InterEuropean Human Aid Association Germany e.V.
IHA is a grassroots organisation providing humanitarian aid and assistance to refugees across Europe. It was founded in September 2015 as a platform to coordinate volunteer efforts responding to humanitarian emergencies across the Balkan route. Since 2015, IHA has settled in Northern Greece and developed into a volunteer-based aid organisation guided by the principle “dignity first”, focusing on sustainable and long-term support by means of material help, community building, social activities, and informal education.
Where is it?
Northern Greece, Thessaloniki
What will I be doing?
We aim to be flexible and adapt our work to changing needs. For that reason, the focus of our work might shift until your arrival. Our volunteers are currently taking on the following tasks:
The Warehouse: We operate a large humanitarian warehouse northwest of Thessaloniki. It provides material support to 11 refugee camps and various social projects in the region. We receive and sort relief supplies (clothes, hygiene articles and other non-food items) and distribute them to camps and partner organisations.
Lagadikia Community Centre: We run informal English and Greek classes, social and recreational activities, workshops, a child-friendly space, an Employability and Information Centre, a Women’s Space, football and field games.
Lagadikia Distributions: We support especially vulnerable cases in Lagadikia (those referred to us by other actors, including the local Greek population) with food and hygiene items. We distribute diapers to all families with young children in the camp on a monthly basis and clothing to all people staying in the camp biyearly.
We generally expect our volunteers to participate in all activities as required (where possible) and to keep in close contact with our field coordinators. Those activities may include less challenging (but nonetheless important) tasks such as sorting clothes donations or tidying up the warehouse.
Our profile is quite varied and flexible, but we generally operate in the following areas: NFIs (clothes, hygiene products), food, logistics, and informal education.
What impact would I have?
Overall objectives of the Lagadikia Centre are to provide aid and dignity, build community and social inclusion, offer informal education, foster a sense of belonging, and provide access to crucial information. Due to its cooperation with actors across the region, IHA acts as an informative hub in the village, connecting people with legal and medical partners and other organisations which are able to provide support. The centre tackles boredom, depression, and helps develop language skills. It is a space for community, education and cultural exchange within the village that camp residents know they will always be welcomed to.
Who will I be working with?
Visitors at the Lagadikia Community Centre, partner organisations, and community volunteers.
We have a volunteer flat accommodating up to 11 volunteers. It has three bedrooms, a common room, two bathrooms and a kitchen - it’s quite basic and it’s mostly young volunteers staying there. We recommend a donation of 150€ per month as a contribution towards expenses if you choose to stay at the volunteer flat. The team usually shops for groceries together.
Volunteers can also book their own accommodation in Thessaloniki. Please consider location and logistics - everyone should be as self-reliant as possible with regards to transport.
There is a communal item collection (currently 20 euros per week) for those wanting to share food and cooking responsibilities (optional). Volunteers tend to communally shop for groceries and take it in turns to cook dinner and clean the flat.
While packing your suitcase, please bear in mind that we have a professional dress code in our Community Centre in Lagadikia: shoulder covering tops, knee covering bottoms. If you have any questions towards the dress code, please don’t hesitate to ask our coordinators. In our warehouse, we ask you to always wear closed shoes for safety reasons.
- Accountancy and Finance
- Activity Lead
- Agricultural Expert
- Animal Conservation
- Arts, Music & Textiles
- Boat Driver
- Breastfeeding Support
- Business Consultant
- Business Mentor
- Car / Truck Driver
- Case Worker/Legal Support
- Children’s Activities
- Community Services
- Construction and Renovation
- Dance Teacher
- Drama Teacher
- Early Childhood Support
- Early Childhood Teacher
Interested in volunteering?