VOLUNTEER WITH REFUGEES
We rely on people who can spend time working closely with refugees to help them rebuild their lives with dignity.
We currently work in Cyprus, where our Dignity Centre in Nicosia city centre is offering an ever expanding range of services that really help. There are about 25,000 refugees in Cyprus – the highest number per capita in Europe – and with very little support. They need you to help.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATE (22 February 2021)
Impact on our service:
Since March 2020, the Cypriot government has imposed stringent controls on activity. As a result, we have had to adapt our activities in line with what is permitted. At times, we have had to close our Dignity Centre. Currently, we are open but what we can do is limited.
Fortunately our two brilliant managers, Paula and Laura, have worked tirelessly throughout and been supported by a hardworking group of Member volunteers. Thanks to this team and – when travel has been possible – foreign volunteers, we have continued to support the most vulnerable refugees throughout the crisis.
This does mean that services can change at short notice.
Implications for volunteers
Cyprus now publishes who can now enter the country. You can see the list on this link where countries are divided into Category A (no restrictions) and Category B (can only enter with a recent negative Covid 19 test result certificate). If you are resident in a country not listed, you will not be allowed to enter Cyprus. The list is updated weekly so who can or cannot enter regularly changes.
As a result, we will only interview volunteers resident in either Category A or B who can come for between 2-4 weeks. And please be aware that the government restrictions can change at short notice.
This is a fast moving situation so we will be monitoring it closely and continuing to update this page with the latest information.
DO I NEED ANY SPECIAL SKILLS TO VOLUNTEER?
Yes. We already have a good team of people running the Centre so we only need volunteers who have great experience in any of the following areas:
- Teaching English or teaching Greek
- Bicycle repair and maintenance
- Sewing, tailoring, fabric product design
- Computer technician (especially hardware)
- Building maintenance (plumbing, carpentry, building)
- Employment or careers advisor, life coach
- Football trainer or referee
Although we only need volunteers with these skills, we will need you to get involved in helping with all the running of the Dignity Centre: checking people in, helping with their enquiries, preparing the resources, and spending time with the members.
Our fantastic Co-ordinator Paula and her brilliant team will show you what to do!
HOW LONG CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR?
We ask you to volunteer for a minimum of two but ideally a minimum of three weeks up to a maximum of four weeks.
WHAT’S IT LIKE VOLUNTEERING FOR REFUGEE SUPPORT?
Volunteering is about doing what is best for the members of the Centre, but you will find it extremely rewarding. To find out more about what it’s been like for others, read our volunteer stories.
It is an unforgettable experience and you will be doing good from the moment you arrive. Please apply – you will not regret it.
ARE THERE ANY COSTS INVOLVED?
You will need to pay for your own travel to Nicosia and your own accommodation. You will find many cheap flights to the island and plenty of hostels or airbnb places to stay.
We also need everyone to fundraise for us. The Dignity Centre currently costs £12,500 (€13,750) every month to run. We ask you to raise a minimum of £500 and we have a lot of love for people who can raise more.
WHEN CAN YOU START?
We will only book volunteers in about 3 months in advance so we remain flexible. You will be able to apply here.
After nearly 4 years, over 1,000 people, from 40 nations, aged up to 78 years old have worked with us as volunteers in Greece, Bangladesh, Mexico and now Cyprus. They have worked in some of the most challenging circumstances, so we know how you can be effective and how to look after your welfare.
HOW DO I APPLY TO VOLUNTEER WITH REFUGEE SUPPORT?
After completing the application, you will get an email reply (check your spam folder) asking you to fix a time to talk to one of our Volunteer Interviewers. Reply to the email to let the Interviewers know when you can have a video chat with one of them and they will be able to let you know more.