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                          Ideal for students, mid-career and over 50.

International Volunteering & Careers


nternational Volunteer Programs  
Middle East & North Africa

1.1: Syrian Refugees, Jordan
1.2: Syrian Refugees, Lebanon
2: Medical, Nursing, Public Health, Lebanon
3: International Development, Lebanon
4: Human Rights & Democracy Building, Lebanon
5: Women's Rights, Lebanon & Morocco
6: Refugee Rights & Resettlement, Morocco
7: Journalism, Morocco
8: Journalism & Peace Making, Israel/ Palestine
9: Education & Psycho-Social, Lebanon
10: Micro-finance, Morocco
11: Midwifery, Morocco
12: Teaching English, Morocco
13: Kids, kids, kids, Morocco

Arabic Lessons &/or Immersion, Morocco
On the importance of volunteering in MENA

Jordan: Syrian Refugees

In the Arab Spring in 2011, Tunisia, Eygypt , Libya & Yemen
overthrew repressive leaders. But it backfired in Syria.
Assad cracked down on & killed protesters starting the civil war.
400, 000 have been killed in Syria. 4.7 million have fled.

We have all seen the  images of Syrians fleeing the bombing in Aleppo...
fleeing by boat to Greece and then pushing up through Europe.
As situation changed with Syrian refugees, this org has shifted to Jordan.

Overwhelmed by the influx, some countries have built walls or quotas to limit the number of refugees pouring in.

We have had many requests from  poeple wanting to help.
-Who is needed?

--People that are willing to help in any way that is needed that day.
   e.g. sorting & distributing supplies, food, blankets.
--Yoga & art teachers & art therapists
--Arabic speakers are treasured.
--People who can teach English or German...
   the language spoken where the refugee is hoping to go.
--People who can explain the culture where refugee is going.
--Teachers/ educators to help kids catch up. (Translator prov
   Most Syrian 10 year olds have had zero schooling due to war.
--Social workers & psychologists experienced with trauma.
   Esp treasured are people that understand culture & perspeictive.
--2 week commitment ok; longer of course is better.

Lebanon: Syrian Refugees

There are 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon; 1/5 the total population.
Lebanon suffered a brutal civil war from 1975 to 1990.
Lebanon's government is a delicate balance of Sunni, Shite & Christian.
Will this huge influx of Sunni Syrians upset this delicate balance?

This org knits Syrian refugees into all its services.
health, education, livelihoods, women & children.
Thus you do not work in refugee camps but all over Lebanon.

Who is needed?
People that have a passion to help Syrian refugees.
--No special skills required. But their depts are elaborated below.
--This very professional org does, however require a 3 month commitment.

Lebanon: Medical Clinics & Mobile Units

Who is needed?
Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners, public health
--Nursing, med & public health students

Lebanon:  International Development

This is a great place to learn International Development!

--You can do Needs Assessments; Write grant proposals;
--Interview workers in the field; Do Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E)
--Go to coordination meetings with other NGO's & UN orgs

Lebanon: Human Rights & Democracy Building

Lebanon fought a long & bloody civil war from 1975 to 1990;
and developed a balance between Shite, Sunni & Maronites.
Syria occupied Lebanon from 1976 to 2005.
Israel  has invaded to knock out the PLO and Hezbollah.

Thus this org deeply wants their youth to know their history & role in the region, their rights, and how to uphold their democracy.

Come teach  youth human rights and democracy building!

Who is needed?
--People with a passion for human rights and.or democracy building.
--Students, grads or seasoned professional in
  Political Science, International Relations or Middle East studies.

Lebanon & Morocco: Women's Rights

This organization is out to turn-on-its-ear
the notion that women are just property of their husbands.

We had a discussion with the very fiery director who said:

Men use shariah as prop for patriarchy & use religion to control people
Epitome of this is "King = Commander of Faith."

Women  are blamed for Gender Based Violence.
Rural women are ignored regarding health and education

Who is needed?
--Uppity women! and feminist men.
--Ok if not speak French or Arabic; Director trying to learn English
--We need many people to teach literacy to women who have been left out of education

Morocco: Refugee Rights & Resettlement

Morocco is a cross-roads for refugees from sub-Sahara Africa
that are trying to push into Europe or get stopped in Morocco.

In Morocco, Africans encounter racist attitudes & threats of deportation.
English, French, Arabic & Spanish speakers welcome in this placement.

Who is needed:
--Social workers & humanitarian workers to help with resettlement
--Legal & human rights workers to advocate for fair treatment
--People who can help figure out gainful work in an unwelcoming country

Morocco: Journalism

Journalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy building.
It is a major coup to work with this esteemed international media organization.

Who is needed?
--People with a minimum of 3-5 years of domestic journalism
   who are now ready to move into international journalism
--Excellent writing skills a must.
--INvestigation and research skills equally important.

--We also have a fascinating domestic opportunity for domestic online news group
   who is looking for people with experience in getting paid advertisers.

