Home Greek America Corps Athens 2022

Greek America Corps Athens 2022

by gafoundation1

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

Application closed

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

Program overview

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

One of our partners is the Greek Council for Refugees, an organization founded in 1989 in order to defend the rights of refugees in Greece with a particular focus on human rights and asylum issues. GCR is an operative partner of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and in 2005 GCR received an award as a “Quality Islet of Collective Action” from then Greek President Karolos Papoulias. On a daily basis, GCR offers free legal and social services to refugees with special emphasis on vulnerable cases such as unaccompanied minors or victims of trafficking. 
Our second partner is Boroume, an organization founded in 2012 with a goal to reduce food waste and fight malnutrition in Greece. Through its “Saving & Offering Food” program, Boroume saves food on a daily basis from many sources and offers it to charities that help people facing food insecurity. Boroume’s actions help the most vulnerable in Greek society as well as the environment by reducing organic food waste.
Our third partner is we4all, an environmental organization established by young Greeks in the aftermath of the devastating summer 2018 wildfires. In the past three years, we4all has planted more than 45,000 trees while collaborating with local municipalities and government officials in the greater Attica region. Among other activities, the organization focuses on tree planting and reforestation, watering and caring for planted trees and protecting and preserving forest land.
These two programs will take place within the center and surrounding areas of Athens based on the activities of our partners.

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.

Program specifics

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

The Greek America Foundation seeks volunteers who are able to handle quickly changing environments, encountering people from different cultures and the emotional ups and downs that come with working in challenging conditions. Our volunteer work may at times be physically demanding: summer temperatures in Greece can reach 100 degrees and at times we will be outside engaging in physical activity. Please note that we will always be mindful of putting everyone’s health first during hot weather. 
Staff from the Greek America Foundation and our partner organizations will be accessible at all times. We encourage all volunteers to take down time, practice self-care and use their own coping strategies while engaged in this work. Having strong boundaries, knowing your limits and when to take a break are important skills while volunteering.

Scholarships/program fees

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.”

College credit

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.

Meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt in June 2021


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.

Greek America Corps

Frequently asked questions

Is it safe to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our program will adhere to all guidelines as specified by relevant health authorities. Applicants are solely responsible for determining whether or not they feel comfortable to travel.

Can I participate if I’m not from the United States or Canada?

Only U.S. and Canadian nationals or lawful permanent residents are eligible to participate.

Do I have to be between 18-25 years old?

This is not a “strict” requirement; however, the ideal and most common age of participants is between 18-25.

Do I need to be a student or have a college degree?

No, volunteers do not need to be enrolled in college, nor in possession of a college degree.

I’d like to apply for a scholarship. Do I need to submit any extra paperwork?

No extra materials are required. You simply must specify on your application whether you are requesting a scholarship — which is based on financial need — or offering to pay for the cost of your participation.

What costs are covered by a scholarship?

Accommodation, local transportation, most meals, excursions, miscellaneous supplies and administrative fees.

How much money should I expect to spend during the trip?

This largely depends on your personal preferences and spending habits; however, you can safely anticipate spending between 80-100 euros per week on your own food and beverages.

Do I need to speak Greek to participate?

English and Greek will be the main languages spoken in the volunteer program. Knowledge of Greek is not required, but knowledge of the language is a definite plus for our volunteers. Interpreters will be available at times.

Is it safe to be in Athens?

The Greek America Foundation vets all volunteer locations for safety and suitability for our volunteers. Likewise, our charity partners are also vetted for accountability and ability to handle our volunteer group. The city of Athens is generally quite safe. Reasonable precautions will be taken at all times and volunteers will be instructed on safety for a variety of contexts.

I’d like to attend another program/conference/family celebration. Can I join the program late or leave at any time?

Participants are expected to be present for the duration of the program and not attend other events.

What’s a typical day like?

Volunteers will work weekdays for 4-6 hours per day with a lunch break. Our group will complete tasks as specified above (see “Program dates & description”). During evenings, volunteers will either have free time to explore or participate in excursions arranged by the Greek America Foundation. Group meetings will also take place when appropriate. Please note that schedules tend to vary depending on the circumstances presented each day. A more detailed schedule will be shared with volunteers in the weeks leading up to their program’s start date.

Will I have free time to make plans on my own?

Yes. Our programs are structured to give volunteers ample free time to explore and experience Greece independently; however, volunteers should not make arrangements that directly conflict with our daily schedule.

What will the rooming situation be?

Volunteers are generally placed in double or triple rooms on a male vs. female basis. Under extentuating circumstances, the Greek America Foundation may offer to accommodate single room requests, provided that our hotel has availability.

What kind of preparation happens leading up to the programs?

After being accepted, volunteers will be required to participate in preparatory Zoom meetings organized by the Greek America Foundation staff. These meetings will provide volunteers with information about finer details and logistics.

How does health insurance work?

If you are accepted into the program, you are required to purchase your own travel health insurance in order to participate. The approximate cost ranges from $30-50 USD, depending on your age and chosen provider. The Greek America Foundation will provide further information about where and how to purchase travel health insurance after your acceptance into the program.

What happens in case of medical emergencies?

The Greek America Foundation requires all accepted volunteers to share emergency contact information prior to the program’s start date. In the event of an emergency, Greek America Foundation staff will always be available to help volunteers and facilitate their access to medical care; however, volunteers and/or their families are fully responsible for covering the upfront cost of any emergency medical care and filing health insurance claims for reimbursements (if necessary) thereafter.

Is your question not included above?

Please email our program director, Eleni Anagnostopoulos, to receive further information.