Serving Vulnerable Communities in Athens
Why this program?
From Gregory C. Pappas, President & Founder
Following the success of our back-to-back programs serving vulnerable populations in Athens during summer 2021, we felt it imperative to continue in 2022. This program supports some of the most innovative charities in Greece who serve populations ranging from unaccompanied refugee minors — underage children who’ve arrived in Greece alone — to food-vulnerable people. We also collaborate with local government officials and volunteer groups for community-based service projects. Initiatives like these help develop the strong interpersonal ties between the people of North America and Greece, all while promoting the values of philanthropy, volunteerism and service.
Program #1: May 28, 2022 - June 19, 2022
Program #2: June 25, 2022 - July 17, 2022
DEADLINE: JANUARY 28, 2022. The application deadline has passed, but if you are interested in future programs please subscribe to our email list.
Watch the recap of our 2021 programs
These are two three-week Greek America Corps programs which entail serving unaccompanied refugee minors and food-vulnerable people in a structured environment and in partnership with respected Greek non-profit organizations. These programs also include collaborations with local government officials and volunteer groups for community-based service projects.
For applicants with financial need, we offer scholarships that cover accommodations and program expenses such as excursions, transportation and most meals. Alternatively, if applicants do not require financial aid, they can opt to purchase the package after they have been accepted. These programs are ideal for participants between 18-25 years old. This age range is strongly preferred by not a strict requirement. Volunteers do not need to be enrolled in college, nor in possession of a college degree. See below for the full program details.
Partners & location
Program dates & description
The itinerary for each program is the same, but two separate time periods are offered:
Program one: May 28, 2022 – June 19, 2022
Program two: June 25, 2022 – July 17, 2022
NOTE: You will specify in your application for which dates you wish to apply.
The program begins with an informal arrival, meet-and-greet and check-in at our hotel (TBA) in the center of Athens. No official activities will be scheduled in order to allow for all participants to rest and settle in following presumably long travels. Volunteers MUST be present on the listed start dates. The first day after arrival day will consist of brief orientations and meetings with our charity partners followed by a Greek America Foundation welcome dinner in the evening. Each program will conclude on the final evening with a farewell dinner. Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements after checking out from the hotel on departure day.
Volunteers will work closely with staff from the Greek America Foundation and our partners. Ordinarily, volunteers will work weekdays for 4-6 hours per day (with lunch breaks) in various locations within the greater Athens area.
Work with the Greek Council for Refugees will entail providing the organization’s young beneficiaries with education, enrichment and friendship through arts, cultural, recreational and skills-based activities. Volunteers may also be asked to support the GCR team with routine tasks such as meal preparation, cleaning and beautification of common spaces.
Our summer 2021 volunteers collaborated with GCR’s staff to host the organization’s Pyxida Summer Camp which took place both at the Pyxida Cultural Center in central Athens and the Pedion Tou Areos Park.
Work with Boroume will include visiting open-air farmers markets to collect leftover food which is distributed to Greek Orthodox soup kitchens (to feed the hungry and homeless), elderly homes and other charities supporting food-vulnerable people.
During the summer of 2021, our volunteers also participated in a “gleaning” activity with Boroume at the field of a farmer in Marathon, outside Athens. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers’ fields to prevent them from being thrown away.
Work with we4all will include participating in tree-planting and beach cleanup events in the greater Athens area in collaboration with local volunteer groups and municipalities.
In July 2021, one of our Greek America Corps teams helped we4all plant more than 600 trees in a park in Gerakas, an Athens suburb.
In the evenings and at times during the day, volunteers will either have free time to explore the city or attend meal-inclusive excursions arranged by the Greek America Foundation. Such excursions may include visiting museums and historical sites or attending cultural events and other happenings.
Accommodation will be provided at a location in the center of Athens (TBA). Daily breakfast will be included. Multiple group lunches and dinners also be provided during each program. Participants should budget about €80-100 per week for extra meals that are not included in the package. Transportation to and from volunteer locations will be provided either via public or privately arranged transportation, depending on the day’s activities. Excursions and activities are included in the price of the program. Airfare to Greece is not included; however, our staff can help with international and domestic travel arrangements, as well as domestic air or ferry details.
The Greek America Foundation will require all participants to have travel medical insurance for emergency and routine medical needs during program dates. The approximate cost ranges from $30-50 USD, depending on your age. We will provide further information on where to purchase insurance after you are accepted into the program. If you currently own a health insurance policy, we suggest that you check whether coverage is available abroad. On-site staff will be available 24/7 to support volunteers should emergencies arise.
Desired qualities in a volunteer
If you need financial aid, you may opt for a full scholarship covering all program costs including accommodation; local transportation; cultural meals and excursions and administrative fees. Airfare to Greece is not covered by scholarship funds. You can also opt to pay for the program if you do not require financial aid. The cost for participation is $3,900 (plus airfare to Greece). It is not necessary for you to complete a separate application or provide additional materials to receive a scholarship; instead, you will specify this detail in your application by selecting “Pay” or “Scholarship.”
For an additional fee (price available by request), participants have the option to accrue college credits that can be applied to their studies at their home institution via our partnership with the Hellenic American University, a U.S.-accredited institution of higher education in Athens. Students are responsible for checking with their home institutions about transfer of credits. A counselor at Hellenic American University will be made available to assist, as will a curriculum and coursework. Please mention in your application if you are interested in receiving these credits and our Greece-based program director, Eleni Anagnostopoulos, will contact you to provide information on pricing.
The Greek America Foundation staff is actively monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic both globally and in Greece. Our programs will adhere to all guidelines as specified by US, Canadian and Greek health officials. At any given time, the foundation may adjust plans for these programs depending on health guidelines and travel restrictions.