It was such a privilege volunteering at Elpida Home.
The staff were increasingly friendly and I admire the good, necessary work that they do.
The experience was amazing, it was my first time doing volunteer work in Greece, and it was different (in a good way!) to the volunteer work I have previously been involved with.
We worked with Afghan refugees who had fled their homes after the Taliban resurgence in 2021.
Just listening to their stories and experiences was eye-opening on its own- it made me admire the strength and resilience these people demonstrated, and it put actual faces to the conflict I had heard about for months on the news.
It humanized the conflict for me- it became not just a conflict far away from home, but a tangible reality for actual people with their own feelings, hopes, aspirations, and anxieties.
A typical day of our volunteer work at Elpida Home would begin in the morning,most days at the Elpida Home complex, but once a week with the children of the community at the American Farm School.
Throughout our time at Elpida Home, we ran various services, including doing activities with the children, leading classes in beginner and advanced English for all ages, cultural Q&A about the United States and/or Canada, and more.
And all along the way, we got to know the community we were surrounded by. I did not anticipate just how attached I would become to the residents and staff of Elpida Home.
Volunteering with Elpida Home remains one of the most rewarding and unique experiences I have been blessed enough to be a part of.
Greek America Corps