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  • What kinds of costs am I looking at?
    Each volunteer is expected to independently fund their placement, covering costs for travel, accommodation and general living costs i.e. that of meals. Please be aware that projects are unable to financially support you. This Numbeo website is a helpful tool to gain an understanding of the living costs in different cities - we recommend that you work out a budget according to the location you will be volunteering in. When in doubt, the organisation you are joining may be able to provide some more details.
  • Is accommodation provided?
    Many of our partners do not provide cost-free accommodation. Some projects may offer volunteer housing at a subsidised price or they will recommend to you accommodation previous volunteers have stayed at. Depending on the project, there may be special conditions for long-term volunteers (1+ month). We suggest you do not book accommodation before you know which project you will be supporting.
  • Do I need insurance to volunteer?
    You must have the correct insurance to travel and volunteer in any country. It is strongly recommended that your insurance provider covers volunteering abroad and not just travelling abroad so that you are fully covered.
  • How can I volunteer along the Ukrainian border?
    Thank you for your willingness to help out! A couple of our partners are working along the Ukrainian border in Poland, Slovakia and Moldova - apply to volunteer with them here.
  • Where can I donate essential items?
    Have a look at a couple of wonderful organisation to donate essential items to here.
  • Why can I not submit an application to volunteer through Indigo right now?
    After working tirelessly since 2017 placing over 4,500 volunteers across 11 countries, helping provide food and shelter to thousands of displaced people along the European migration route, we are now struggling to secure funding to stay operational. For this reason, we have reluctantly decided to pause our volunteer matching services for the next two months so we can focus on raising funds. We have closed Indigo’s applications to volunteer with one of our partners, but there are other ways you can volunteer and get involved to help us get through this tough period . Find out more here (link to question below).
  • Why are volunteers needed?
    Volunteers are at the heart of the grassroots movement. Our partner organisations fill gaps left by governments - there remain huge gaps in services and support for displaced people that are being met by civil society in a compassionate way. Without individuals willing to dedicate their time to help, our partner organisations would not be able to provide essential services to support the refugee and migrant communities.
  • Why should I apply through Indigo instead of reaching out to charities directly?
    Indigo has an overview of the volunteer needs of our network. We can therefore connect you with organisations who are suitable for you based on your skills, previous experience and time frame. This also means you will be connected with an organisation where your skills will be truly needed - all at no cost. In addition, you will get access to multiple support resources from Indigo: a Welcome Pack, access to training opportunities, wellbeing resources, and support if an incident occurs during your placement.
  • What kind of work do your partners do?
    Our partners all provide integral services to support the needs of the refugee and migrant communities across Europe. Their work ranges from providing non-formal education to children and adults, to food distribution and delivering urgent medical services. For more information, please visit Our Partners page.
  • Are there any hidden costs?
    Our service for all our volunteers and partner organisations is completely fee-free. Volunteers are expected to be self-funded in terms of travel, accommodation and living expenses. Please be aware that projects are unable to financially support you.
  • How can I help Indigo restart its operations?
    Donate to and share our emergency fundraiser - every penny you give means we’ll once again be able to get responsible volunteers where they are needed the most. Run a fundraiser for Indigo Volunteers - this could be a pub-trivia, a challenge event (like running), or even a bake sale! Have a look at some tips to get you started here. Do you work with a company that is interested in supporting our charity? Connect us! Follow us on social media and share our content.
  • How do I apply?
    Apply by filling in our application form. For more details about the application process, please visit our Explore & Apply page. Before you submit an application form, we recommend you do the following steps: Visit our Before you Apply page Read through these FAQs. Sign up to our newsletter here.
  • What information will you ask for in the application process?
    We will ask you to provide us with various contact details, available volunteering dates, any health-related needs,to agree to obtain a visa independently, and other relevant declarations (i.e. a liability waiver). In addition to this, we will also ask you to give us an insight into what you know about the refugee context, any relevant experience, skills, and knowledge that you think you could bring to our partners. It is important you provide us with as much information as possible, as this will be shared with the organisations themselves.
  • What happens after I apply?
    After you apply, Indigo starts searching for organisations you may be able to support. When possible, we try to connect volunteers with 1 to 3 host organisations. ​ The connection We introduce you to the organisation(s) that fit your availability and skills. We may match you to a role different to what you indicated interest in if it's a better match. Speaking to the organisation Learn more about the organisation before accepting a role. You can even ask to speak to a previous volunteer to get a better understanding of what to expect. Is it a match? If you do not feel an organisation is right for you, please let us know so we can explore other options. Confirm your placement If you find a suitable organisation, please confirm and accept your placement with both Indigo and the project coordinator.
