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Become a volunteer in Greece with International Volunteer HQ

Volunteer in Greece

Volunteer in Greece with International Volunteer HQ, the world's most affordable and trusted volunteer organization. Volunteers are based in Chios, the fifth largest island of Greece. You can choose from 4 volunteer project options in Greece, including Food Outreach, Kindergarten, School Support and Special Needs Care.
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Watch IVHQ volunteers abroad in Greece

At a glance…

  • Available year-round
  • 4 meaningful project options
  • Projects based in Chios, the 5th largest island of Greece
  • Accommodation in self contained apartments
  • Between 5 and 10 volunteers start in Greece each month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Program fees from $340 for 1 week
  • Affordable Greek language lessons available
  • Most affordable fees - as the world leader in affordable volunteer travel, we’re able to keep our fees low by partnering with a local organization in Greece to support meaningful community projects and local employment.
  • Superior support - your experienced IVHQ Program Manager, teamed with our local team in Greece will ensure you feel supported every step of the way - from planning to volunteering.
  • Responsible projects - we’re dedicated to ensuring that our projects are responsibly run and have sustainable positive impacts that are supporting local needs.
  • Online training - as soon as you register on an IVHQ program, you will gain access to our interactive volunteer training to ensure you’re well prepared for your program.
  • Safety-first - volunteer safety is a top priority for IVHQ and we have clear standards for risk management on each program. You can feel confident that you are placed with trustworthy institutions, organizations and families that have been screened by our local teams.
  • New friendships - as an IVHQer, you’ll always be in the company of friendly locals and like-minded volunteer travelers who will quickly become your life-long friends.
  • Epic weekend adventures - you’ll have your weekends free to explore Greece with your new-found friends.

The IVHQ Greece Program is located in Chios, the 5th largest island of Greece. Volunteer placements are located throughout communities on Chios island including Katarraktis, Kambos, Pygri and Vrontados.

The Greece program begins on the second and fourth Monday of every month and volunteers can choose to volunteer for periods ranging from 1 week to 12 weeks.

Food Outreach

Your role on this project is to provide assistance to a local ‘Social Kitchen’ which feeds more than 700 people each day. The kitchen prepares the meals each morning and then distributes them to various churches and community centres for people to collect. The people who this initiative supports come from various backgrounds including the elderly, ill and those living in poverty who are unable to prepare or afford regular nutritional meals.

If you’re someone who is wanting to work hard in food preparation and have the rewarding experience of distributing meals to someone in need, then this is a great project for you!

Your tasks may include food preparation, cooking, cleaning, packing and distributing. The ‘Social Kitchen’ is run by priests who prepare the meals each day and relies heavily on volunteer support to lighten the workload on the priests and enable the program to further spread its reach. As you will be volunteering alongside local placement staff, you do not need to have prior food preparation or hospitality experience to participate on this project.

Kindergarten

On the Kindergarten project volunteers are placed in Kindergartens throughout Chios Island. You can expect to assist the local teachers and staff with basic teaching and caring for children who range in age from 4 to 6 years. Classroom activities include; mathematics development, language and literacy development in addition to other topics covered within the Greece pre-school curriculum. Other tasks may include helping with arts and crafts, mealtimes, administration work and playing with the children during break time.

As volunteers work with the support of IVHQ’s local team and placement staff, you do not need to be a qualified or experienced Kindergarten teacher to participate.

Volunteers who apply for the Kindergarten project over the school holiday periods will support Summer Camp projects run by our local team in Greece. Activities on the Summer Camps are often in an outdoor environment and encourage learning through games rather than in a classroom setting. Volunteers will need to be creative in designing activities which fit the topics being covered at the time. It’s important to note that older children from other schools will also join the summer camps.

School Holidays 2018:

  • 2nd April 2018 - 16th April 2018
  • 15th June 2018 - 16th September 2018
  • 22nd December 2018 - 6th January 2019

School Support

Volunteers on the School Support project will be placed in a local primary school and will assist local teachers in a number of different areas. Due to language barriers, volunteers do not teach independently and only support local teachers in the learning environment.

The students range in age from 6 to 12 years and teaching follows the Greek curriculum. The aim of this project is to help stimulate an interest in learning among the students and to support the teachers to create engaging and creative lesson plans. This placement is ideal for volunteers that like to work in a structured environment.

Volunteer tasks may include assisting local teachers with Math, English, Science, Social Studies (Geography and History), Art, Music, Theatre, or Physical Education. Volunteers can also expect to assist with administration tasks and playing with the children during break time. If you are interested in teaching computer skills, there is sometimes the opportunity to teach children important computer skills including excel, photoshop and powerpoint.

You do not have to be a qualified or experienced teacher to participate in the School Support project as you will receive guidance and support from the local coordinator and teacher. Visit our Online TEFL course page to learn how to gain an internationally-recognized TEFL certification at a discounted rate.

If you apply for the School Support project during the school holidays you will support Summer Camp projects run by our local team in Greece. Activities on the Summer Camps are often in an outdoor environment and encourage learning through games rather than in a classroom setting. You will need to be creative in designing activities which fit the topics being covered at the time.

