School Bus Project and Refugee Children's Centres - Greek Islands
Despite the fact that the refugee crisis has garnered less media attention in the last few months, it is far from over. In fact, with the hardening of borders across Europe, there have been record numbers of arrivals on the Greek islands. Many children and their families have been effectively stuck in a limbo situation, unable to consistently access the education and welfare services that are so essential to mitigate the impact of trauma on their development. Grassroots organisations and small NGOs have stepped in to provide these children with safe and welcoming places to play but these organisations often struggle to attract the long-term volunteers they need to continue their vital work.
Child Life United, School Bus Project and Refugee Children's Centres are coming together to help meet this need. Child life specialists work primarily with children in hospital settings and, as such, are trained in child development and the long-term impacts of bereavement and trauma, both physical and psychological. Perhaps most importantly, child life specialists are professionals with a deep concern and investment in the wellbeing and development of some of society’s most vulnerable children.
RCC, SBP and CLU are offering child life students and Certified Child Life Specialist the opportunity to apply for a three-month to six-month placement at refugee children’s centres in Greece run by partner organisations. Prior to the placement, the three organisations will prepare successful applicants with the materials and support they need to work effectively in their placement centre. This will include a focused induction on working with this unique population, to add to the foundational understanding CL students and CLS already have. Once in country, the centre itself will take over this role with both RCC and CLU being available for remote skype support and feedback as needed. The applicants/volunteers will work in child centers, directly with the children this crisis has affected.
Accommodation during the placement will be provided by the placement centre and applicants will be expected to fundraise for their own flights. There will also be a $300 administrative fee to be split between RCC and CLU for the materials, support and remote training. Applicants are welcome to apply in teams. However, each applicant will be evaluated individually.