OCC undertakes non formal education inclusion and cultural activities, so we are mainly looking for people with teaching experience with both children and adults. Besides, we have other positions to cover such as translators, drivers, logistical staff, animators and people with management experience.
Areas of work:
- Activities for kids
- Woman’s Space
- Community work in Greece
- Social Labour inclusion
- Creativity and arts
Read at this page how a day in our center looks like!
The Cultural Center opens at 10.00 and the first car ride to drive people to the center is at the same time. We recommend all team members to wake up at the same time, so they can help each other with the tasks.
All the volunteers should be available from 10.00 to 14:00 and 17:00 to 21:00 from Monday to Friday. On Saturday we have the team meeting in the morning, we start the day at 11:30am.
We are active six days per week, taking Sunday off as a rest day. We must remain flexible in the schedule, as it changes regularly due to the unbalance situation, Greek school hours, volunteer turnover, attendance.
We expect our volunteers to be mature, independent, committed and willing to work long hours when necessary. Also one Sunday a month we do an team working activity, so It would be nice if you join us.
Expectations and Preparation
Open Cultural Center is a small grassroots organization based in volunteering. Team members are expected to be financially self-sufficient.
We work in an horizontal way with people from the community so we expect tolerance and respect between cultures and an spirit of sharing.
Volunteers should be above 23 years old. We are willing to make exceptions on the age if good fit for the team.
Proof of criminal clearance is required due to the sensitive nature of refugee work. This will vary from country to country, please see the FAQ document for country specific information on obtaining this clearance.
Fundraising is strongly encouraged, organising personal fundraisers reaches new communities who may not donate otherwise. Donors are often times more likely to donate if they know the funds are in the hands of someone they know. This also gives you more freedom to support specific needs while in Greece.
Transport and Practical Arrangements
Flights and Buses:
Polikastro is located in Northern Greece, just 15 kilometers from the Macedonian border. The closest airport is Thessaloniki, one hour away from us. We do not provide volunteers rides to and from the airport. But we make exceptions if there is no bus at the arrival time (from 9pm to 11pm). If you arrive after 11:30 pm you should spend the night in Thessaloniki.
When you arrive to the Airport you should take the bus number X1 to the Macedonian main Bus Station in Thessaloniki, there you will find the bus to Polikastro. Once arrival to Polikastro take off in the second stop. We are in Megalou Alexandros Street, 149.
Open Cultural Center has an apartment in the same street as the Cultural Center, just 20 meters away. Volunteers may stay at the apartment for 5 Euros per night. Volunteers who commit to a minimum of 90 days don´t need to pay rent, Open Cultural Center will cover the accommodation costs.
The rent should be paid to the Coordinator in the firsts days of the volunteer arrival, in cash or by bank transfer. Volunteers should expect to share their bedroom space with another volunteer. We ask our volunteers to be quiet in the resting time. After midnight is not allowed to make noise or stay outside the bedrooms, we need to respect the volunteers who wants to rest and also to the neighborhoods. We have a balcony on which to smoke.
The daily tasks as cleaning and cooking are organized by shifts. We usually have the meals together and we share the food, so every week we collect 20€ per person to do a joint grocery, with this amount the volunteers will cover breakfast, lunch and dinner. The shopping list is done by the volunteers.
There is wifi at the apartment and at the Cultural Center. Also, there are lots of cafes with free wifi. Vodafone sells data sim card 5 GB for 12 Euros.
Our team communicates via group chat on Whatsapp. Volunteers must have a smartphone with data so that we can communicate and coordinate effectively. Greek SIM cards are strongly recommended. If you choose to use your international plan, you must be available on whatsapp throughout the day.
Transportation around Polikastro:
There are many buses from Polikastro to Thessaloniki every day. We have two vehicles used for transferring people from the camp and surrounding villages to the Cultural Center. The cars are just to be used for work needs; however we plan a team activity once a month and usually we can use the cars. For other needs volunteers may choose to rent a vehicle at their own expense. There are also taxis for emergencies.
There are plenty of grocery stores in Polikastro. They range from local groceries to large stores. Prices are comparable to what you’re used to back home. Every Saturday morning (volunteers go before the team meeting), there is a massive farmer’s market, where you can find basically anything and at affordable prices.