HE. DOES. NOT. GET. IT. (beaute__exquise) wrote in political_angie,


Does anyone here do any volunteer work for organizations such as UNHCR? If so, when did you begin and why did you choose your organization? I would like to volunteer with programs, but I'm not sure where to begin looking. If you can share anything with me I would greatly appreciate it :)
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I haven't been able to start with humanitarian work yet, but after my mission with my church, I'm applying to work in the church humanitarian department (I'm LDS). It's a great start, and gives experience for the future when I could get enough under my belt to apply for the UNHCR. Between my 2 year mission, and the possibility of the Peace Corps (we'll see where life takes me :)), I will have enough experience to apply for a P-2 entry level position with the UN[HCR].

I was actually in the process of looking for internships when the whole mission idea came along and everything is sort of on hold.

I would just start with small steps...check your area for ways you can do volunteer work. I did volunteering for shelters for women and children victims of domestic abuse. Then I started doing hospital work. Then, through the church, I've participated in (next project I'm coordinating) humanitarian relief projects, including for the Tsunami. I've worked with immigrants [volunteer] in getting them on their feet when they get to the US.

Start small, work up.

My dream is to work in any US/UN dept., but specifically there's a place in my heart for the UNHCR (as I've got a heart for other cultures, seeing it upclose), and any sort of humanitarian dept.
Thanks, this comment really helped. Did you contact your church for volunteer work or speak to the shelters/hospitals directly?
Both. For my church, you contact the headquarters in Salt Lake City (humanitarian department). Locally/Regional/State levels I contacted the places directly. Seriously, just call/email/whatever you can do. Places are SO willing to take you on board and are looking for volunteers, coordinators, chairmans, everything. Start small, and then you'll have the resume to move on to big things!
you can do this in the summer..its a camp called ZEEC- zambiezi environmental educational camp...its located near sioma, zambia. you stay their 2 weeks and go into sioma and help teach at local primary and secondary schools, you may also help build buildings or waterholes or gardens etc. Its the most amazing life experience...if you want to know more you can check out...http://www.hohliebi.ch/Zambia/ZEECTitle.htm and contact Mr. and Mrs. Curtis.

you also get to travel to Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe...see attractions such as Victoria Falls and safaris..

there is also a refugee camp an hour north of where you stay in zambia, groups before have been able to visit there, unfortunatly i didnt get to. you see several UNHCR trucks though :)

Thank you so much :)
also! if you want to see pictures of what the camp and being in the town with the children look like...you can check out my site: nataliekrebs.piczo.com (look on the africa page)
thanks :)

did you find it hard to adapt to the environment/people?
in fact no. i was worried about that..but wow..it was so easy. It is a HUGE change you live without electricity and the culture is completly differnt. Plus your surrounded by poverty. yet...these are the friendliest people i have ever met, they smile and wave and are just genuinely happy to see you. Even the most stuck up girls can get adapted quickly there :)
I was going to volunteer with this group last summer, but decided to wait for a number of reasons: http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org/

They sound pretty good, not to mention safe. Good luck in your search.