--radio journalism   in the making

Palestine/ Israel: Journalism & Peace Building                

Do you want to help create peace in the Middle East?
Volunteer with this organization staffed by both Palestinians & Israelis.

Who is needed?
--You do not need to have professional skills for this placement, just a passion for the Middle East.
--Are you articulate; good at researching, writing and speaking?
--This is a good fit for Journalism students who want more experience in the field.
--This is a great place to learn how to research, listen and write an unbiased report.

Lebanon: Education & Psycho-Social

This org  provides psycho-social support and  an after-school program.
The UN would call this a "Child Protection" program for vulnerable kids.
This program is for refugee kids and kids from "broken" homes.

Who is needed?

--People who love working with kids!
--Social workers, psychologists, and educators
--Students of Psychology, Social Work & Education.

Your role is not to take over Lebanese staff but to assist, support
and mentor or coasch for those with decades of experience.

Morocco: Micro-finance

We have two Micro-finance opportunities
one with a more corporate and nation-wide MFI, and one that it is more grasroots.

Who is needed?
--Finance, Banking, Accounting & Micro-finance experience helpful for 1st.
--Entrepreneurial skills & small business skills more helpful in 2nd
   as emphasis is on helping women create successful enterprises.
--Ability to speak French is a must in both.

Morocco: Midwifery

Midwives across the world seem to be zealous & passionate about their work.
Perhaps this is because childbirth is such a miracle!

Who is needed?
--Competent, experienced licensed & card carrying midwives & nurse midwives
--The Director insists that you must be able to speak French
   To which I say, "Pourquoi?!"
   This is one job that can be done with Universal sign language!

Morocco: Teaching English

The advantage of this position is that you don't have to speak French or Arabic;
English becomes the bridge however haltingly it may be for the students.

Who is needed?
--It helps to have a grasp of how to sequence lessons...how language develops
--Creative, fun-loving, clowning & pantomiming a plus
--Able to make a human connection, even if you do not have words
--But other than that, anyone and everyone is welcome
--TESOL and other credentials not necessary

Kids, kids & more kids!

Although Morocco has not had any grisly wars or AIDS to create orphans,
it still has kids that need your love.

--Love kids? 
--Want a great place to learn about giving love?
--Want a break from the daily grind?
--Love to sing, and play, and dance, and teach?
Want a place to innocently practice your Arabic or French?

We now have a new placement working with autistic kidsLearn Arabic, Morocco
--Speech therapists, physical therapists/ physiotherapists
   and people with a passion for working with developmental disabilities

Then this is the place for you!

Learn Arabic!

Arabic or French Lessons and /or Immersion in home stay & volunteering
Or, if you speak Arabic and want to learn Englis, that is also an option

A Photo Essay on the importance of volunteering here

Today I received in the mail, a promotional copy of the Christian Science Monitor Weekly with the cover story titled
"Islam and the West: Suspicion and fear of Muslims fanned by politicians and recent events is again spurring furious debate."
It prompted this photo-essay.

International Voluntering as Citizen Diplomacy

International volunteering is both an opportunity to give service,
and to get to know another culture.

I found that the most fascinating places to me
were my forays into the Muslim world.

Islam is much more prevalent in Africa than in America.
So it was a novelty to be surrounded by women in head scarves
on the boat to Zanzibar.

I found the muezzin's call to prayer hauntingly beautiful.

I thank the Muslim (American) social worker who called me 4 years ago,
irked that we had no offerings in the Muslim world.
That was a wake up call that I was missing out as were our volunteers.

If I were to say where the biggest rift in the world is:
wouldn't you say it is between the Islamic world and the West?
So we have begun to make placements in the Muslim world,
so that I and our volunteers can begin to bridge that rift.

What looks boring on the outside.           
                 but rich & colorful on the inside?

Friends showed me their slides of Morocco.
I thought the cities' buildings looked so monotonous,
that I honestly did not really want to go.

On the train ride from Casablanca to Rabat,
I was stuck by the sameness of most city buildings.

But ha! Once inside, it is so rich and wonderful!

In both Rabat and Zanzibar (island in Tanzania),
you could easily get lost in the labyrinth of the medina.
The maze of alleys were the connection
from outer world to the rich, hidden interiors.


 Then on the interior of the interior was the home stay.

 I was welcomed into the home of a wonderful family.
 They had a baby that was just two nano seconds short
 of learning to walk.

 We would all sit around clapping and shouting "Bravo!"
 as baby almost succeeded with those first steps.

 Looking back, I see that we are all just making those same
 tettering steps to bridge the gap....to overcome whatever divides us;
 to see the human face of Islam....and  the many faces of humanity.


Hear the hauntinly beautiful call to prayer. Click here.  


MANY PLACES: Journalism & Democracy Building                     on hold

Journalism goes hand-in-hand with democracy building because it is critical to have an informed electorate.
Work in an exciting, fast-paced environment. 

Who is needed?
--People who can write well.
--Policy analysts who can explain what is going on in current events.
--Independent writers and journalists who can manage on their own.
--Energetic people that can keep up with the fast pace.



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