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Sports & Arts With Refugees Volunteer Program in Greece - Athens

Sports & Arts With Refugees Volunteer Program in Greece - Athens

Want to use your passion for sports or the arts to help refugees and asylum seekers in Greece - Athens? International Volunteer HQ’s Sports & Arts with Refugees project is based in a host centre in Athens that provides a safe space for teen and young adult refugees to socialize, learn new skills and enjoy hobbies together. By volunteering with refugees in Greece, you’ll help young people connect with each other, express themselves, and gain different perspectives and experiences.

  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from £1495 for 4 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Use sports or arts to help young refugees learn new skills and socialise

  • Discover Athens’ ancient ruins, history and culture

  • Stay at a sustainable hostel in the heart of Athens

Key information

Bring refugees together through sports and the arts
Based in host centres for refugees
Sustainable hostel in Athens
Volunteers aged 18+
Fully hosted experience from £1495 for 4 weeks
Durations from 4 - 12 weeks
Marvel at the ancient Acropolis ruins
Up to 5 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers with a background in sports or the arts who are passionate about sharing creative and enjoyable activities with young refugees.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

Athens has welcomed many refugees over the last few years due to the disruption of peace in neighboring countries. Many families have been separated during their movement and many organizations have created various host centres where they can stay until they are reunited with their family members.

As a volunteer on the Sports & Arts with Refugees project, you will work at a local host centre for refugee teenagers and youth. Your role will be to use sports and arts as a means for these young people to express themselves, to connect with each other and with you, and to spend their free time in a meaningful way.

Sports activities will involve daily training, playing in outdoor fields, and teaching healthy eating habits. Arts activities can include musical instruments, photography, drawing, drama classes, or anything else creative that you would like to share!

Volunteers will join and support the local host centre in its daily tasks and offer the young people living there the chance to interact with people from various nationalities, build bonds, and to gain another perspective of the world.

Due to daily interaction with vulnerable groups, volunteers must respect safety restrictions and privacy measurements on this project. You are also required to have an educational background in sports or the arts, or some experience in the field. You will have the support of our local team and placement staff.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #4: Quality Education

More than half of all children and teens do not meet minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics. Quality education provides an opportunity to learn and grow in a safe environment and is key to preventing poverty, securing long-term employment and improving quality of life.

Why do Sports & Arts With Refugees volunteering in Athens with IVHQ?

When you volunteer on the Sports & Arts with Refugees project in Athens you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Learning about how host centres for refugees operate
  • Directly helping young refugees learn new skills and build bonds
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Gaining sports and arts educational experience
  • Immersing yourself in Greek culture
  • Discovering the ancient history of Athens

Volunteer requirements

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.

Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

Joel Baker-Smith
10 Apr 2024

Great opportunity to experience a city in greater detail all the while doing something productive and helpful.

Francesco Andrea Rossi
20 Feb 2024

I loved volunteering with IVHQ. The Greece Program was amazing. I loved exploring the various food markets in Athens and I feel extremely good because I know I did something for others.

Sabrina Tomlinson
13 Dec 2023

I can confidently say volunteering was the best decision of my life and I have already signed up for another 12 weeks in Bali with someone I met on the trip. I was a very anxious person before going but I believe this trip has helped settle it. I’ve become so much more confident, I feel I learned so much from the people volunteering at the dog shelter, the dogs, everyone I met, and just from being in Greece for so long. I got to immerse myself in their lifestyle which was very different but amazing. I constantly pushed myself out of my comfort zone and in return it was the most rewarding and impactful trip of my life.

Fernando Castro
31 Oct 2023

IVHQ did an amazing job with their guidance and preparation resources, I hope to work with them again. The local team did exceptional work. Their communication and organization were outstanding, making it easy for volunteers to contribute effectively.

