Volunteering: Ritsona Refugee Camp

Dear friends,

In September of 2017, I graduated from the London School of Economics with a MSc in Social Policy & Development. The focus of this course was to ask questions surrounding the way groups and institutions on both local and global scales share and distribute resources to promote a society's wellbeing.  It was an incredible year, but after sitting and reading for a year, I am anxious to throw myself into some meaningful work. 

In the past half year, while taking exams, writing my dissertation, and furiously throwing myself at the job market, the world has raged (at times quite literally) on, and the call on people with energy and compassion to give grows steadily louder. For this reason, I have accepted a position as a volunteer with I Am You, a Humanitarian NGO working in the largest refugee camp in Lesvos, Greece.  I Am You's mission is to provide real time support for refugee communities in Greece through early childhood and adult education programs, widening access to vital health & public services, and the Welcome Project - a women's social entrepreneurship.   

My hope is to stay and volunteer at minimum three months - the length of a tourist visa - so I can take on a longer term, and therefore more impactful project. While the presence of the short term volunteers for NGOs such as I Am You is invaluable, the high volunteer overturn limits the potential to achieve lasting and impactful goals.
The tasks I was hired to take on include:
-Developing a progress tracking system for the preschool-aged children, so the teacher can shape and adapt the curriculum to ensure these children are meeting important social, emotional, and physical milestones
-One on one adult english tutoring
-Expanding social media presence for the NGO
-Exploring grants and fundraising opportunities 

What I am asking is for a $10 donation from my friends and family to cover:
-rent at the long term volunteer house (€200/ month)
-food and gas money to contribute to the volunteer house communal fund (€450/month)

The closer I am to reaching my funding goal, the longer I will be able to stay and work. 

Any funds raised over my goal will be used to buy supplies for the preschool or support camp efforts. If you do not feel comfortable donating to me, but would still like to aid the refugees at Ritsonas and the efforts of I Am You, I welcome you to check out their donation page at http://iamyou.se/donate/ .

My goal for this opportunity is to be transparent, reflexive, and self aware. In that spirit, I have set up a blog with an accompanying newsletter to follow, which you are welcome to subscribe to. Please feel free to email or reach out if you have any questions or concerns you'd like to talk through. 

Thank you, friends, for your support. 




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Astrid Aune 
Davis, CA
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