top of page
Boat Refugee Foundation

Boat Refugee Foundation

Our medical team provides primary and emergency health care to the people living in refugee camp Mavrovouni on Lesvos. Currently we are the only medical actor present in the camp, seven days a week, to provide medical support to the population of some 3.000 people. We provide essential medical care and ensure  the quality and continuity of care by closely collaborating with other - specialized - actors present on the island. 

Our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team on Lesvos provides services that are focused on the mental health and wellbeing of people on the move. With our work in our medical clinic inside refugee camp Mavrovouni and in a community centre outside the camp we provide basic mental health care. We refer people who need other types of (specialised) care to other actors in order to make sure that every person gets quality mental health care.


Our Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) team in Athens provides services that are focused on the well-being of adults on the move (refugees and migrants) who live in the urban area of Athens. Our team supports people, who often lack access to essential basics such as shelter and access to social services and become more empowered and resilient.

  • Where is it?

    Lesvos, Greece
    Athens, Greece

  • What will I be doing?

    As a medical volunteer you will work in our medical team on Lesvos, which largely consists of professional medical volunteers. Besides nurses and doctors we work with interpreters, who live in the camp themselves. They have an indispensable role in our team.

    We provide (emergency) care from our clinic in the camp, seven days a week. During the week we work evening shifts and on the weekends we also work during the day. The complaints we see vary from flu symptoms to serious physical or psychological complaints.
    As an MHPSS volunteer, you will play a part in Boat Refugee Foundation’s psychological support in the Mavrovouni camp on Lesvos. Many of the people who reside there struggle with psychological complaints.

    Our team provides mental health support to adults, focusing on increasing their strength and capacity. We meet people as humans, taking their identity, knowledge, and skills as a starting point. Because we believe in equality, we collaborate as much as possible with the camp community. They fulfil an indispensable role as interpreters in our activities.

  • What impact would I have?

    Professional volunteers are the heart of our work. Our medical and psychosocial support for displaced people relies on the indispensable contribution of volunteer doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers, interpreters and support crew. Your direct impact will be your contribution to quality care for people seeking safety in in Europe, in various stages of their asylum procedure. 

    As an organisation, Boat Refugee Foundation contributes to a just Europe where people seeking refuge have access to their basic needs and their rights are protected. We do so by:

    • by providing essential medical and mental health support to people on the move on the borders of Europe;
    • contributing to dignified reception and living conditions for displaced people, through local advocacy, collaboration and capacity strengthening of local organisations;
    • contributing to fair and practical migration and asylum policies, through advocacy in strategic collaboration with other European partners.
  • Who will I be working with?

    The international volunteers will be working with our team of community staff who are mainly local interpreters who live or used to live in camp Mavrovouni. The team of volunteer professionals is supported by an Area manager, Medical coordinator, MHPSS coordinator and volunteer coordinator and a finance assistant

    An Area manager, MHPSS coordinator, Social worker and Psychologist.

  • Minimum age

    There is no minimum age. 

    We ask for at least two years of working experience after graduation.

  • Accommodation

    On Lesvos there is a volunteer house which is shared with the other international volunteers. Maximum 15 people will be staying in the house. It costs 10 euros per night for 30 days after which the accommodation is free.

    In Athens volunteers will have to arrange their own accommodation but there is a contribution towards the cost of living of maximum 300 euros per month.

  • Extra Costs


    At your own expense

    Advice: book a flexible ticket to avoid extra costs if your flight gets delayed.

    Car insurance

    One-time payment of € 10,-

    Driving on Lesvos is a challenge, and damages to the rental cars sometimes occur. Together we bear these costs through a one-time contribution.


    € 5,- per day (optional)

    This contains a warm, prepared meal, coffee, tea, and two pieces of fruit per day. This is optional, you’re free to arrange your own food. 

    Costs for breakfast and dinner are excluded. 

    Travel insurance

    No costs

    Boat Refugee Foundation has travel insurance for all volunteers who go to Lesvos. This travel insurance is an addition to your own health insurance. 

    Certificate of Conduct

    At your own expense

    Also known as a police record, DBS check, VOG (Verklaring omtrent gedrag, for Dutch volunteers), or “Führungszeugnis” (for German volunteers).
    Note: for Dutch citizens, this is for free.

    Registration documents

    Average of €0-60 at your own expense

    Translating registration documents for the medical volunteers will have some costs.


    Not mandatory, but very welcome!

    We invite you to participate actively and enthusiastically in fundraising activities. Are you planning to organize something special, for example, an action or event, please contact Hanneke Veldhuizen via

  • Skills needed

    • Doctor (Preference for ER or GP experience)
    • Nurse (Preference for ER nurses)
    • Mental health professional like a (junior or senior) psychologist, psychiatrist, or mental health nurse specialist. psychologist, psychotherapist or certified in (ortho)pedagogy
    • Social worker (Athens only)
  • Interested in volunteering?

bottom of page