Lifeguard Aid to Syrian Refugees

ISLA Volunteer Caleb Scott guiding in a boat of refugees on the coast of Lesvos.
ISLA Volunteer Caleb Scott of Laguna Beach, CA guiding in a boat of refugees on the coast of Lesvos, Greece.

With over 9 million displaced or killed Syrian refugees, our globe is dealing with the worst humanitarian crisis of our time.

For many months, the coast of Lesvos in Greece, has been the epicenter of thousands of Syrian Refugees seeking safety and shelter. Unfortunately for a countless too many, the trip across the sea has ended in untold drownings and deaths. Since the beginning of January ISLA has been working with our dear friends of Lifeguard Hellas at aid stations along the coast to provide first responder medical and rescue assistance for the Syrian Refugees arriving by vessel. From there, Syrian refugees are given warm clothing, food, safety from the treacherous course they have taken… and most importantly, hope and dignity.

 

PROJECT UPDATE:

  • ISLA has sent 19 volunteers from 7 countries (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the USA) in four different teams since January 2nd, 2016.
  • ISLA has assisted in responding to over 1,000 refugees that have arrived to the shores of Lesvos this month. This includes both water and shore responses as well as minor medical aids.
  • ISLA volunteers have donated over $35,000 in critical lifesaving equipment to Lifeguard Hellas through their own personal fundraising efforts.
  • ISLA volunteers along with Lifeguard Hellas are on of the few organizations in the region that are permitted to making rescues and providing direct aid. Making our mission in the region more important than ever.
  • ISLA is committed to staying in the region as long as needed, and is in the process of planning 3 more teams to volunteer in the region!!

 

 

DATES FOR PROVIDING AID TO LIFEGUARD HELLAS AND THE SYRIAN REFUGEES:

Trip 5 (Team Echo): February 19th – February 29th 2016 – Volunteers will meet in Athens on Feb 19th at 0700.
Trip 6 (Team Foxtrot): February 29th – March 11th –  2016 – THIS REMAINS FLEXIBLE UNTIL WE ANNOUNCE VOLUNTEERS.
Trip 7 (Team Golf): March 11th – March 20th  2016 – THIS REMAINS FLEXIBLE UNTIL WE ANNOUNCE VOLUNTEERS.

EXCHANGE ITINERARY(Subject to change)

Jan 31: Exchange Application Opens
Feb 4: Exchange Application Closes
Feb 10: Exchange Candidates Announced

TRIP 5 (Team Echo):

Feb 17-19th: Travel Days, Arrive in Mytilene International Airport, shutter to refugee crisis hq to check in and await further duty.
Feb 19-28: work alongside the Greek lifeguards assisting in safely responding to arriving Syrian refugees to the shores of Lesvos.
Feb 29th: Travel Home, or onward on your own!

TRIP 6 (Team Foxtrot):

Feb 27-29th: Travel Days, Arrive in Mytilene International Airport, shutter to refugee crisis hq to check in and await further duty.
Feb 29-Mar 11: work alongside the Greek lifeguards assisting in safely responding to arriving Syrian refugees to the shores of Lesvos.
Mar 11th: Travel Home, or onward on your own!

TRIP 7 (Team Golf):*

Mar 9-11th: Travel Day, Arrive in Mytilene International Airport, shutter to refugee crisis hq to check in and await further duty.
Mar 11-20th: work alongside the Greek lifeguards assisting in safely responding to arriving Syrian refugees to the shores of Lesvos.*
Mar 20th: Travel Home, or onward on your own!

*participants of this trip have the opportunity to extend their time based on need in the area.

We will assess follow up trips based on an as-needed basis. Trip dates remain flexible (except Team Echo) until final confirmation Feb 10th.

 

ISLA team 1: lifeguards from Canada, UK and the USA.
ISLA team 1: lifeguards from Canada, UK and the USA.
ISLA Team 2: lifeguards from Canada, Uk and the USA.
ISLA Team 2: lifeguards from Canada, Uk and the USA.
ISLA Team 3: lifeguards from Denmark, UK, Switzerland, and USA.
ISLA Team 3: lifeguards from Denmark, UK, Switzerland, and USA.

COSTS:
ISLA Donation: US$1,500
Airfare to Mytilene International Airport: Lesvos (this is a 50 minute flight from Athens other flight options throughout Europe also exist – from LAX this ranges from $750 to $1700).

INCLUDED IN THE ISLA SYRIAN REFUGEE AID DONATION:

  • Lodging for the duration of the project (this will involve camping and taking shifts through 24 hour periods).
  • Breakfast and Dinner during Volunteer Lifeguard Portions (Lunch is not included)
  • Transportation on the island of Lesvos
  • 1 Year ISLA Membership
  • International travelers insurance for the duration of the project
  • Full ISLA Uniform
  • Equipment Donation

Note: Priority will be given to applicants who are able to understand and speak Arabic and/or Greek fluently.

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