Greece Project Easter 2017
Student Life is once again partnering with Global Aid Network (GAiN) to take a project team into situations of poverty where we can help to make a difference. This time it will be in response to the current refugee crisis in Europe.
As the borders closed in a domino effect across Europe the route of these refugees was stopped at the last land border between Greece and Macedonia. What was a transit train station sprung up into an informal camp as these families held onto the hope that the border would re-open and they could continue their journey. In May 2016 the Greek government relocated around 12,000 people into ‘hotspot’ camps that they had set up to provide more formalised shelter and food. Many of these people are now stranded between having fled their countries from violence and conflict and being able to reach their final destination further into Europe where many of them hope to reunite with other family members. You can read more from one of our team who spent time there earlier this year here.
We have connected with two faith-based organisations who have been working with the government to provide additional supplies and care to these families who have found an unexpected temporary home in Greece. They are working to support the young mums with a mother and baby clinic as well as activities for the children. In this environment it is very easy for boredom and lack of purpose to creep in and lead to more tension in the campus.
In a very practical way we can lend a hand with the physical needs but by spending time there we can also let them know we are alongside them and they haven’t been forgotten.
We are looking for students who are motivated with a heart of compassion to respond to this humanitarian crisis as well as being prepared to go with an attitude to serve and learn from the people we go to help. In the words of one of the students who came with us last year;
“If you want to do something that will really benefit the people you meet, experience the culture and see how little people actually need to be truly happy I’d recommend this trip to you. It’s challenging in so many ways, that everyone will grow and gain something from this trip. The best thing though, is that you do truly make a difference to these children’s lives, even if all the skill you have is an extra pair of hands and a can-do attitude. Just be prepared to work hard and bring your best mime skills and you’ll be just what they need!”
As part of this project we will have opportunities to learn more about the situation for these families who are in this holding pattern of waiting, not knowing when they will be able to find a more permanent place to call home. We will share what we are learning and reflect on our experiences together. The project will include training on working cross culturally, team building, leadership and values in humanitarian work. There will also be the opportunity to consider together the impact that our own cultural values and beliefs bring to our experiences.
Where? Thessaloniki, Greece
When will we go? 7th – 14th April 2017 (exact times dependent on flight availability)
How much will it cost? £500 approx.*
How big will the group be? 10-15 people
Who is the project run by? This project is run in partnership with GAiN and is organised and administrated by Agapé Student Life.
Part of coming on this project will involve you in raising the funds to cover the cost of the project travel and in-country expenses. If you are accepted to come on the project you will be sent a training pack which will help you with ideas for raising funds. You can also talk to the local Student Life Staff who will be available to support you in your plans for fundraising. As soon as you have been accepted on the project we recommend you start raising finances straight away to give yourself enough time to reach your goal. There will be deadlines for making staged payments building up towards the final payment. The first payment is a deposit of £100 paid by 1st February to confirm your place on the project. You will be sent details of these deadlines in your acceptance pack. You will not be able to come on the project if you haven’t raised the funds in time. If you have any concerns about this please talk with whoever invited you to apply for this project.
How to Apply
We’re excited that you are interested in joining us on this project and look forward to receiving your application form and references. To apply you will need to click on the link below to our online form. You will need to complete and submit this form in one-sitting. We have provided a PDF version of the application form so that you can review and consider you answers before submission of your application.
You will need to provide us with two references from someone who has known you for at least two years in a working or volunteering capacity. Please send them this link to the reference form and ask them to complete it as soon as possible. We are not able to process your application until we have received both your application form, both references and a copy of your passport photo page.
The deadline for GAiN Project applications is Monday 23rd January 2017.
If you have any further questions about the project, you can either speak to a Student Life staff member on your local campus or contact us on the details below and we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Phone: 0121 765 4404
*Please note that when you are accepted as a participant on the project, we will require an initial deposit of £100. A further amount of £200 will be due by Wednesday 1st March and the final balance due by Friday 24th March, two weeks prior to departure.
Of this amount: Approx. £200 is the payment for your ATOL protected flight and the remaining payment is for the rest of your project costs. If we become insolvent and have to close, only the payment for your ATOL protected flight will be refundable under the ATOL scheme. Click here for full details of our terms of operations in relation to your project.