Volunteering at a dog shelter in Greece was an incredibly rewarding experience. The opportunity to work closely with the shelter's dedicated staff and the dogs in their care left a lasting impression on me. The shelter staff exhibited an unwavering commitment to the well-being of the dogs. Their passion and tireless efforts to provide food, shelter, and love to these animals were evident every day. Their dedication to creating a safe and nurturing environment for the dogs was truly inspiring.

During my time there, I had the chance to engage in various tasks, from feeding and grooming the dogs to taking them for walks and providing socialization. It was heartwarming to witness the positive changes in the dogs' behavior and demeanor as they received attention and care. Overall, my time volunteering at the dog shelter in Greece was a life-changing experience, thanks in large part to the incredible local staff, and IVHQ, and their dedication. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of this meaningful endeavor, and I hope to return in the future to continue supporting their vital work.

Hannah Picerno
02 Aug 2023

I went in to my volunteering experience not knowing what volunteering with homeless people would be like. This project opened my eyes to the reality of homelessness. The locals organizers' passion for their work was inspiring and makes me want to continue volunteering on projects like this. I was hesitant to volunteer as a solo traveler as I felt that I may feel lonely or homesick but the in-country volunteer coordinator was so helpful. The hostel is a great way to meet people and make great friends. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to volunteering in Greece.

Jack Hughes
13 Dec 2022

Don’t overthink it. Just do it, you'll regret it if you don't!


To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

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
Volunteer Abroad in Greece with IVHQ


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 schedule is as follows:

7:30 AM - 10:00 AM Breakfast is available at the volunteer accommodation and is self-service.
8:30 AM Volunteers usually begin traveling to their placement to join local placement staff and begin work on their 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.
2:00 PM - 3.30 PM Lunch is available at the volunteer accommodation. 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.
7:00 PM - 9:30 PM Dinner is available 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 placement.


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. Experience the ultimate blend of comfort, community, and cultural exchange. Just a stone’s throw away from the nearest metro station and a short drive from the iconic Acropolis, the hostel is the perfect base for your volunteering adventure.

Immerse yourself in the lively neighborhood, brimming with amenities such as supermarkets, quaint coffee shops, bustling bars, convenient ATMs, and all transportation means. Expect cozy accommodations shared with up to eleven other people per room, complete with air conditioning for comfort. There are two well-maintained shared bathrooms on each floor to ensure convenience, while bedding and towels are provided for your ease. There are staff who clean the accommodation throughout the week; however, volunteers are required to keep their rooms tidy. Each volunteer is provided with their own locker.

The communal areas, including a spacious dining hall/warm lounge, a fully equipped communal kitchen, inviting backyard, and an expansive terrace, celebrate the different cultures and stories that arrive at the hostel. This vibrant space is a hub of social inclusion and sustainability, offering a welcoming atmosphere where guests from around the globe can connect. The hostel extends occupational opportunities to migrants and refugees in Athens, embodying a spirit of community empowerment. Its decor, an ode to sustainable living, features charming second-hand furnishings and supports local, ethical businesses.

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.


Volunteers at the hostel are provided with breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Breakfast is served buffet-style, typically offering tea, coffee, milk, bread, jam, cereal, and seasonal fruits.

Lunch and dinner menus usually feature a variety of options including fish, meat, rice, pasta, lentils, vegetables, and salad.

Volunteers are encouraged to communicate any special dietary needs when submitting their application, so arrangements can be made accordingly. As you will be living and volunteering abroad, you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home; however, the local team will do their best to ensure you are well taken care of.


  • USD
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
4 weeks £1495 Equivalent to £53/day
5 weeks £1799 Equivalent to £51/day
6 weeks £2103 Equivalent to £50/day
8 weeks £2712 Equivalent to £48/day
10 weeks £3320 Equivalent to £47/day
12 weeks £3928 Equivalent to £47/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalised preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately £277) 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, 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 with IVHQ

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.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Athens
Population 11.18 Million
Languages Greek
Currency Euro (EUR)
Time zone UTC+02:00

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.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!