in which you have likely never been before and you might see things that can be traumatic and overwhelming. You will be working with people who have fled war and who are experiencing the worst time in their lives. You will see some of the worst of humanity. The team and the Northern Lights Aid coordinators will support throughout your trip and will provide continued support after your trip, if needed and wanted.
Some more advice
Most restaurants and stores accept credit cards and it is easy to find ATMs in Kavala.
Clothing and supplies for yourself:
We recommend you bring clothes that are suited for working long hours in all kinds of weather. Bring an extra pairs of shoes which can get wet. A good pair of shoes, a windbreaker and a fanny pack will also come in handy. Bring sunscreen t-shirts and a sun hat. When the weather is nice, it gets really warm.
Contact your doctor for information about vaccinations.
It is recommended that all volunteers get travel insurance before their trip, in order to cover any unforeseen expenses.