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Helping Refugees as a Volunteer with In-Camp Activities

There are currently 65 million displaced persons around the world. Many of who are refugees have fled violence and persecution in their home countries. Today, they are trying to lead a normal life. So if you are considering helping refugees as a volunteer with in-camp activities, there are some things to understand.

Volunteering for humanitarian initiatives is an excellent way of enriching your life and alleviating the suffering of those who need it most. Usually, their home country is in a conflict situation or affected by natural disaster. Millions of refugees are living in refugee camps. Often, they find themselves in a new country without legal status or work.

Each day thousands of families are forced to flee their homes because of war. They have to leave everything behind to look for safer areas to live. Many of who are refugees have fled violence and persecution in their home countries. Today, they are trying to lead a normal life. However, discrimination, lack of access and uncertainty make this a challenge. One amazing way to get involved is by helping refugees as a volunteer with in-camp activities.

Things You Considered Before Volunteering

You understand that refugees are not your regular migrants. By volunteering with refugees, you can provide many essential services and alleviate some of the difficulty each refugee is going through. However, it is important to understand what you are committing to as a volunteer. Organizations that work with refugees already have a lot on their plates. So, they need independent volunteers who can help in productive ways. It is also essential to explore why you want to volunteer in the first place and prepare yourself mentally. Jumping into a volunteer opportunity because you want to help is great. But it’s important to know that you will be working with people who deserve dignity and respect. They are not simply a charity case—they have agency.

Helping Refugees as a Volunteer with In-Camp Activities

There is plenty of support needed when it comes to helping refugees. You have quite a few options including working in a refugee camp or helping with resettlement activities. Here are some in-camp activities that you can do.

Refugee camps are temporary shelters set up by international organizations to host refugees. They are not meant to be permanent, but often refugees stay there for years or even decades. The living conditions tend to be basic, and much help is needed. As a volunteer in a refugee camp, you will need to travel to one and live alongside refugees. Here are some ways in which you can help.

1. Teach in a refugee camp

Education is the basic right of every child. But many refugee children lose access to education. If you are a great teacher and speak a local language or can teach English, then this can be a great volunteer opportunity. Here is an example of a project with Relief and Reconciliation in Lebanon and one from Kenya through Love Volunteers.

2. Provide health services

Medical professionals are always needed in refugee camps. Some refugees arrive with health issues and injuries they’ve sustained when they fled. But also, life goes on in refugee camps. So people need basic healthcare services and check-ups. For example, Cross-Cultural Solutions in Greece has volunteers working in vision clinics for refugees.

3. Engage in psychosocial support

Fleeing your country is no easy task. Refugees often face excessive stress and witness things no human ever should. If you are a psychologist or a specialist in psychosocial support in emergencies, then your skills are much needed in refugee camps.

4. Participate in aid distribution

Refugee camps need to feed the thousands of people who live in them. They need basic supplies, food, sanitary and hygiene products, shelter, and more. When camps first get set up, distribution of these items is an essential task. Often, volunteers come out to help with this process. For example, Support Refugees lists many opportunities in European countries receiving refugees.

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