About us

HSA is widely recognised as a leader in volunteer coordination, providing professional humanitarian relief to asylum seekers and migrants in Greece. We serve at Kara Tepe site in Lesbos, providing vital support through the provision and distribution hot drinks, clothing and other items, education and general camp support. What makes us unique is that we bridge the gap between traditional NGOs and independent volunteer organisations. Everyone has an important role to play in the response and we believe that collaboration is essential.

Our services

Education Hub

Since April 2016 HSA has developed an established community learning program. We currently provide beginner and intermediate English language tuition as well as cultural education for adults. We have also set up a community garden from which we plan to expand our classes to vocational work based training.

Chai Distribution

 The HSA Tea Point is an important focal point of the Kara Tepe camp. Our residents are able to come along and enjoy a hot cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day while interacting & socialising with other residents and our team of dedicated volunteers.

Clothing Distribution

From our storage and distribution centre at Kara Tepe, we display our donations in a pleasing shop style that allows our residents to maintain the dignity of trying on and choosing new clothes in a clean, and safe environment.  We also have the skills & facilities to repair clothes and shoes to make sure we get the most from every donation.

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Latest news

Gifted kids of Kara Tepe – Meet Mariam!

One resident who’s got to know the volunteers at HSA well is fifteen-year-old Mariam. Just before she went to Athens to begin the next step of her journey, Ben Cooke caught up with her to talk about her plans for the future and the joy she gets from learning English. Mariam is a keen photographer, […]

Mélodie Maurel – True dedication!

It’s true that volunteering and humanitarian work can be addictive. Nobody encompasses that more than Mélodie Sawyer Maurel who is currently in Kara Tepe on her sixth trip to the island showing her true dedication to the HSA cause! What is your role in HSA and what does it entail? I am a volunteer in […]

Bishnu Paudel  – Master Chef & King of Chai!

What you may not understand about HSA is that often the residents of the camp have gone on to become dedicated volunteers for HSA and provide an essential bridge between the volunteers and residents. They also bring unique skills and personalities to the HSA family. Bishno Prasad Chundali Paudel is a key member of the […]

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Our team

What our volunteers say

“With HSA, I have had the pleasure of teaching adults the basic tools they will need to integrate into Europe and beyond. Learning is a two-way street, and I have connected with all of my students and learned from them about their own cultures and experiences. I would highly recommend this program to anyone that has a TEFL certification or teaching background.”

Suzanne Kussner

“I have been teaching English to adults here in Kara Tepe. It has been fantastic to see their progress and interest in learning, and to be a part of their journey to a safer future.”

Wendy Baxter-Kennedy

“I was blown away by the number of residents that spoke little to no English when they arrived at Kara Tepe. Now, they are able to have full conversations with people from all over the world. Some are learning Greek, German, and English!”

Brooke Pruikesma Former Financial Officer

“There’s nothing more satisfying than the smiles on residents’ faces when they hand-select their new clothing and shoes. Working at the Clothing Distribution Point has been an enriching and fulfilling experience.”

Poorti Sathe

“With its location in the center of camp, the Tea Point at Kara Tepe has allowed me to meet and interact with many residents. It’s great getting to see and to visit with the same as well as different people everyday.”

Ysaline Carlier