Special Needs Support Volunteer Program in Greece - Athens
Want to help improve the quality of life for disabled people in Greece - Athens? International Volunteer HQ’s Special Needs Support project is based in an activity center for disabled children in Athens that provides a safe space for those with disabilities to learn, grow and have fun. As a volunteer in Greece, you’ll support local staff in putting on creative and enjoyable activities, whilst also helping the kids to open up and communicate with you.
- Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from CA$1926 for 3 weeks
- Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
Help disabled children learn, grow and have fun
Discover Athens’ ancient ruins, history and culture
Stay at a sustainable hostel in the heart of Athens
This program is ideal for:
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
Individualized care makes a huge difference in the lives of people living with disabilities, as their access to the outside world has been limited.
IVHQ’s Special Needs Support project is based at an activity center for disabled children, which is surrounded by nature and just a breath away from the beach. The premises also include various buildings where their school, kitchen, laundry, and playground are located.
As a volunteer on the Special Needs Support project, you will be responsible for helping the children spend their time in a creative and enjoyable way. You’ll work alongside a team of local staff and volunteers to help to run outdoor activities such as going swimming at the beach, sports, cinema and bowling visits, and indoor activities such as arts and crafts workshops, cooking, and even helping them in social integration.
As you will be working closely with the local placement staff, you are not required to have previous experience or training to participate in this project. However, you will need patience and enthusiasm in order to better understand these children, to help them open up to you, and to find your own ways of communicating with them.
Why do Special Needs Support volunteering in Athens with IVHQ?
When you volunteer on the Special Needs Support project in Athens you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Learning about the challenges that disabled people face
- Directly helping disabled children learn, grow and have fun
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience with disabled children
- Immersing yourself in Greek culture
- Discovering the ancient history of Athens
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 18, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
Volunteers must speak fluent English. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check to IVHQ after registering on the program.
Greece photo gallery
Academic course credit
Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!Learn about course credit
Read reviews from Special Needs Support volunteers in Athens
”I feel like I gained a broader sense of the world and met amazing people!”
Read reviews from Special Needs Support volunteers in Athens
The IVHQ Greece program is based in Athens, the country’s largest and capital city, as well as one of the world’s oldest cities! Famous for its art, philosophy and culture, you’ll have the chance to step back through time and witness fascinating museums, historic sculptures and ancient ruins up to 5,000 years old.
There are plenty of awesome viewpoints around Athens, from which you can admire the city’s architectural gems, labyrinthe of streets and charming taverns. Or you can soak up the sun on the city’s beaches and nearby islands. Don’t forget to treat your taste buds to the local Mediterranean cuisine - you can’t beat a Greek salad!
Arrival and orientation
The Greece volunteer program begins on the first and third Monday of each month and you will need to arrive in Athens on the Sunday before your chosen start date.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Athens International Airport (ATH). The cost of your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee. When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are traveling in Greece prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a meeting point in Athens on the Sunday before your program start date. You are also free to make your own way to the volunteer accommodation.
On Monday, orientation is hosted by our local team in Greece and runs for a full day. Orientation covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Athens – an introduction to Greece, culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities, and an introduction to your project and placement as well as a tour of the local area. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.
Volunteer schedule example
After the initial orientation, you will have a morning, afternoon or evening shift at your placement and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. A typical morning schedule is as follows:
|8.00 AM||Breakfast typically begins and is self-service.|
|8:30 AM||Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project. Please note that start times and daily workload depends on the project that you are participating in - some placements run in the afternoon and volunteers on these placements will have the morning free to use as they wish or to attend Greek language lessons.|
|2.30 PM - 3.30 PM||Lunch is served at the accommodation or at your placement. After lunch, you will continue your volunteer work (where applicable).|
|4:00 PM||Volunteers with afternoon or evening shifts travel to placement to join local staff and begin work on their project. Please note that start times and daily work load depend on the project you are participating in.|
|8.00 PM - 9.00 PM||Dinner at the volunteer accommodation. After dinner you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.|
Please note that this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.
Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of great things to see and do in Athens, wider Greece and the surrounding Greek Islands.
Accommodation and WiFi
Volunteers are accommodated in a dormitory-style hostel conveniently located in the heart of Athens. Only a 4 minute walk from Omonia Square, where the second most central metro stop is, and a 30 minute walk to Acropolis. The neighborhood offers many amenities, supermarkets, bars, local coffee shops, ATMS’s, shopping malls and all transportation means. The airport is just 45 minutes away via public transportation.
Bedding is provided in the accommodation. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week however, volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. The hostel features air conditioned rooms, a bar area, shared lounge and terrace, and a communal kitchen for those who may want to cook.
You can expect to be accommodated in a room with up to nine other people. Each room has its own bathroom and air conditioning. You will have your own locker to store valuables. You will need to bring your own small padlock or you can rent one from the reception for €3. You will also need to bring your own towel.
WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation and is free of charge. Please note that the signal may be weaker in some areas. There is also WiFi available at many cafes and restaurants in the area. To keep connected, the local team will provide you with a free local SIM card that you can activate to purchase mobile data for an unlocked mobile phone.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided at the hostel every day.
The menu consists of local food, a mixture of meat, fish, and fresh vegetables, so volunteers can try various meals made in Greek style every day. The hostel can cater to a variety of diets such as vegan and vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose intolerant.
Breakfast is served buffet style and includes cereal, yogurt, seasonal fruits, jams, honey, bread, cakes/cookies, milk, tea, coffee, juices, eggs, and cheese.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|3 weeks||CA$1926 Equivalent to CA$92/day|
|4 weeks||CA$2456 Equivalent to CA$88/day|
|5 weeks||CA$2986 Equivalent to CA$85/day|
|6 weeks||CA$3516 Equivalent to CA$84/day|
|8 weeks||CA$4576 Equivalent to CA$82/day|
|10 weeks||CA$5636 Equivalent to CA$81/day|
|12 weeks||CA$6696 Equivalent to CA$80/day|
- 24/7 in-country support
- In-country program orientation
- Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
- Airport pick-up
- Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
- Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
- Certificate of International Volunteer Service
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$471) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
- A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
- Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers on Athens based projects generally find US$100 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses, including transportation and miscellaneous spending.
- Any changes or cancellations within 14 days of your start date are subject to a US$200 late change/cancellation fee.
Check what's required to visit Greece
Safety and support
IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.
- All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
- All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
- All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
- All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Essential country information
Weather and climate
The climate in Greece is a very typical Mediterranean climate: mild and rainy winters and hot and dry summers with long periods of sunshine and no rain.