  • Why does Indigo not accept all volunteer applications?
    To maintain responsible volunteering, Indigo only connects volunteers when their skill set matches our partner's needs. A ‘skill set’ that our partners are looking for is an understanding of the situations in which our partners operate and what being a ‘responsible’ volunteer means in these contexts. We require applications to show this because - whilst we know that volunteers are most often caring individuals driven by the best intentions - our partners' needs and the communities they support, must always be placed first. ​ Here are some ways you can stay involved and learn more. Education: Visit our Learn, Prepare & Grow page to find resources about the refugee crisis, humanitarian values, responsible volunteering and much more. It is a great place to get started :) Take action at home: Follow our friends at Europe Must Act and continue to take action in your local community. If you live in the UK, you could also organise a collection - visit the donations drop-off points on our website to find out where you can donate. Stay connected with us: Follow us on social media and sign up to our newsletter here.
  • Do I need to be from Europe to apply?
    You don’t need to be from Europe to apply, although if you are applying from outside of Europe, we would encourage you to consider the environmental implications of long distance travelling. Additionally, if you are residing outside of Europe you are likely to require a VISA - Please be informed that Indigo or any of our partners cannot provide any support with obtaining a VISA.
  • How can I get a VISA?
    If you require a visa, you will have to source this independently. Please find out your volunteering locations’ specific entry requirements for residents of your home country. This is really important as Indigo and our partners will not be able to help at all in any visa proceedings.
  • How old do I need to be to volunteer?
    The minimum age to volunteer with our partners is 18 years old, although that may be higher for certain partner projects. There is no maximum age to volunteer!
  • What experience/qualifications are most useful to the grassroots sector?
    All experiences and backgrounds are needed! Our partners run a diverse range of projects and therefore need volunteers of the same diversity. Qualifications are often needed for roles such as teachers, medical and legal staff, and psychosocial support. Training is often provided so many partners don’t require specific skills or qualifications. Even your hobbies may often be what an organisation is looking for: crafts, sewing, gardening are sought out at times, music. Have a look at some active requests for volunteers here.
  • What is the minimum time I can volunteer?
    We prefer to place volunteers who have availability for a minimum of 4 weeks and many of our partners require volunteers to stay for 2,3 months. This is because a long term placement is less disruptive to a projects flow and can create sustainable practices. Nonetheless, currently some of our projects may accept volunteers for a minimum of 10 days - this depends on the projects location. Long term placements are especially needed when volunteering with children. We recommend watching this TedTalk to better understand the reasoning behind long term volunteering.
  • Is there anything I need to consider in light of Brexit?
    If you are a UK passport holder please read our blog on how Brexit will affect you when volunteering abroad.
  • It is my first time volunteering. How can I best prepare myself?
    Welcome to the wonderful world of volunteering! It is important to take ownership over your own learning in order to provide as much support to the partner you will be volunteering for. A great starting point is our Before you Apply page followed by our Learn, Prepare & Grow page - the content there can give you guidance on what volunteering with Indigo will be like and what topics to explore further.
  • Can I take pictures or film while I’m working as a volunteer?
    Most of the organisations that we support do not allow volunteers to take pictures during/of work for various reasons: It can make the communities we work with more vulnerable through exposure (depending on where a picture might end up). It can create counterproductive social dynamics based on which parts of a community do end up in a picture and which don't. We also encourage you to always think about the reasoning behind a picture. For example, is it purely for posting on social media or was the film taken to raise awareness? It is always important to think about the intention behind posting a picture and the impact that posting a picture can have. Some organisations may make exceptions and there might be certain circumstances where, if you're interested, you might be asked to help with photography for advocacy reasons. However, please do note that these opportunities are usually very limited.
  • Will I be inside the camp every day?
    The majority of our partners operate outside the camps. In countries like Greece, to a big extent this is due to legal limitations that prohibit organisations from entering camps freely. For this reason it is likely that you will not be working inside a camp. That does not mean nonetheless that the volunteer work you will be doing will not be important. All our partners exist to cover gaps left by national institutions and governing bodies, therefore every role and activity is crucial in not leaving displaced populations unsupported.
  • How has Covid-19 affected volunteering placements?
    As the high period of Covid-19 has passed, most of our partners now only follow national instructions regarding protection again the virus. Some partners may require volunteers to be vaccinated, or ask volunteers undergo regular testing. For more information on what to consider before applying to volunteer during Covid019, read here.
Frequently Asked Questions
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