A recent global survey has indicated that refugee crisis is at its worst since World War II with more than 60 million people in need of help. To mitigate this social crisis, there are different initiatives that have been rolled out by communities and organizations across the world. One such initiative is volunteering programs for refugee camps abroad.
Today there are hundreds of opportunities for volunteers. Governments and non-governmental organizations are constantly looking for people interested in working as volunteers for refugee relief. You might want to seize this opportunity if you truly would want to help these migrants find stability and peace. There are a number of areas in which you can serve as a volunteer in the camps. They include:
- Collecting and distributing food and other supplies in the camps
- Conducting medical check-ups and providing medical care
- Providing basic support services for families and caring for little children
- Counseling individuals that have experienced traumatic events
- Teaching English and other subjects
There are many more ways in which you can make a difference for both individuals and families in refugee camps. But before you get started, there are a number of things you might want to consider. Read on to find out.
Which organization will you work with?
There are plenty of organizations out there, but the question is which one suits you best? Your main interest is volunteering in refugee relief. As such, the organization you choose must primarily focus on refugee issues. Find out the number of years they have been working with refugees. By getting this information you will get a feel of whether the organization is really worth your support.
Where can you go?
Currently, the Syrian refugee crisis is the one on every news headline. However, there are many other countries where people are fleeing their homes and countries due to natural disasters, political persecution and civil war. Places worst hit by refugee migration include Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Myanmar. Countries where these refugees flee include Turkey, Greek, Hungary, Europe, Jordan, Kenya and Lebanon. These are the countries where you are likely to be placed since they have high refugee populations. When deciding the country to go, consider any language skills you may have, the climate as well as the cost of food, housing and flight.
What do organizations look for in volunteers?
You have to meet specific requirements for you to qualify as a volunteer. You must be passionate about volunteering in refugee camps, be sure you’re up to the challenge of the placement and have strong awareness of cross-cultural sensitivity and communication. Many organizations tend to recruit volunteers with particular skills. There is often great need for volunteer teaching staff, cooking staff, medical practitioners and photographers.
How do you choose the areas to volunteer?
The kind of work you choose to do in your placement will largely depend on the skills you currently have. If you have training and experience in teaching, you can be one of the volunteer teachers in the camps. However, if you have no training or experience in medicine or nursing, volunteering as a medical caregiver isn’t a good fit.