Volunteer with Project Amal ou Salam

DSC_0305Amal-ou-Salam-Jorden-2015-2Thank you for your interest in volunteering with us! We love hearing from passionate people from all over the world who want to volunteer their time and resources to help the brave children of Syria.

Our next workshops will take place in Lebanon at the end of August/early September (dates TBC). The call for volunteer applications will be posted on this website and on social media. If you’d like to join us, you’ll have to send an email to projectamalousalam@gmail.com, introducing yourself and telling us why you’re interested in volunteering and how you found out about our work. Feel free to include your resume or links to social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to help us learn more about you.

We are hoping to see many new volunteers at our next workshops and are particularly interested in educators, therapists, and others with experience working with children, especially those affected by trauma.

Below are answers to some of the questions most frequently asked by prospective volunteers. If your question isn’t answered below, drop us a line and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible!

Q: What are the qualities you look for in a volunteer?
A: Our volunteers come from many different backgrounds and professions, but they all have one thing in common: they are passionate about helping the children of Syria. They also see their volunteering with Project Amal ou Salam as an ongoing commitment that starts before the workshops and continues long afterward. Our best volunteers find other ways to help out and contribute all year long — by sharing their experiences with friends and family members; or by hosting fundraisers; or by volunteering remotely to meet the many ongoing needs of our organization. Your passion, dedication, enthusiasm, and commitment are what make our work possible and sustainable.

We always welcome new volunteers and are particularly interested in educators, therapists, and others with experience working with children, especially those affected by trauma.

Q: What does a typical day/week with Project Amal ou Salam look like?
A: Please follow these links to see a typical itinerary and schedule.

Q: What are your expectations of volunteers?
A: With 12-hour days, we expect our volunteers to be 100% committed to the work and to the children, and prepared for challenges that you probably don’t often encounter in your everyday life. Working with several dozen children for hours at a time — and keeping them smiling and out of trouble! — is a Herculean task as it is; the fact that the kids we work with have been exposed to the horrors of war and refugee life makes it all the more challenging. We are thankful to have volunteers who always put the kids’ needs first and recognize that the frustrations they may face during our workshops pale in comparison to the hardships of these kids’ lives.

Q: Do volunteers pay for their own expenses?
A: Yes. At Project Amal ou Salam we pride ourselves on our commitment to using 100% of donations for the kids. That means that volunteers are responsible for their own travel, accommodations, and other expenses while volunteering with us. We recommend the website momondo.com for finding inexpensive plane tickets. You can expect to spend about $50 per night on accommodations; we work with first-rate hotels in our service locations to get competitive group rates for our volunteers.

Q: Is any financial assistance available to support volunteers?
A: All of Project Amal ou Salam’s donations go directly to support our work with the children. If you would like to do your own fundraising to help fund your expenses as a volunteer, you are welcome to do so; but you must make it clear on your fundraising site or on any communications about your efforts that you are raising money for your own expenses and not for Project Amal ou Salam. For this type of personal fundraising, we recommend using GoFundMe.com.

Q: Is there an age limit for volunteers?
A: Yes. You must be 18 years old or older to volunteer with Project Amal ou Salam. If you are under 18 and are interested in supporting our work, you can find other ways to contribute here.

Q: I don’t speak Arabic. Can I still volunteer?
A: Yes. We have fantastic Arabic-speaking volunteers who partner with our non-Arabic speakers to run workshops together. We know that our non-Arabic speaking friends have other amazing talents to offer, and we are happy to be able to include them in our work and benefit from their experiences. However, we do expect all non-Arabic speakers to learn all the vocabulary in the phrasebook we provide and to make their own efforts to practice Arabic before arriving in-country — this could include one-on-one lessons/conversation exchange with an Arabic speaker, or Rosetta Stone/independent study, etc. Please note that if you do not speak Arabic, you must be a fluent English speaker.

Q: Can college students volunteer?
A: Yes. Additionally, if you’d like to earn undergraduate or graduate credit for your work with Project Amal ou Salam, you can apply to participate in George Mason University’s course Approaches to Conflict Management and Resolution: Field Work with Syrian Refugees.

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