If you are looking for a challenging volunteering place and enjoy working with people with a severe mental disability, then Eastpackers has the right project in the ancient Mediterranean coast city of Athens.
PAAPAV (more commonly known as PIKPA) is a state institution that hosts about 100 handicapped children and youngsters from 1 to 30 years old. They have moderate to heavy physical and mental disabilities. Most are abandoned by their parents and have little contact with their family. Nurses take care of their physical needs (washing, feeding, medication) but there is a lot to be done for the psychological, social and educational needs of the children and youngsters Despite financial difficulties, PAAPAV is trying to become more modern, to improve services and to integrate the children into society. However, changing mentality and way of working is a slow and difficult process and a lot remains to be done. Even today, most children still receive very little stimulation and are heavily institutionalized. Volunteers offer extra care and attention to the children and act as a bridge between the institution and the outside world.
Working hours and days off:
Volunteers work 7 hours per day, 5 days a week (a total of 35 hours per week). Language lessons and meetings (1-2 hours per week) are included in the working hours. All volunteers have different time and day schedules depending on the needs of the children and their personal wishes. There are two days free per week (usually but not always weekends) and two more holidays free per month.
Volunteers use the local transport and are picked up from the airport for their arrival.
Greek is necessary for communication because neither the children nor the majority of workers in PIKPA speak English. Of course, nobody here will force you to learn perfect Greek if you don’t want to, but a minimum level is required to participate actively in the project! During your stay you can attend a Greek course by a private teacher (about 1-2 hours per week) until two months before your departure. Of course it is possible to change this schedule if volunteers and the teacher agree.
Alles over dit project
- 1hour per day helping the nurses (bathing, feeding, brushing teeth, changing diapers)
- 3hours per day (in the mornings mostly) keeping company to children with heavy disabilities who do not attend school (walks, music, massage, simple games)
- 3 hours per day (in the afternoons) participate actively in the group activities of the Activity Center inside the institution and / or accompanying the children or the youngsters of the institution to their outside activities (sports, extra lessons or therapies)
- 4-5times per week swimming in the sea (only in the summer) and 1-2 afternoons taking some children outside to the playground or for gardening.
- 2-3 times per week Cooking for the group of volunteers and 1-2 times/week cleaning the premises of the volunteers
Besides that, we organize and carry out the following activities: - Stimulation for babies and severely disabled children (play room, music, walks inside the institution or just physical contact)
- Individual learning project for specific children (e.g. practicingself-help skills, learning the alphabet, learning how to use money, Cooking lessons, Computer lesson, English language workshop etc)
- Other leisure activities (Physical education or sports, Beauty group, Artistic expression: ex. painting, handicraft, singing, dance, etc) - Social integration (visit to a supermarket, to a bank, a museum or a post office etc)
- Entertainment (organising parties, Outings in Glyfada or Athens, going to the movies or to a festival, Excursions etc).
- Willingness to learn Greek
- Interested in working with children/youngsters.
- Able to take own initiative
The volunteer will receive 40 Euros as food allowance each week, directly from the hosting organization.
Volunteers live in a house inside the institution with a terrace looking on the seaside. For sure you are going to live with other volunteers that are part of the EVS project and you are going to share a kitchen living room and two bathrooms. There will be around 4-6 long term volunteers living together . Volunteers all live, cook, eat and work together all the time so be prepared for a very intense experience in community living! Also, we have to support each other quite a lot as some of us may have difficulties to adjust at the beginning or may have some physical disability.
Waarom kiezen voor Eastpackers?
Er zijn wel een aantal voorwaarden verbonden aan deelname aan dit project. Je moet tussen de 18 en 30 jaar oud zijn, minimaal 6 en liefst 9 maanden beschikbaar zijn (voor andere projecten is dit soms anders) en gemotiveerd zijn om full-time vrijwilligerswerk te doen in Griekenland.