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International Volunteering & Careers


nternational Volunteer Programs  
Middle East & North Africa

1: Syrian Refugees
2: International Development
3: Medical & Nursing
4: Social Work & Psychology
5: Peace Building
6: Journalism
7: Water, Solar, Housing Rights
8: The Empowerment of Women
9: Micro-finace & Livelihoods
10: Human Rights
11: Teaching English
12: Kids & Youth
13: Grant Writing & Fund Raising

Learn or Improve your Arabic
On the importance of volunteering in MENA

Syrian Refugees: Lebanon & Jordan

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 then Europe or flooding into neighboring countries.
1/4 people in Lebanon are Syrian refugeees. 1/7 in Jordan.

Many would say that this is The Crisis of our Time.
We have had many requests from  poeple wanting to help.
The kind of volunteers needed In Lebanon & Jordan is so varied
that we have broken it apart by skills needed below.

International Development: Jordan & Lebanon

We have several placements  that give excellent experience
in the variety of skills that you need in international development.
You can take a sampling of several departments & skill sets.

Both Lebanon & Jordanian orgs are internationally recognized.
Lebanon is a compact, complex country. Beirut is sophisticated.

I  confess: I thought Jordan would be flat & boring. It was neither.
I have never met such a fun & funny staff. So joyful.

Helpful in Jordan if you can speak Arabic.  A do-able goal for the determined.

Who is needed?
People that want to enter or advance in International Development.
   Often these are people that just finished a Career Consult with Ann.

Why not more volunteer opportunities in Israel?

There is fascinating work going on in Israel so why have we not offered more opportunities there?
We talked with micro-finance, environmental, desalination and services to Horn of Africa refugees organizations.
They all told us the same thing Argentina and Chile told us: "We don't need help."   
Additionally, Israel is so, so expensive, we could never arrange frugal accommodation and meals  for our volunteers.

Clinics & Mobile Units:  Lebanon, Jordan & Morocco
Who is needed? 
--Doctors, nurses, nurse practitioners
--Nursing or medical students to help with triage & vitals
--Competent, experienced, licensed midwifes & nurse midwives (Maroc)
--Public heath to help with health campaigns/ prevention with refugees
--Dental assistants & hygienists
--Nutritionists & naturopaths also welcome
--Lab techs, mammographers, ultrasound techs
--Medcial records, filing. and matching services provided to funding source
--Speech therapists &requested at one Lebanese clinic.
--Physical therapists/ physiotherapists also needed.

In Lebanon & Jordan, 80% of beneficiaries are Syrian refugees.
Both also host Palestinian refugees; Jordan also serves many Iraqi refugees.

Social Work & Psychology:  Jordan & Lebanon

 There is a tremendous need for experienced trauma counselors.

In Lebanon, they have an great program helping women who have been trafficked; many who have been physically or sexually abused.
So they need both therapists and attorneys/ lawyers in this program.

Or come help in mobile Education Unit in Lebanon that does Art Therapy with  Syrian refugee kids.  Both Lebanon & Jordan need therapists at clinics.
where 80% of the beneficiaries are Syrian or Iraqi refugees.

Who is needed?
--The above 2 programs, you don't need to be fluent in Arabic.
   But in Jordan program, Arabic is a must to counsel Syrian refugees.
--Jungian therapists who can can help via dream work.
---Art, Dance, Music , Drama & Massage therapists all welcome.
--Social Workers, Psychologists, counselors and psychotheraists.
--Social Workers are also need to do case work/ outreach to Syrian refugees.
Image result for art work of syrian refugee children

Education: Lebanon & Jordan

Syrian refugee adults have created an incredibly exciting school in Lebanon. Come help!

Who is needed?
--Experienced educators who can train their impromptu teachers
--Graphic  artists, artists  for dynamic arts program
--Mechanical engineers, Physics majors , coding & robotics geeks
   to enrich their hands-on, engaging Science program
--Syrian kids & adults are hungry to learn English, the language of the  internet. 

Image result for michelangelo sistine chapel ceiling hands

Peacebuilding: Jordan, Israel/ Palestine

Jordan, which hosts Palestinian, Iraqi and Syrian refugees, sees its role in the region as a peace maker. Come help in a  peace building program in schools.

The conflict between Israel & Palestine? Israelis say Palestinians are terrorists.
Palestinians  say that they have been occupied for decades and yearn for a right to return to land that was once their's. Expansion of Israeli settlements make a "two state solution" - where Palestine and Israel would llive peacefully side by side - almost impossible. Come help!