School Holidays 2018:

  • 2nd April 2018 - 16th April 2018
  • 15th June 2018 - 16th September 2018
  • 22nd December 2018 - 6th January 2019

Special Needs Support

Volunteers on the Special Needs Support project will work in a primary school which provides care and education for children with special needs. The school is the only one of its kind in Chios and provides education and care for these children while their parents are at work. The children who attend the center are aged between 4 and 11 years and have a range of disabilities from mild physical and mental disorders to children with severely limiting conditions such as cerebral palsy.

Volunteer tasks include, but are not limited to; one-on-one classroom assistance, assisting teachers with lessons, assisting with meal times and helping during physiotherapy routines. Volunteers will also help with supervising the children, general care and cleaning/chores as required in the school.

To participate on this project, volunteers must be qualified in Special Education and/or Physical Therapies, or currently completing studies in these fields. If you have previous experience with individuals with Special Needs then you are also eligible to apply.

If you apply for the Special Needs Support project during the school holidays you will support Summer Camp projects run by our local team in Greece.

School Holidays 2018:

  • 2nd April 2018 - 16th April 2018
  • 15th June 2018 - 16th September 2018
  • 22nd December 2018 - 6th January 2019

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 in Katarraktis. 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 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 and Experimental, rules and expectations, health and safety, do’s and don’ts in Chios, basic Greek language lesson, cultural knowledge 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 socializing. You will also be introduced to your specific placement during the orientation.

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:

7:30 AM Breakfast at the volunteer apartment

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 on.

1.30 PM Work at the placement usually ends. You will travel back to the volunteer apartment for lunch or in some cases eat a packed lunch at your placement.

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.

8:30 PM Dinner at the volunteer apartment. After dinner, you will have the remainder of the evening free to relax and use as you wish.

Please note this schedule will vary depending on the needs of your particular project.

On the Greece program, volunteers are accommodated in self-contained apartments located in Katarraktis. The self contained apartments can accommodate up to 30 guests and you can expect to share a room with 4 to 6 other volunteers of the same gender. During the busier months, a secondary accommodation is also used, which is a dormitory style volunteer house located in Vrontados. This volunteer house can accommodate up to 12 guests and volunteers can expect to share a room with up to 4 other volunteers of the same gender.

Both accommodation options have shared western bathrooms and bedding is also provided. WiFi is also available at the volunteer accommodation. It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure their rooms is kept tidy during their time on the program.

Private room upgrades are also possible for an additional cost, subject to availability. The cost for a single room is US$35 per person, per night. A double room is US$25 per person, per night and a triple room is US$15 per person, per night. This can be arranged with the local team directly, once registered.

From Monday to Friday, volunteers are provided with three meals per day (breakfast, lunch and a light dinner). Breakfast is self-serve at the volunteer accommodation with ingredients provided for volunteers to prepare their own breakfast as needed. Cereals, fruit, bread, eggs, milk, juice and coffee will be provided for breakfast. Lunch will be a cooked meal and is usually the biggest meal of the day. You can expect vegetables or salad, bread or other carbohydrates, and some protein. A light dinner will also be provided in the evening. As eating out is common and affordable in Greece, volunteers will need to inform the local team on a daily basis if they will be present for meals to ensure adequate catering. If you skip a mealtime, you will forfeit that meal. During the weekend, a self-serve breakfast will still be available to volunteers at the accommodation, however lunch and dinner is not provided over the weekend. It is not possible to drink the tap water in Greece, however bottled water is readily available and you should budget approximately US$10 per week for this.

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! Volunteers can fill their free time in Chios Island visiting the many historical sites, beautiful beaches, dining on incredible food or even taking a day trip to Turkey. Volunteers can experience ancient and unique medieval villages such as Anavatos, Mesta and Pyrgi as well as many monasteries, museums and archeological sites throughout the island. Nature buffs can also enjoy the many hikes, diverse flora and fauna and the amazing coastline that the island has to offer. Volunteers staying for longer durations, or who wish to travel before or after their program, can visit areas further afield in Greece including Athens, the many Greek Islands and so much more! Volunteers can make travel arrangements once in Chios, with the advice and guidance of our local team.

See our Greece Travel and Tours page for more volunteer travel options in Greece!

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. 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 is Chios.

Volunteers must be over 18 years of age at the beginning of the program. 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. To participate on the Special Needs Support project, you will need to be qualified in Special Education or Physical Therapies, or be in the process of obtaining either of these certifications.

Free Interactive Volunteer Training - All volunteers are encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training, which is available exclusively to registered IVHQ volunteers. The training is designed to build an understanding of important aspects that need to be considered before embarking on an IVHQ program. It helps volunteers to prepare in the right way by providing advice on what it takes to be a safe, responsible and valuable volunteer. Try a sample of the training here.

VOLUNTEER 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 organized 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 per person (minimum 4 people)
  • 5 hours of private lessons: US$112

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