At the end of May, I travelled to Samos to volunteer with the organisation Refugee4Refugees. I found R4R through Indigo Volunteers, where I have been an ambassador for the last six months- reaching out to universities and other groups of interested people about the service that Indigo provides by recruiting and connecting volunteers with humanitarian projects that need them most, and about the abundance of volunteering opportunities available with grassroots organisations across the globe. The application process was simple, thorough, and allowed me to consider what my skills are and what working environment I’d best liked to be placed. After having found my place with R4R, I was put into contact with their incredible team and have been supported by both them and Indigo since.
Developing the land opposite the camp where we carried out kids activities and events like the Eid celebrations was something that was really great to be a part of. The team worked to build a fence around the land to optimise the safety of the children during kids activities, and made a sand area for games like Volleyball to be played. Between the improvement of the land, and the incredible energy of the team, kids activities was something to really look forward to each day. The memories I made spending time with such animated and positive children everyday will truly stay with and inspire me forever.
The experience heightened my awareness of the enormous humanitarian crisis that exists without a voice. I feel extremely grateful however to have been part of an NGO that supports the undeniable fact that it is not only Western volunteers who have the ability to make a difference, but that the refugee community plays a big part in the solution of the crisis, as their active involvement brings a wide range of skills, insight and kindness.
I met some of the strongest, most altruistic and inspirational people during my time in Samos, all of whom contributed to the sense of respect, care and shared humanity that permeated all aspects of my experience.