Special Needs Support Volunteer Program in Greece - Chios
Interested in Special Needs Support volunteering in Greece? International Volunteer HQ’s Special Needs project places volunteers in schools and centres for people with a wide range of mental and physical disabilities. Volunteers assist local teachers and staff with daily duties and enable them to provide more individualiseds care and attention to those living with disabilities.
- Programs start every second and fourth Monday of the month
- Affordable fees from £551 for 2 weeks
- Includes accommodation, breakfast , airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
- Help provide personalised care to those living with special needs
- “Explore the stunning beaches of Chios and the Aegean Sea”
- “Stay in a volunteer house or apartment on the Greek island”
Who is this program suited to?
What to expect and how you'll make an impact
For people with disabilities, having personalised care can make a big difference to their ability to have productive, fulfilling lives. By volunteering on the Special Needs Support project, you’re able to be a part of that care and see the importance of it in action.
As a Special Needs volunteer, you’ll assist either in a school or specialised centre for people with special needs. Both the school and the centre provide education and care to people who have a range of disabilities from mild physical and mental disorders to severely limiting conditions such as cerebral palsy.
Volunteers will be primarily supporting and observing trained local staff, so you should be flexible in your approach and open to helping wherever it’s required. Duties vary depending on the placement but can include:
- Assisting teachers with daily routines
- Arts and crafts
- Classroom preparation and rearrangements
- Preparing creative activities and festivities
- Assisting with meals
- Helping with physiotherapy
- Supervising students
- Helping with excursions
- General care and cleaning
Volunteers who apply for the Special Needs Care project over school holiday periods will support summer activity projects run by our local team in Greece. These are often run outdoors and encourage learning through games rather than in a classroom. Volunteers can be creative in designing activities which fit the topics being covered at the time. In addition to running games and activities, you may also be given other tasks such as painting in schools, helping with beach litter cleanups and participating in cultural events.
The school holidays for 2021/2022 are:
- 7th June 2021 - 12th September 2021
- 6th December 2021 - 23rd January 2022
Why do Special Needs Support volunteering in Chios with IVHQ?
When you volunteer on the Special Needs project in Greece you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:
- Improving access to quality care and education for disabled people
- Helping students develop life skills in a safe place
- Practicing your Greek
- Developing your communication skills
- Gaining experience in caring for people with disabilities
- Immersing yourself fully in the Grecian way of life
- Discovering the ancient ruins of Chios
Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate in this program, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. 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. Volunteers on the Special Needs Support and Food Outreach projects must have relevant experience and stay for a minimum duration of 2 weeks. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a recent criminal background check to IVHQ after registering on the program.
”My favourite volunteer moment was seeing the kindy class learning and doing things that I was surprised with. Even though it is a special needs program and these children are in a special school it does not mean that they can’t learn, they will surprise you in the most beautiful ways. I would like to say thank you very much for creating something that I was ...able to experience like this. I grew as a person and learnt so much. The teachers and principal make do with the little supplies they have for the children and they do an excellent job.” read more
Read reviews from Special Needs Support volunteers in ChiosSee more reviews
If you think of a Greek island and imagine beautiful beaches, stone buildings and narrow cobbled alleys framed by the deep blue of the Aegean Sea, you’re picturing Chios, Greece’s fifth biggest island. It’s home to about 54,000 people spread among the small towns and villages dotted across the island and boasts ancient history dating back to the Neolithic era, as well as a balmy climate and plenty to see, do and eat.
IVHQ volunteer placements are located throughout communities on Chios and accommodation in either the town of Chios or the nearby suburb of Vrontados.
Arrival and orientation
The program orientation begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month, and volunteers need to arrive in Chios on the Sunday before your program start date.
After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at Chios Island National Airport (JKH). 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 transported to the volunteer accommodation. Your accommodation is covered by your program fee and includes the night before your program orientation.
If you are travelling in Greece prior to your volunteer program, we can arrange for you to be picked up from a prearranged location in Chios on the day before your program orientation.
Orientation will be held on the Monday morning of your volunteer program. The orientation which is run by the local team will include an introduction to the IVHQ Greece program rules and expectations, health and safety, do’s and don’ts in Chios, a basic Greek language and culture lesson, and a brief city tour. Orientation will also give you a chance to sign up for Greek language lessons and to meet other volunteers with whom you can swap contact details for weekend travel and socialising. You will also be introduced to your specific placement during the orientation.
