Volunteers help save sea turtles through European Solidarity Corps
The ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre near Athens, Greece, receives and treats injured or sick sea turtles all year around and releases them back to the sea when they are fully recovered. Experienced staff are running the Centre with the help of volunteers from all over the world. Three ESC volunteers share their recent experience with the sea turtles and the efforts to protect oceans and marine life.
Aurelie Schroeder, SERVICE NATIONALE DE LA JEUNESSE & ANIJ, Luxembourg
(September 2020 – February 2021)
Aurelie was always on standby and amazed everyone at the Rescue Centre with her professionalism. She loved the time she spent with ESC at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre and came back to volunteer again a few months later. See below her thoughts about volunteering for the care and rehabilitation of sea turtles:
«My name is Aurélie, I’m 20 years old and I’m from Luxembourg. I stayed here in Greece for 6 months and helped out to clean and treat the sea turtles. I chose the ESC program because with its financial support I was able to stay so long here. I also celebrated my birthday at the Sea Turtle Rescue Centre! I was away from home but together with my new friends, from all over the world! I was also lucky to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve with these amazing people.
I always wanted to do something with animals, and I had never seen a sea turtle before in my life, so this was the best opportunity to interact with them. This work made me realize how incredibly beautiful and strong creatures they are. I learnt so much from the work that we do here every day at the Rescue Centre and how important it is to volunteer, help out as best as you can and give your support to a non-profit organization.
Our daily duties consisted of cleaning injured or sick sea turtles and also cleaning their tanks so the turtles would be kept in a clean environment. I was also responsible for the daily feeding of turtles, which is one of the most important stages of their rehabilitation and their journey towards release. I was also lucky to see many releases during my stay. This was the best part, because I was able to see the turtles we were taking care of, for all the months before, return back in the sea. It is incredible of what these creatures are capable of and amazing to see how resilient they are to some severe injuries.
I had the best time ever at the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre and I would strongly recommend to everyone to show their support and help out. They will have an amazing time with the turtles, the volunteers as well as Mike and Eirini».
Victor Boulanger, ADICE, France
(March – April 2021)
Victor, a lovely, young and eager to learn volunteer, tells us his story about his two-month experience at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre:
“Hello, I am Victor, I am 20 years old, and I come from France.
After I finished the first part of my studies, I wanted to have an experience that was different from the ordinary. Thus, I discovered the European Solidarity Corps which offers a unique experience, filled with discoveries and new encounters.
I wanted to get involved in an environmental project and marine wildlife is my passion, so when my association proposed to send me to the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre., I could not refuse. I was able to discover and learn so much about the sea turtles through ARCHELON.
Being able to take care of sea turtles on a daily basis is an incredible opportunity. We responded depending on the turtles’ needs which made the schedule change every day. Therefore, each day was a different experience for all of us.
My stay was enriched by working with other passionate volunteers from different countries. For me, this experience was marked by very beautiful encounters.
I came back from these two months of volunteering more fascinated by sea turtles and the marine world and it was a great source of personal and professional development. I hope to return as a volunteer for this program again.”
Fiona Muller, SERVICE NATIONALE DE LA JEUNESSE & ANIJ, Luxembourg
(February 2021 – May 2021)
Fiona, 20 years old became herself a trustworthy and important part of ARCHELON Rescue Centre’s team for 4 months. This is her story about volunteering through ESC:
«I was eager to volunteer in a project that was involved in saving the environment and our nature, so when I stumbled upon ARCHELON I was extremely happy!
Not only would I be working with sea turtles which I had never seen before in my life, but I would also be traveling to Athens (Glyfada), and I had never been to Greece before, so I was very excited.
Working at the ARCHELON Rescue Centre was truly an amazing experience! The Centre is located right on the beach, the sunsets are beautiful and the people I worked with were all so nice. I also thought that the Greeks, in general, are very nice people!
On a daily basis we would clean turtles as well as their tanks, treat their wounds, give them injections and other medication, prepare their food, feed them and collect data to check whether or not they had improved. As tough as it was, seeing that most of the turtles were making progress was so worth it and overall, I had an amazing time working at ARCHELON.
I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity by ESC, especially during the pandemic, as well as for the financial support that I was given, which made it possible for me to stay in Greece for 4 months!
I would highly suggest you to take break from whatever you’re doing in your life right now and go volunteer somewhere with the aid of ESC, preferably at ARCHELON! ;-)”
Read more about the outcome of ARCHELON Sea Turtle Rescue Centre in 2020 here