11 March 2022
At this time we believe that funds that would be used for international travel would be better used as donations to local volunteers to care for refugees in their own countries. However, we also recognize that some volunteers may possess a particular set of skills that would be beneficial in service to our partners in neighbouring countries which are caring for refugees from Ukraine.
This is not a general call for volunteers. It provides guidelines for Baptist unions, Agencies and volunteers that may be seeking to help out.
A volunteer desiring to serve with an overseas partner providing care to refugees should meet ALL the following:
All expenses paid by the individual (travel, meals, accommodation, insurance, etc.)
Physically able to serve 12 to 14 hour days for the duration of the experience with access to basic and limited facilities
Abide by any additional medical requirements required by airlines, governments, and our partners on the ground — especially as related to COVID-19
Access to counselling or debrief services on return
Additionally, a volunteer should possess at least ONE of the following:
A degree or multi year experience in providing care for children
A degree or multi year experience in food preparation
Professional expertise or degree in spiritual counselling and pastoral care
International driving experience with international driver’s licence
Partners have emphasised the following LANGUAGES are particularly helpful and strongly recommended:
Local language — Polish / Romanian / Slovak / Hungarian
We appreciate those who are willing to help the refugees on site, however, EBF is not directly coordinating volunteers for the situation. For volunteer opportunities you should contact your local union or aid agency to see what is available. EBF is in touch with many of the unions and related aid agencies and is providing information where possible.
Please keep in mind that volunteering in this context needs a significant amount of experience and there is a priority on those who can speak the local languages. Baptists in neighbouring countries are overwhelmed in responding to the crisis and have very limited capacity to coordinate and host volunteers (Eastern European culture has a very high value on hospitality, especially for foreign volunteers, meaning volunteers ).