Volunteer work at Katheti
Fay Orfanidou writes about volunteer work at Katheti and in general.
In the spring of 1996, I was 23 years old and working in tourism. I had only 10 days of leave left until the end of the year. I was a WWF supporter and was receiving their quarterly magazine “The Panda”. Browsing through its pages, I saw an announcement about 15-day volunteer camps at Dadia, Evros. I didn’t even blink. After I called them and asked them if I could stay only 10 days, I booked a place, using up all my leave for that year. That was it. I never looked back. I became “a life-long volunteer”.
I learnt to look high in the sky, so that I discern the raptors. To cohabit and collaborate with people different than me, but with whom we shared a common goal. To prioritize my needs differently and to make decisions based on my values. To appreciate the joy of giving more than that of taking.
I traveled around Greece, as well as abroad, offering volunteer work to different organizations and different causes. I gained friends for life, work experience, organizational and administrative, as well as other, innumerable, skills, I evolved as a professional and as a person. I’ve been a member, a group leader, later on an employee, supervisor, even a founder of non-profit organizations. Always and above all, however, in all my positions, I’ve been a VOLUNTEER .
Volunteering at Katheti
When we founded Katheti, not for one moment did I think that there was a chance that this endeavor would work without volunteers. On the one hand because there’s strength in numbers, on the other because I wanted to give to young people (not only in years, but mainly at heart) the opportunity to experience moments such as those that defined me through volunteerism .
And this is exactly want happened. In less than two years, around ten people have supported Katheti as volunteers. Each volunteer has played a larger or smaller part in what we’re trying to achieve at Katheti.
Just to give you an idea, Katheti has needed and continues to need volunteer support in the following fields:
- Teaching Greek to immigrants
- Skill-building workshops and seminars to adults and children on different subjects of the volunteers’ expertise that are not teached locally (such as with the Programming Lessons, School Peer Mediation, School of Educators and Painting Workshop)
- Website and social media content (articles, image and video editing, translations, etc)
- Organizing events and activities
- Informing the public about our work
Katheti offers to volunteers framing, training and an individualized reference letter after three months of volunteer work.
Now, let some volunteers tell us in their own words what they feel that they gained from this experience :
In the winter of 2019, Katheti suggested that I offer remedial Greek language lessons to two elementary school children from India. The contact with the kids, teaching and in general Katheti was and is for me a beneficial, creative time, and whenever I left the lesson, I was overflowing with joy and gratitude!
More about Maria’s experience as a volunteer at Katheti and about her life on Poros island here.
My participation in total can be described as an invaluable experience, as it is for me an essential offering of humanitarian nature. On a personal level, I consider the relationships that I have made at Katheti important for me, because each person that I have met and interacted with has enriched me morally and emotionally.
For me, volunteer work cultivates a culture of solidarity, through which I believe that a community and the society in general can be improved. Through this process, I feel that one can also build better relationships and, exactly because there is no thought of monetary assessment, the rightful suspiciousness that we people have that everything happens for monetary reward diminishes.
I had a choice to make between couch/TV and volunteer work. There was no dilemma. I fill my schedule by giving back. Any kind of giving back. The feeling is indescribable, everyone should do it at least once in their life. And I’m still at the beginning. Thank you, Katheti!
Maria Louiza (Andriakopoulou), Maria (Vlachou), Ioanna (Georgiou), Anastasia (Karouti), Chrysostomos (Koutsoubelis), Vicky (Makridou), Maria (Pateraki), Evgenia (Saridou), Konstantina (Christodoulou), we thank you very much!
If you are interested in offering volunteer work at Katheti, fill in the volunteer application and embark on this wonderful journey with us!