Volunteering

Our project is entirely run by long and short term volunteers and we are constantly in need of new people to come join us.

GROUP VALUES: As a group, we aim to organise and interact in a non-hierarchical way. Likewise, in our work, we strive for solidarity rather than charity, and to eliminate hierarchies between us and the people on the move that we meet.

DAILY LIFE: Most of our daily work involves being at a spot close to the border, where we support people who have been pushed back – which you can read more about in the ABOUT section. This work involves being at this spot for a shift (shift lengths and how many shifts a week we do depend on how many people we have). At the spot the work can be varied and includes cooking, cleaning and organising, socialising, taking testimonies, and liaising with other associations and actors. Once a week, we also cook for the daily hot food distribution in Ventimiglia. There is also lots of room for getting involved with other tasks or suggesting new ideas! We have nightly meetings to debrief, discuss important issues and plan the next day, and we aim to have weekly meetings where we can dive deeper into topics. Apart from our working life, we enjoy living in a beautiful area and the hiking that is possible, the beaches and rivers, and the villages with great pizza and nice atmospheres!

LENGTH OF STAY: There is no minimum time limit but you will make a more beneficial impact and have a more rewarding experience if you can come for at least two weeks. And if anyone can come for a few months or more, this would be extremely welcome as we are in need of more long-term members!

LIVING SITUATION: The group is based in Italy, not far from Ventimiglia. We have places to stay for volunteers (which are funded by donations so you don’t need to pay) but please be aware that our accommodation is basic. We rent a flat with one dormitory-style bedroom and we also have a camping area with tents. They are in easy walking distance of one another. Most people stay in a tent (if possible, bring your own, or if not we usually have some spare) and can spend some (or many) nights in the flat if they like, depending on how many other people also want to stay. The flat is fully equipped but it is important to know that the camping area doesn’t have electricity or running water so for charging, showers etc you will need to use the flat (unless you are brave enough to wash in the river!). We have some blankets etc. but, if possible, bring your own sleeping bag. The flat is very cosy and the camping area is beautiful so if you can handle the lack of luxury, it is a really nice place to stay! For food, we mostly dumpster dive, and then buy some essentials and treats with personal money (but it can be a cheap life).

WHAT TO BRING:

  • If possible: a tent, a sleeping bag, a sleeping mat, a hot water bottle (?), a headtorch (!), any other camping equipment that will make you comfortable.
  • Comfortable, practical, weather-proof clothes and shoes (we spend a lot of time outdoors!)
  • Donations for our work (if possible, but not essential!):
    • Practical, clean, good quality clothes, shoes and winter accessories (men’s clothes etc. are much more useful than women’s!) – and only in good condition!
    • Sleeping bags and blankets – again only clean and in good condition!
    • Food (but we can buy this easily and cheaply in Italy so a cash donation maybe more useful!)
    • Money you have raised from fundraisers back home…?

COVID: Since the first lockdown ended, Kesha Niya has been able to continually work throughout new Covid restrictions. We hope and expect this to continue. If you are coming to Italy from another country, the government has some restrictions and requirements depending on the country. However, we have not had any problems with new people coming to join us so don’t be put off!

So if you are excited by the sound of the work and our lives, and are interested in coming or have any questions, please get in touch at keshaniyakitchen@gmail.com!

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