FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where did the word 'Kitrinos' come from?
"Kitrinos" comes from the Greek word κίτρινος, which simply means "yellow". The name was chosen by pioneers of our programme Nick Sachet and Alex Shaw, depicting the colour of the two ambulances which served as mobile medical units as they transported clinical teams to deliver high-quality healthcare to refugees trapped in Northern Greece.
What type of services do you offer to refugees?
We provide first aid and primary health care to refugees. We deal with a wide range of medical cases and try to treat them in our clinic and transfer them to hospital if needed. We also organise other non-medical projects.
Do you accept physical donations e.g. clothes or medicine?
In general no, as there are plenty of other NGOs taking care of this (e.g. Help Refugees). We have a medication and equipment wishlist that is updated regularly with our needs. Many things can be bought locally which also supports the local economy (and saves on baggage allowance!) and we prefer to spend funds there directly on needs that arise. Please email us at for information on our latest needs.
Where is your camp in Greece?
Currently we provide care to refugees who were displaced following the September fires that destroyed Camp Moria, Lesvos. We operate in a small number of undisclosed locations on the island.
I want to fundraise for Kitrinos. How do I go about this?
That’s great! If you’d like to set up an online fundraiser to support our running costs or one of our campaigns, just go to totalgiving.co.uk/fundraise/kitrinos-healthcare. You could also do a sponsored run, sale, silence, or a ‘virtual’ charity night - like an evening of music or comedy.
I want to volunteer. What do I do?
That is great news! Please go to Get Involved. Fill in the form as much as you can so we can know more about your qualifications and of course, you.
I don't have any medical qualifications, can I still be involved?
Some of the skills that can be helpful are: being able to speak Arabic, being a driver, being a good organiser, or simply being passionate about caring for those in need. Having medical qualifications will definitely be the most ideal, but we don't want to waste any talent you may have. Please go to Get Involved. Fill in the form as much as you can in order for us to see where we can use your skills.
What kind of tasks will I be doing as a non-medical volunteer?
This changes on a regular basis due to recent events, and the following list is by no means comprehensive but should give you an idea of what to expect:
1. Drive volunteers to and from the airport.
2. Drive administration to and from meetings in town.
3. Drive translators to and from Kara Tepe.
4. Buy office and clinic supplies from Mytilini.
5. Organising patients and filling in the patients' visit record.
6. Take lunch orders.
7. Other non-medical tasks.
8. Logistics and warehouse related work.
What happens after I send in my application?
When we have received your form, we will email you asking for supporting documents to be checked. Once checked and approved we will email you to confirm mutually convenient dates. Once we have confirmed your dates you can go ahead and book your flight. Please do not book any flights until agreed. In instances where you may not have sufficient documents, we assess each case individually. Our lead clinician will speak to you via Skype/telephone if required. You may have other skills that can be beneficial and we may make an exception.
I cannot afford to meet all of my expenses while in Lesvos - can Kitrinos Healthcare offer me any financial assistance such as a stipend to cover my costs?
We regret that we are currently unable to provide such assistance due to our difficult financial situation. We are sorry for any inconvenience or disappointment this may cause but we hope this will not put you off joining us. Please see below for alternative ways to help fund your trip to Lesvos.
Can I fundraise to support your work and/or my volunteer trip?
Many of our current and previous volunteers have chosen to fundraise for us, in some cases using part of the final total to pay for aspects of their trip such as flights and living expenses. The remainder could then be dedicated to helping us rebuild our clinic from scratch, amongst other vital activities.
We would be delighted to provide assistance by creating a fundraising page for you on TotalGiving, which you will then be able to personalise. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have accommodation for me to stay in during my placement?
Yes. We have two volunteer houses, both of which are priced at 5 euros per night for the month of October. This is subject to change from November onwards. Places are issued on a first come, first served basis and must be booked in advance. If our accommodation is full you will need to secure separate accommodation nearby. Our Welcome Pack, which we send all volunteers prior to arrival, will offer more information concerning accommodation.
Is there a minimum length of stay for volunteers?
Yes. We ask that you commit to a minimum of two weeks volunteering in order to have enough time to adjust to our procedures. This is in addition to our seven day quarantine period, plus any quarantine required once you return home.
We recommend that you ideally plan for a minimum five week absence from work if applicable, in order to take into account both volunteering and quarantine.
I have never completed a background check - is this really necessary in order to volunteer?
Yes! In order to satisfy the safety requirements of the Greek authorities and Kitrinos Healthcare, you must provide a document stating that you do not have a criminal record. In the UK this is known as a DBS, and in other countries such as the US it is possible to obtain a similar document from the FBI or your local police department.
I would like to donate supplies - what is the best way to do this?
Thank you for this kind offer! At the moment we suggest that you bring small amounts of medication or medical equipment with you, ideally based on our formulary list of required supplies which can be requested by emailing email@example.com.
At present we do not recommend shipping large scale donations over to Lesvos for security reasons. We are purely focused on providing medical care, so we kindly ask that donations such as clothes and toys be directed to other charities as we are sadly not able to process these.
If you are bringing medication with you in your luggage, we can provide a 'permission to carry' letter for you to present to customs if needed.
Is there a dress code?
We don’t have a strict dress code, however you will need to be aware of the refugee's cultural stances. Smart/casual will be fine. As we will be working with people of varying religious/cultural backgrounds and mixed genders at the camp, it will be good to wear sensible clothing such as long trousers and tops that are not revealing.
I heard about the recent violence - will I be safe in Lesvos?
Please rest assured that, while we cannot guarantee that your trip will be risk-free, we will do everything we can to ensure that you feel safe and supported throughout your placement with us.
We are currently operating in a small number of locations which remain undisclosed for safety reasons, and we always evacuate our staff at the first sign of any unrest, cancelling shifts if this is deemed necessary.
You will be added to our whatsapp group prior to arrival, meaning that you can contact members of the team at any time with any concerns or questions you may have.
Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in Lesvos?
Yes. The current quarantine period set by Kitrinos Healthcare is seven days, assuming that you test negative for COVID-19 no more than 72 hours prior to arrival. Those testing positive must quarantine for 14 days or more.
Can I quarantine anywhere I like?
In some cases we may be able to secure quarantine accommodation for you by prior arrangement, but we would prefer you to search for a place to quarantine if possible. Please let us know the address of your quarantine accommodation as soon as you can.
Please note that this must be located in Mytilene since we will arrange for your groceries and essential supplies to be delivered to you during this period. You must only leave your quarantine accommodation for fresh air and exercise, and you must not enter any public places such as shops or the beach.
Due to COVID-19, my home country may not let me travel unless it is an emergency. Can you provide a letter stating that I am joining you to carry out essential humanitarian work?
Yes. Please email to request this.
What health and safety precautions are you taking to combat the spread of COVID-19?
We provide full PPE to minimise the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Our Welcome Pack (provided once your placement is confirmed) offers further details. The full procedures and protocols will be explained to you on arrival. If you have any specific safety queries or concerns which are not addressed in the Welcome Pack, we may be able to arrange for you to have a telephone discussion with our director prior to arrival, or you may email firstname.lastname@example.org.