What a rollercoaster 2023 has been.
This year, our work has had an incredible impact. Despite having to temporarily pause our operations this summer, we have been able to place 247 volunteers across 46 charities in Europe and Lebanon.
Beyond placing volunteers, we have remained committed to supporting our charity partners. Whether this is through responding to requests, providing resources, training opportunities or mental health support, our partners’ needs remain at the forefront of our work. .
Claire, from our fantastic partner Yoga and Sport with Refugees summed up our partnership wonderfully:
"Indigo volunteers have been a great asset for a grassroots organisation like us. Over the year, we have seen their process strength, adapting to the needs of both organisations and potential volunteers. In addition to bringing to us volunteers who are absolutely essential to our projects, they have been key actors in the protection of incoming volunteers. Indeed, they provide volunteers with trainings that organisations don't always have the capacity to offer, as well as invaluable mental health support. They have been major actors in making our domain safer, more professional and more sustainable."
Our Volunteers’ Impact in 2023
On average, each volunteer is placed for 70 days. That means in 2023, we have created 17,290 days of support for refugees. That’s over 47 years altogether - impressive, right?
Whilst summarising our impact in numbers makes sense, it's worth looking at the impact that goes beyond numbers. For every 1 day the Indigo team worked in 2023, we arranged 89 days worth of volunteering.
This means that in each of the 365 days of 2023, we arranged:
89 more days where refugees had access to clothing, blankets, and shelter.
89 more days where refugees had someone to talk to, and could have their voices heard.
89 more days where children had a safe space to play, and be a child again.
89 more days where pregnant and new mothers could access help.
89 more days where refugees could access showers and wash their clothes.
89 more days where refugees could eat hot, nutritious meals.
89 more days where separated families could stay in touch through wifi centres.
Our volunteers have helped the most vulnerable populations, including:
People aged 65+
People identifying as LGBTQi+
People navigating migration with disabilities
Indigo's volunteers have supported people on the move from countries across the globe:
Volunteering has been life-changing
The volunteering experience has not only had an undeniable and tangible impact on refugees across Europe, but has also created life-changing experiences for our volunteers.
This is what our volunteer Laura had to say about her experience:
“The [volunteering] experience only added value and a better understanding to my life. As a social worker I work with asylum seeking children when they reach the UK however my experience of what they face during their journey was limited, the experience expanded this and only aided to enable me to empathise and support more in my employment. I have complete admiration for the families and children and the challenges they overcome to ensure they can live safe lives.”
For Garusha, “my time volunteering has been nothing short of life-changing. The experiences I have gained through these initiatives have not only left an indelible impression on my personal growth, but have also significantly shaped my professional trajectory by equipping me with a broader perspective and a deeper understanding of the issues I am passionate about.”
For Lisa, “I cannot even describe how life-changing it is. More than a simple social experience, it really is a humanitarian and elevating experience. You will discover a brand-new world, in which people are careful and driven by the will to help others. With the beneficiaries, you develop a sincere and precious relationship. This experience helped me mature a lot and taught me technical skills, along with a brand new mindset. It was also the occasion to travel across Europe and widen my perspectives.”
For Hassan, the experience “truly changed my life. I feel so grateful for everything that I have in my own life and now have a reinforced keenness to help others in society in any way possible.”
What’s next for Indigo?
In 2023, the world witnessed the distressing impact of conflicts in Sudan and Gaza, whilst individuals from Ukraine to Myanmar to the DRC have continued to grapple with displacement. As we enter the new year, Indigo’s work is only going to become increasingly important.
In 2024, figures by the UNHCR Global Appeal are predicting the global displaced population to rise to 130.8 million, with refugees accounting for 32.6 million of this total.
Going into 2024, we understand that our work will be needed more than ever.
We are planning to grow our network of charities receiving our support even further: we plan to place volunteers in more communities where they can provide support to even more refugees across the globe.
Beyond providing training and resources, Indigo also has incredibly exciting plans for our charity partnerships in 2024. We are exploring ways to provide even more opportunities for capacity building and organisational development in the new year - watch this space!
Throughout the year, we will continue to share our impact. To stay up to date with Indigo’s work and our incredible stories from the ground, follow our social media and sign up to our email newsletter!
How you can help in 2024
To continue making an impact in 2024, it is important to recognise the reality of the humanitarian sector.
Throughout 2023, there were two main challenges faced by Indigo and our partners:
Indigo and our charity partners are relying on a rise in donations and volunteers dedicated to helping refugees to help us truly make life for people living in displacement better.
By supporting Indigo, you are not only addressing the needs of refugees and showing solidarity to displaced people across the globe; you are helping us create a world where every refugee has the opportunity to rebuild their lives with dignity and purpose.
Help us create a global community of people inspired and equipped to help each other, and a world where hatred and division are overcome by compassion, solidarity and empathy.
Apply to Volunteer in 2024.
Set up a regular donation to Indigo, so that we can continue placing incredible volunteers where they are needed most.