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Refugee Project in Italy

  • Placement locations: Calabria
  • Types of care projects: Refugee centres
  • Role: To assist refugees and migrants arriving by boat in Italy
  • Accommodation: Host family or apartment accommodation
  • Стоимость проектов:  
  • What's included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport,transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
  • What's not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
  • Requirements: Volunteers must be aged 18 or older
  • Length of placement: From 2 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

Refugees in a classroom in Italy, where volunteers will help teach English

Europe is facing a refugee and migrant crisis. Tens of thousands of desperate people from Africa, the Middle East and Asia are crossing thousands of kilometres of dangerous terrain and braving the Mediterranean in appalling conditions, all for the chance for a better life for themselves and their families. Many die en route, often tragically in the last stretch of sea before they reach the European coastline.

For those that arrive safely, the struggle often doesn’t end. Government agencies and infrastructure have proven unable to cope with the sheer number of people arriving and needing help. It’s up to private individuals and organisations to take up the slack and help the many thousands of refugees and migrants already in Europe and who are arriving daily.

What does the Refugee Project involve?

A refugee being taught in classroom in Italy

Projects Abroad has partnered with local organisations operating in southern Italy to work directly with refugees and migrants.

Our main focus is on ‘second response’ work, helping refugees and migrants to help them access services and support as they adjust to their new lives. We work in various locations in and around Calabria, where refugees and migrants have been relocated and housed. This social support includes helping deal with legal and human rights matters in Italy and possible family searches in Europe. Refugees and migrants also have to attend special language and culture classes. A large variety of skills and expertise are needed at this placement.

There is also space on this project for volunteers to contribute their own ideas of how to help, whether through translation work, assisting the elderly or volunteering at city halls. Due to the urgent and unpredictable nature of this project, there is room for volunteers to use their own initiative in collaboration with the local partners and staff.

You may also be involved in ‘first response’ work to assist refugees and migrants as soon as they arrive in boats off the Italian coast; however, arrivals are sporadic and this type of work is not guaranteed. When a boat arrives, volunteers will help to collect personal information, perform emergency medical screenings and other tasks to make check if the refugees are in need of additional assistance. Speaking English or French is very useful, as many of the refugees and migrants are from Africa.

Your role as a volunteer

We're looking for general volunteers to:

  • Accompany refugees day to day, helping with paperwork and shopping, and accompany them as they cannot move around unescorted until they obtain authorisation and documentation from the government.
  • Organise activities with young people, who need to move, create, go out and talk to others
  • Accompany and assist refugees and migrants in their paperwork and integration process in general
  • Teach language lessons (especially Italian and English)
  • Assist at day care centres for children, so that mothers can attend language and integration classes
  • Run cultural workshops to help refugees and migrants integrate into European culture, including discussions on religion, gender, working culture and general life skills
  • Teach music lessons
  • Organise social events for women's groups to help them interact with the local community
  • Skills training (such as basic IT)
  • Interview refugees and migrants to help assess their needs and expectations around life in Italy and their plans for the future
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