Who is needed:
--Middle East studies majors.
--People with experience in or passion for Peace Building & Conflict Resolution

Journalism: Israel/ Palestine &  Morocco

Our Peace Buidling placement goes hand-in-hand with this Journalism program.
i.e. The goal is to educate, inform and shape public opinion about peace.

The journalism placement in Morocco is dynamic: informing the world about what is going on In Morocco. The Rif region has been fomenting change in the Kingdom.

Who is needed:
--People with strong journalism skills: research, interviewing & writing.


          Water, Solar, Home Renovation, Housing Rights: 
                                                    Israel/ Palestine & Jordan       

This region is fraught with political fault lines.
Thus in your Intake with Ann we will discuss whether yoiur political beliefs
match the place where your skills are needed.

Palestinians are often without water or electricity.  Come help!
Or Syrian refugees in Jordan need help improving their homes.

Who is needed?
--Experienced and aspiring solar enginerers & photovoltaic electrictions.
--Hydrologists, water/ environmental engineers.
--People with experience in water & sanitation (WASH)
--People that are handy or skilled electricions, plumbers, builders
--People to teach communities their rights re housing & how to navigate
  rules. This is huge in Israel & Palestine. Thus Hebrew & Arabic essential.


The Empowerment of Women: Morocco, Lebanon & Jordan

We get many Muslim women that would like to help other Muslim women.
We get men who would like to improve the lives of women.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali,  author of Infidel, says that Muslim women are taught to submit.
They must get male approval to do many things.
They are blamed for gender based violence and in some countries stoned.
Morocco & Jordan have reversed the law that says a rapist will be acquitted if he marries the woman that he has raped. Many of these raped women commit suicide.

Who is needed?
--Come to Morocco and help women learn their rights.
--Come to Lebanon and help women who have been trafficked.
--Come to Jordan and help women learn ways to make a living.
--In Lebanon, help women learn English...and find a place to talk their lives.

Beirut: the Paris of the Middle East!
Balconies with views of sea & mountains
Micro-finance & Livelihoods: Morocco, Jordan & Lebanon

WMicrofinance opportunity in Morocco requires French fluency.
Lebanon org welcomes people that can teach entrepreneurship/ small business skills.
Jordan org welcomes people that can teach or do  Livelihood skills.

We have 2 new micro-finace opportunities in Lebanon.
Both MFI's are very sophisticated. If you can speak Arabic you can help in field.
If you speak English or French, you can help at headquarters.

Who is needed?

--Finance, Banking, Accounting & Micro-finance experience helpful in Morocco.
--Entrepreneurial skills & small business skills more helpful in  Lebanon.
--Carpentry, sewing, soap making, mosaics helpful in Jordan.
--Risk management, auditing, operations, communications needed in Leb MFI.
--Help Leb MFI develop mobile app, eCommerce, new products & MF trainings

 Human Rights: Lebanon & Morocco

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.

Teaching English: Morocco, Lebanon, Palestine & Jordan

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 & Youth & Elders! Palestine, Lebanon & Morocco
--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 in Morocco?

Palestine has an innovative program to keep kids out of trouble after school.
--They teach their kids  sports, yoga, and the arts
...photography, theatre, music, dance, capaeira, astronomy, English, French.
--They welcome you to contribute your passion to enrich their kids.
--They have a wonderful library so welcome librarians.

The most enthusiast participants in Lebanon org are the elders!
Come help with baking, birding, singing, story telling or teaching kids to read.

Lebanon teaches kids Enlgish, the arts in their community centers.
And Lebanon has mobile units that bring art therapy & literacy to kids in Syrian  refugee camps.

 Most requested expertise/ skills? Grant Writing & Fund RAising

Almost every organization in the Middle East struggles to raise the funds that sustain them.

So the most valueable skills are:
--Grant writing = proposal writers
--Fund raisers
--Helping to develop an enterprise that would sustain NGO.

Additionally a Jordanian organization requested Public Administration/ Organizational Development expertise
to help them strenthen how they operate as an organization.

Learn Arabic!

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

For many of the positions above,
you really need to be able to understand & speak Arabic.

In the same way that I would not send anyone
to Central or South America who does not speak Spanish;
Directors have asked for volunteers that a solid grasp of Arablic.

The good news? More and more people have gone out of their way to learn Arabic.

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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