Over the last few years InterVolve, a Greek NGO, has been supporting communities in refugee camps and urban areas in northern Greece by delivering aid and long-term protection, education, culture and life-skills programmes.
In December 2017, InterVolve opened its doors to the wonderful new Ìrida Multicultural Women’s Centre in the heart of Thessaloniki. A hub for women and families to come together, the Ìrida Centre provides a safe, welcoming space where refugees can feel a sense of belonging and respect. The Centre supports refugees who have been moved from camps into urban areas by ensuring individuals and communities can access the information, social connections and resources they need to thrive in their new communities. The programs offered include psychosocial support to help women and children deal with trauma, and language, employment and life-skills workshops to support integration.
On the top floor of the Centre is a designated Children’s Area with three activity rooms for children aged 3 -12. Refugee Children’s Centres is working with InterVole to help develop and deliver a program of activities that promote development, security and well-being.
We are looking for Children’s Activity Coordinators who can stay for a minimum of 3 months (ideally). We are particularly keen to hear from teachers, youth workers, Early Years practitioners and Child Life Specialists. Additional language skills, such as Arabic, and experience of working with vulnerable young people would be an advantage but are not essential. Please contact us to find out more.
Dunkirk Children’s Centre was the first centre set up and run by the Founder of the charity, along with a small group of independent volunteers, and provided the catalyst for the creation of Refugee Children’s Centres.
The refugee camp in Grande-Synthe had been opened in early in March 2016 to provide temporary accommodation for around 2500 refugees who had been living in shocking conditions on a nearby boggy wasteland in Basroch.
It had been set up by the medical aid charity Medicins Sans Frontieres and the local authority of Grande-Synthe, under the leadership of the mayor, Damien Careme, who could no longer bear to see people living in such terrible conditions. Built to UNHCR standards, it was the first internationally recognised refugee camp in France.
The vast majority of residents were from the autonomous Kurdish region of Northern Iraq which has suffered greatly under the advance of ISIS/Daesh, but there were also a number of families from other countries such as Iran and Afghanistan.
In the first weeks of the new camp opening, the volunteers set up a small play area in a tent to give the children a safe space to play out of the cold. Over time the play space grew; by the end of April they had moved into a purpose built room, donated and built by the Hummingbird Charity and Brighton Shelter Build, and by August they were running two buildings and providing a program of activities for up to 60 children per day. Volunteers came from all over the world to share their knowledge expertise and love.
We work closely with other organisations to ensure we are offering the most effective, joined up service.