We are seeking motivated young adult applicants for our Greek America Corps volunteer program supporting abandoned and at-risk children on the Greek island of Chios from July 1 – August 2, 2020.
Participants will spend the month serving abandoned children who come from broken homes or abusive families. Our group will work in a structured environment and in partnership with a respected Greek non-profit organization with years of experience in this field.
The issue of child welfare in Greece has worsened in recent years as an already existing lack of social services has been amplified by economic crisis.
By 2014, the number of abandoned infants in pediatric hospitals had soared by 336 percent since the start of the Greek financial crisis (circa 2008).
Growing middle-class poverty has also left an average of one in four Greek children living in poverty — according to UNICEF. The statistic gives Greece one of the highest child poverty rates in the EU.
Our Greek partner charity, Kivotos Tou Kosmou (Ark of the World), has stepped up to take such disenfranchised children into their care.
For the entire month, our volunteers will work closely with Kivotos staff and under their supervision. Our volunteer location will be Kivotos’ shelter outside of Chios town, as well as public recreational and cultural facilities (beaches, parks, sports fields, museums and cultural sites).
Our group will provide education, enrichment and friendship through arts, cultural, recreational and skills-based activities. Volunteers may also be asked to support the Kivotos team with basic administrative and maintenance projects such as meal planning and preparation, cleaning and beautification of common spaces and routine child care needs.
In addition to volunteer duties, participants will enjoy numerous cultural immersion experiences such as excursions to historic, religious or otherwise significant sites — as well as local celebrations and festivities. Such activities will bring participants closer to contemporary Greece in a unique way during the program.
The team will also take children from the Kivotos facility on select excursions throughout Chios island.
Financial aid is available and students who express need may apply for scholarships that cover the cost of housing, program expenses such as cultural excursions, local transportation and various group meals. Airfare to Greece is not included.
Applicants who do not require financial aid may also opt to pay for themselves. Regardless of application type (scholarship/paid), participants must first apply and be accepted into the program to participate.
For an additional fee of $840 USD, students have the option to accrue college credit 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. Applicants may specify in their application if they wish to receive this credit.