As a psychosocial support (PSS) volunteer, you will work as part of our PSS team on Lesvos. Thousands of people reside in a camp for a long period of time, under inhumane conditions. Many basic facilities are lacking. Moreover, people suffer from traumas and are concerned about their future. Our team of psychologists, psychiatric nurses, social workers and teachers is ready to support these people.
The PSS mission aims to empower the people in the camp and strengthen their resilience, taking their knowledge and skills as a starting point. We see them and connect with them as human beings, open and warm. Furthermore, they are crucial to our programmes. This means that our activities are run by the people in the camp as much as possible. They work, for example, as an interpreter or teacher.
Before the fire in camp Moria (September 2020), the PSS mission had a school and community centre inside the camp where all activities were organised. Due to the loss of those locations, the PSS mission came to a halt for several months. We are currently slowly restarting our mission with a diverse programme that addresses the huge need for psychosocial support.
What will your role be?
Your role consists of doing ‘social rounds’ in the camp, and leading (soon to be started) Stress Relief and Wellbeing classes (we work with the Method for the Empowerment of Trauma and Torture Survivors (METS) Open Groups, in which you will be trained). Moreover, you will train our colleagues living in the camp in Psychological First Aid and dealing with stress.
It is important that you have knowledge of group processes in an intercultural setting. The focus in the group meetings is on the ‘here and now’. The Stress Relief classes aim to reduce psychological and psychosomatic complaints, using mindfulness and relaxation exercises. Our Wellbeing classes are based on positive psychology: participants are offered tools to help deal with the harsh reality of everyday. We do not offer trauma-oriented treatment and we do not delve deeply into participants’ personal stories during our activities. Doing so might trigger traumas to surface, which we cannot treat.
Due to the constantly changing situation within the camp, combined with COVID-19 and the start-up phase of this programme, you might have to help out with other programmes or tasks. Since the tasks are diverse, you might have to start early and/or finish late. You have time to prepare activities before and after your shifts.
What do we expect from you? (strict requirements)
- You stand your ground and are physically and mentally healthy;
- Your English is fluent (speaking other languages such as French, Arabic, Farsi or Greek are an advantage);
- You have a driver’s license (you’ll drive a manual car every day);
- You are available for at least two months;
- You know how to deal with emotional and confronting situations, and know how to separate work from private;
- You know how to handle severe psychological complaints, including anxiety and panic attacks;
- You have a relevant degree (higher professional education or university);
- You have a least 2 years of relevant working experience, including trauma related complaints and working in groups;
- You have experience working abroad.
What else do we expect from you?
- You are independent, but know the limits of your skills and know when to ask for help;
- You are motivated to help the people in the camp to move forward. Experience working in refugee camps is an advantage;
- You are flexible, willing to carry out different tasks and are able to adjust to a changing programme;
- You know how to collaborate with people from different cultural backgrounds;
- You have knowledge of and know how to handle groups;
- You have knowledge of and experience with mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
COSTS AND CONDITIONS
Boat Refugee Foundation can only exist thanks to our many dedicated volunteers and donors. Without them/you, we would not be able to carry out our work. We wish to spend our available funds to our missions as much as possible. For this reason, we ask all our volunteers to pay their own travel and stay. In addition, all volunteers are responsible for their own travel insurance and possible vaccinations. We have two volunteer houses on Lesvos where you can stay for 10 euros a night. After one month you can stay here for free.
Do you recognize yourself in the profile above and do you want to become a volunteer? And did you read the information about practical matters and the registration procedure? Then please register yourself by completing the form below and we will contact you soon!