“After I finished my bachelor’s degree, I decided I wanted to take a gap year to get involved in a long-term volunteering project before enrolling in a master’s program. I was interested in acquiring some technical experience -as I had an engineering background- and I was available, at least, for half a year. I read about Watershed by chance when I was looking for organizations working with migrants in Greece and I was immediately attracted by the description of the job they do.
It was easy and fast to get in touch with them and set an interview with a member of the project, who explained to me deeply the situation in Lesvos, the way the organization works and answered all my inquiries.
I arrived by the end of summer 2018, when the camp was heavily overpopulated, with little practical experience but lots of energy and willingness to learn. I found a small and solid team, with experienced members who are always happy to teach the newcomers the basics of the job, and started working in maintenance projects.
Maintenance is the core of the organization, the main activity we do to improve the conditions in the camp. It’s usually a tough task, you might find disgusting situations, you’re exposed to the weather and it’s sometimes repetitive; but it’s also the best way to learn the job (as you use many different tools and develop your plumbing skills) and to discover every corner of the camp. After a few weeks/months you start to get involved in more and more projects (rebuilding toilet facilities, electricity, more technical jobs, …) and gain new responsibilities as a long-term volunteer.
Watershed is an outstanding organization whose role is fundamental for the life of the people living in the camp. By joining them for a year I found a way to feel truly useful. I developed my technical skills, learnt invaluable lessons for my future and worked with amazing people that became a family for me. I hope to be back soon!”