Volunteer Medical Team Mediterranean Sea

Want to volunteer?


The Boat Refugee Foundation decided not to start a rescue mission in 2017. After the summer we will make a decision about rescue missions in 2018. Please check in September the website for futher information.

Boat Refugee Foundation offers a safe haven, humane shelter and sufficient care for refugees who reach Europe.
We facilitate the necessary care and fullfil basic needs. We offer hope for the future!

We are looking for volunteers for the medical team on our ship in the Mediterranean. Please read the information below and assess if you really think this work would suit you. Are you convinced you fit the profile and are able to handle this work? Then please register! The work on the Mediterranean is being done in chunks of 16 days each.

Work conditions

Working on a ship can be challenging. You will be working in a completely different environment from a hospital, clinic or for instance on one of our projects in the camps. The points mentioned below give you a good impression of the working conditions. Do you really think you are up for this? Then they could really use your help!

  • Hierarchical structure on board
  • Strict rhythm of domestic and professional tasks
  • Irregularity of activities
  • Alternating between extreme effort and very little challenge
  • Emotionally confronting situations (drownings and mortal remains)
  • The characters of your colleagues on board
  • Small and shared living- eating- and sleeping quarters
  • Possibly, mixed male-female quarters
  • Lack of privacy
  • Swell of the ship (linked to sea sickness)
  • Heat on deck and possibly in quarters as well
  • Continuous sound and vibration of the ships engine
  • Quality meals
  • Tensions between groups of refugees
  • Negative behaviour of individual boat refugees

Work description


  • You help with a fast triage as soon as boat refugees come on board;
  • You gather information through anamnesis and physical examination, based on which you determine the condition of the patient;
  • You guard the vital signs of the patient and interpret the parameters you retrieve;
  • You determine a (working) diagnosis;
  • You set up a treatment plan;
  • You provide the patient with medical care;
  • You ensure the guidance, support and help for the patient and family;
  • You work according to the most recent version of the protocol;
  • You ensure an adequate registration and, if needed, a structured transfer to the next team;
  • You work hygienic and professional;
  • You co-operate with the other care providers.


During your work your will be responsible for the support, guidance and treatment of (acute) patients who require urgent medical care.

Possible critical situations

  • You find yourself in a situation in which there is a shortage of everything and you get the feeling that nothing you do is right
  • You lack sleep and rest, due to which you emotional and physical pressure starts to mount
  • You are in situations where wounded people request care, among whom children
  • You may have to salvage the dead, among whom children

This is what you get in return

  • An unforgettable experience in which you have made the difference
  • Free stay on the ship
  • A close-knit team with a shared passion
  • Enormous gratitude of the people that have been rescued


General competences

You are independent, show initiative, feel secure in yourself and know how to be very flexible, if the situation requires you to.
You are mentally and physically healthy and are in no way hampered to do work which is hard, both emotionally and physically.
You are able to work in a hierarchical setting and have no issues in handling authority.
You are good at working as a team and are very motivated to do this work.

Knowledge & expertise

In order to provide the right care, we are looking for doctors and nurses with a certain degree of experience:


  • General practicioners/specialists with 2 years of working experience
  • (nearly) specialized, preferably in the following areas: urgent care, IC, anaesthesia, pediatrics, surgery or internal medicine
  • Medical doctors with at least 1 year working experience in the following: ugent care, IC, pediatrics, surgery or internal medicine
  • Tropical doctors
  • General military doctors


  • Specialized nurses in urgent care, IC, pediatrics. Minimum of 1 year working experience
  • Experienced nurses from internal or surgery. At least 2 years working experience with BLS/ACLS
  • Ambulance nurses
  • PACU and CCU nurses

Other requirements

  • Valid BIG registration
  • English speaking
  • Has a Facebook account or is willing to create an account
  • Available for a period of 16 days (continuous)

Conditions and agreements

Volunteering through Boat Refugee Foundation is done on your own responsibility. As a foundation we are not responsible for your trip, the costs, cancellation fees or other circumstances. That’s why it’s important to get a good travel insurance. We have additional insurance for the activities you do for us.
Also, it’s important to inquire about vaccinations prior to the volunteering work. If you wish to be sponsored, you need to see to that yourself!
During a mission the foundation has a buddy system to support colleagues and you maintain a journal to record your experiences.

If you would like to receive follow up care, Boat Refugee Foundation will provide this.


The Boat Refugee Foundation decided not to start a rescue mission in 2017. After the summer we will make a decision about rescue missions in 2018. Please check in September the website for futher information.