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selfm.aid - Skills Factory

selfm.aid - Skills Factory

In the SKILLS FACTORY we produce humanitarian aid ourselves: by hand. locally. sustainably. independently. honestly.


In the closed refugee camp on the Greek island of Samos there is a lack of everything. But the people who live in this misery, bring the knowledge and the experience to produce everything they need by themselves. And the fertile island of Samos supplies the necessary raw materials. 

And this is where the SKILLS FACTORY comes in.

In our workshops we work, learn and laugh together, pass on skills and knowledge, and develop innovative solutions. The products we manufacture directly improve the current living situation and alleviate humanitarian suffering. This is how we break the vicious circle of dependency.

  • Where is it?

    Vathy, Samos, Greece

  • What will I be doing?

    In the different departments of the SKILLS FACTORY on Samos, professionals from all over the world work closely together to exchange their knowledge, create and produce, find innovative solutions, and learn with and from each other. 


    The SKILLS FACTORY is managed by craftspeople from the refugee community, connected through locals, facilitated by external volunteers, and supported by the board in Switzerland. 


    As external volunteer, you will be responsible for the facilitation of the workshops and help to ensure smooth working days. You will have an overview on the team and their skills, upcoming tasks, plans, and external jobs. You will organise missing materials and ensure the connection to other actors and/or the local community. 


    Furthermore, you will participate in both the daily morning meetings to discuss upcoming questions, changes, or challenges and in the weekly selfcare/peer support circle. Whenever it’s needed, you will help out with general tasks (e.g. cleaning, cooking, and shopping), team activities, or joint projects with other departments.

  • What impact would I have?

    You will help to ensure everyone is busy while also having enough space to unfold his / her potential: 

    In the SKILLS FACTORY we base our activities on the skills and the experiences the people bring with them. But after a long time of waiting and being shifted from one place to another, it usually needs time and trust to reactivate the confidence and trust in themselves. 

    This is where you can make a difference – by offering a range of activities, people can jump in and try out if they are joining the team, by supporting them to unfold his / her potential and to accompanying the with external jobs or own projects. 

  • Who will I be working with?

    With a team of 5 external volunteers and approximately 35-45 community volunteers, supported by different local friends. 

  • Minimum age


  • Accommodation

    We provide free accommodation for volunteers. 

  • Extra Costs

    On working days, a fresh lunch is cooked for everyone at the SKILLS FACTORY. 
    All the other living costs you will have to cover yourself.

  • Skills required

    • Activity Lead
    • Agricultural Expert
    • Gardener
    • Electrician
    • Mobile phone repair technician
    • Computer hardware- or electronical engineer / technician
    • Architect
    • Arts & Textiles
    • Builder
    • Carpenter
    • Chef
    • Baker
    • Painter
    • Maker
    • Welder
    • Tailor
    • Construction and Renovation
    • Barber
  • Interested in volunteering?

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