Written by Taylor Clouse, GB Marketing Associate
For the first time in five years, Global Brigades is expanding and partnering with a new program country, Greece! This is the start of a new opportunity to apply our mission, values, and Holistic Model into a different context: the global refugee crisis.
We have been invited by the UN International Office of Migration and partnered up with the Greek Health Department to support Greece’s refugee aid and integration efforts through our Medical Brigades. Starting in March of 2020, we will be implementing Medical Brigades in Greece to assess needs, build trust and create a foundation for a new holistic programming model around refugee aid and integration. With sending a Medical Brigade, your Chapter will take the lead in helping our expansion efforts and pave the way to create a new Holistic Model to empower the growing population of refugees worldwide and help bring normalcy back into their lives.
In August we were able to launch a Greece Pilot Program and you can check out the testimonials from the volunteers below!
“For me, hearing stories from our translators (who were refugees themselves) validated the entire experience of the program. Unlike community members in Central America, the patients in the refugee camps are on the run from unsafe conditions or persecution in their home country. Many residents have walked hundreds or thousands of miles over the course of many years just to end up in a refugee camp with little to no medical or dental infrastructure. Global Brigades can and will make a huge impact on the families in the refugee communities. I can’t wait to return and continue the work of Global Brigades and other NGO’s inside the camps to provide better conditions for the families residing there.” – Brigade Volunteer
“When I decided to participate in the August Greece Pilot program, I was excited! The residents of Ritsona Refugee Camp welcomed us with open arms and big smiles. One of my favorite moments from the brigade was working with the Zebarri family. We spent all the clinic days seeing at least a couple of the family’s members and in the end we saw at least 15 of them. It was incredible to see the impact it made on the family, even from something as simple as the relief they felt from something as simple as a toothache.
The brigade had an everlasting impact on me. In the beginning of the brigade I was concerned that we were possibly doing more harm than good to the community, but by the end of the week I was incredibly impressed by the positivity our presence generated. Residents became aware of the need for taking care of their teeth and were genuinely excited about us coming back.” – Diego Espinoza, Seton Hall University
In order to schedule a Medical Brigade to Greece, your school needs a Campus Chairperson and an existing brigade scheduled for this academic year to one of our other country partners. Every volunteer that is planning to go to Greece must also complete an ethical volunteering education module to prepare for interactions with vulnerable populations.
We hope to see you on a Medical Brigade to Greece!