Offene Arme e.V.

Offene Arme e.V.

Offene Arme e.V. (formerly CESRT), is a local grassroots organisation with a team of international volunteers dedicated to providing support for the refugee and asylum-seeking population on the island of Chios as well as the local community.

The team was originally established as an emergency response team back in 2016 when many boat landings from Turkey were happening. We have since been trying to fill in the gaps by providing essential services. This has included distributing items such as clothing, blankets, toiletries, medical supplies, food and drink to all new arrivals. We have set up various projects over the years, including Vial Cleaning, the Language Centre, Apartment Activities, Emergency Accommodation, Beach Cleaning, Vial Games and many other  projects. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our ability to respond to landings has been suspended, and so we have switched our focus to setting up and running our free shop whilst continuing with our Vial cleaning project and supplying other organisations.

  • Where is it?

    On the Greek island of Chios -very close to the west coast of Turkey.

  • What will I be doing?

    We operate a free shop, the OA distribution warehouse, where beneficiaries come to take clothes and other non-food items for free. You will be sorting supplies in our main warehouse, helping to run the OA Distribution Warehouse, participating in our Vial cleaning project, and working on other emergency projects.

  • What impact would I have?

    Volunteering with Offene Arme e.V. (CESRT) has a widespread impact. They are the only team attending boat landings on Chios. Welcoming the people on arrival after their difficult and stressful journey and providing basic nutrition, water and clothes with a sense of calmness and sensitivity is very essential. You will fully understand this after having responded to your first landing.

    Additionally, your work will reach a variety of different people and needs - whether it is working in the OA distribution Warehouse - supplying much-needed items to camp residents, preparing crafts and games for people living in apartment blocks or carrying out the activities required to run our main warehouse.


  • Who will I be working with?

    You will be working with people of all ages and backgrounds from the Offene Armee.V. volunteer team and members of our partner organizations.

  • Minimum age


  • Accommodation

    Volunteers will have to fund their own accommodation but we can provide recommendations on where to stay in Megas Limnionas, Agia Ermioni or Karfas.

  • Minimum time

    We ask for a minimum of four weeks (plus one week period of self-isolation) when volunteering with us.

  • Extra Costs


    • Travel to and from Chios.
    • Normal living costs (food and drink, car rental, spending money).
  • Skills Required

    • Logistics
    • Distributions
    • Admin Support
    • Van Driver
    • Warehouse Support
    • No Specific Skill