Volunteer schedule example
On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local team member and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.
You will have a morning or afternoon shift and will work for approximately 3 to 5 hours per day. A typical morning schedule is as follows:
|7:00 AM||Breakfast at the volunteer apartment.|
|8:00 AM||Travel to placement to join local placement staff and begin work on your project.|
|1:30 PM||Work at the placement usually ends.|
|2:30 PM||You are free to plan for the following day’s activities or use your free time as you wish. This could include sightseeing, some shopping or taking Greek language lessons.|
Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project and the time of year you are volunteering.
Volunteers have the weekends free and there is no shortage of great things to see and do in Chios and wider Greece.
The country is overflowing with history, culture, cuisine and natural beauty. You can visit ancient ruins like the Turkish Bath at Chios Castle, or the abandoned hilltop settlement of Anavatos; enjoy the many hikes and diverse flora and fauna; relax on an excellent variety of beaches; take a trip to the village of Pyrgi where the buildings are ornately patterned in black and white geometric designs; see the 11th century monastery, Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; dine on incredible food or even take a day trip across the Chios Strait to Turkey.
If you’re staying for a while or wish to travel before or after your program, you can visit other parts of Greece including Athens and the many stunning Greek Islands. Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Chios, with the advice and guidance of our local team.
Accommodation and WiFi
On the Greece program, you’ll stay in a volunteer house or apartments. The volunteer house is dormitory-style and located in Vrontados. It can accommodate up to 12 people and you can expect to share a room with up to four other volunteers of the same gender. The volunteer apartments in central Chios are also dormitory-style, and can accommodate up to seven volunteers. Bedding is provided. It is your responsibility to make sure your room is kept tidy.
All accommodation options have shared western bathrooms but you’ll need to bring your own towels. There is a kitchen to prepare meals but you are responsible for cleaning up after yourself and washing your dishes.
WiFi is available at the volunteer accommodation.
Private room upgrades are also possible for an additional cost, subject to availability. The cost for a single room is US$35 (approximately £26) per person, per night. A double room is US$25 (approximately £19) per person, per night and a triple room is US$15 (approximately £11) per person, per night. This can be arranged with the local team directly, once registered.
It’s important to note that the Greece program has quiet hours each day out of respect for the neighborhood residents. You’ll need to keep the noise down from 3pm to 5:30pm and from 11pm to 8am.
Volunteers are provided with ingredients to prepare their own breakfasts and food includes bread, milk, cereal, marmalade/jam, tea and coffee. Lunch and dinner are not included in your program fee and we recommend heading out for these meals to try the many delicacies that Greece has to offer. Alternatively, you can cook your own meals using the kitchen facilities in the accommodation. It is not possible to drink the tap water in Greece, however, bottled water is readily available and you should budget approximately $10 per week for this.
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
|2 weeks||£551 Equivalent to £40/day|
|3 weeks||£796 Equivalent to £38/day|
|4 weeks||£964 Equivalent to £35/day|
|5 weeks||£1133 Equivalent to £33/day|
|6 weeks||£1301 Equivalent to £31/day|
|8 weeks||£1638 Equivalent to £30/day|
|10 weeks||£1975 Equivalent to £29/day|
|12 weeks||£2311 Equivalent to £28/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 Volunteering
- All programs attract a Registration Fee of £228 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 GBP.
- 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, lunch and dinner, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
- Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Greece generally find US$150 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses, including transport and miscellaneous spending.
Greek Language Lessons**
We recommend that volunteers take advantage of the very affordable Greek lessons offered exclusively to IVHQ volunteers by our program staff in Greece. These language courses are organised during your program orientation and are tailored to each volunteer’s current level of Greek. We believe that taking these lessons can help you immensely with your day to day volunteer work and communicating with local people.
|5 hours of group lessons:||US$84 (approximately £64) per person (minimum 4 people)|
|5 hours of private lessons:||US$112 (approximately £85)|
Check what's required to visit Greece
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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.
Protecting against COVID-19:
Volunteers tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours of travel
Health & safety information provided during orientation
Strict disinfecting standards for programs & accomodation
Greater physical distance between volunteers
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. Weather in Chios, where the IVHQ volunteer program is based, is pleasant throughout the year. During January, the average temperature in Chios is around 50°F (10 °C) and 81.5°F (27.5 °C) in July. In the Summer months there is generally no rain, however during December the average rainfall is 5.3 In (135mm). You can expect windy days all year round in Chios.