Jusoor Summer Volunteer Program 2017

 

The Jusoor Summer Volunteer Program in Lebanon gives young adults from all around the world  the chance  to volunteer at Jusoor’s  educational centers in Lebanon.  It offers a life changing experience and raises awareness about the situation in which Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are living. Designed as an educational ‘summer camp’, the program aims at providing new and engaging learning experiences for the students in our educational center. Boosting the children’s self-confidence, psychological well-being and self-expression skills, the program provides entertainment and educational activities that are full of fun, happiness and positive energy for all participants.

 

In this program’s fourth cycle in 2017, participating volunteers will help us:

  • Facilitate educational activities for children. The offerings will be influenced by the skills and interests of the volunteers and could be in, but aren’t limited to, the areas of visual arts, music, theatre, film, storytelling, outdoor/sports activities, peace-building activities,  science experiments, and language learning.
  • Help improve our school, by renovating rooms and turning them into beautiful classrooms.
  • Help develop activity and educational resources that will help our teachers year-round.

Volunteers are required to apply with a project or activity in mind. These projects might include a final outcome like an art show, science exhibit, or theatre play, they might involve training the students in an  area like yoga, or sport.

 

We encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply

The volunteers get to learn first-hand about the refugee crisis and education in emergencies. They  work along other enthusiastic individuals who share the same passion to help others. There are ample opportunities for practicing Arabic, designing and implementing educational activities, getting to know Syrian and Lebanese teachers, and learning about diverse regions and communities in Lebanon.

  • I’m so glad I found so many friends here. I’m planning to come here again next summer.

    — Leonhard Weiss, 2016 —
  • Thank you Jusoor for a very memorable summer

    — Moyasar Al-Tatari, 2016 —
  • Volunteering with Jusoor is by far the ‘once in a lifetime’ life-changing event I’ve ever experienced.

    — Nour Barazi, 2015 —
 

Program Details and How to Apply

The program starts with four days of orientation and training in dealing with English as a second language, classroom management, as well as preparing activities for the first week, after which every volunteer is assigned to a classroom at one of Jusoor’s educational centers. Jusoor runs three centers one in Beirut and two in the Bekaa valley in Jib Jannine and Jarahiyeh. The Beirut and Jarahiyeh centers serve around 300 children each. The Jib Jannine center serves around 700 children.

The children are between the ages of 6-12 years old. The centers’ primary goal during the formal school year is to provide remedial primary education so that these students can enter the formal Lebanese public schools and succeed there. The Summer Volunteer Program provides a ‘summer camp’ experience that constitutes a key opportunity these children have to participate in extracurricular activities.

At the centers, the volunteers will run activities for five days a week for a period of 3 weeks, and each will be paired with an Arabic-speaking Syrian or Lebanese teacher or volunteer.

During the course of the program, the volunteers will run activities within the classrooms in collaboration with their Arabic-speaking co-facilitators and the larger Jusoor team in Lebanon. Volunteers are also asked to write blog posts about their experience on a regular basis, which we will then share with the larger Jusoor community. You can see blog entries written by previous volunteers here.

This year’s program runs from July 17 – August 13, 2017. To join, please submit this application form by May 1, 2017.

To cover transportation and accommodation fees, we ask that volunteers contribute $1,000 each upon acceptance into the program and before June 15, 2017. If the volunteers would like to arrange accommodation on their own, we request $300 to cover transportation fees.

For more information or questions, please write to us at volunteer@jusoorsyria.com.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can volunteer?

A: Anyone can volunteer as long as they are older than 18 years old. We have had volunteers come from all around the world with different backgrounds and ages. What they all had in common was their passion, dedication and drive to make the children of Syria smile. We welcome applicants who have teaching backgrounds, but are happy to work with any volunteer interested in helping.

 

Q: What are the activities/program in place?

A: Activities are flexible and tend to change every year, keeping the program as creative and diverse as possible. We are aiming at having volunteers who have ideas to implement in the areas of visual arts, music, theatre, outdoor/sports activities, peace-building activities, science experiments, and language learning.

 

Q: How long does the camp last?

A: The camp is three weeks long. Camp days are between 4 hours and 6 hours long, and volunteers usually spend 1-2 hours preparing outside of camp time.

 

Q: What will we do during the first four days of orientation and training?

A: During orientation you will be introduced to the other volunteers, Jusoor staff, and the educational centers. We will also orient you to Lebanon, Jusoor’s programs, and the summer camp’s activities, and give you a quick introduction to working in emergency education, and providing psychological support to the children you will be working with.

 

Q: Is speaking Arabic a requirement to volunteer?

A: No, we have had non-Arabic speaking volunteers who were as passionate and engaged in the work as Arabic speaking ones. The educational center staff will be with you during the duration of the program, and we will do our best to ensure that each classroom has an Arabic-speaking facilitator in the room with a volunteer who does not speak Arabic.

 

Q: How much does the trip cost overall?

A: In addition to the cost of the flight, which you are expected to cover, you are also expected to cover the cost of your accommodation transportation, food, and additional trips that we might take together (the trips will be optional). In previous summers, this has amounted to $1,000 for accommodation and transportation.

If your proposed project/activity requires resources (e.g. paint, balls) that we do not already have, we encourage participants to carry on the cost or at least contribute to it.

The currency in Lebanon is the Lebanese Lira, but you can use US dollars. There are ATMs everywhere, and so you can easily withdraw cash for additional expenses (don’t forget to let your bank know that you are traveling).

The accommodations we provide you with will have kitchens, so you can prepare your own meals if you wish, though restaurants are easily available. Costs for eating out can vary, but you can expect to spend between $3-15 per meal. During the school day, you can either bring your own lunch or order food.

 

Q: What should I bring with me?

A: Prepare to live for three weeks in a hostel-type accommodation. While nearly everything you could need is available close by, you might find it useful to bring things like towels and comfortable toiletries.

While summer in Lebanon is hot and humid, the learning center environments are conservative in terms of clothing requirements. For women, this means you might want to cover your shoulders and knees. For men, this means you might not want to wear very short shorts. Previous volunteers highly recommend cotton pants and loose, comfortable layers for your work in the learning centers.

If you have a project or activity in mind, please bring all or some of the materials you might want to use with you. We can provide basic art and sport supplies, but for more advanced projects, we appreciate you coming prepared.

Additionally, if you are skilled in photography or filmmaking, we would appreciate it if you could bring your cameras and expertise to help us document the program!

 

Q: On what basis will you select volunteers?  

A: We will select volunteers based on their commitment to participating in the program and quality of their submitted projects.

 

Q: Is it safe and secure to volunteer in Lebanon given its proximity to Syria?

A: Our previous volunteers report that they find the situation in Lebanon, and in the Bekaa in particular, to be far safer than in their home countries. Instances of personal crime are very low, and although mainstream news often overly focuses on political violence in the region, incidents of everyday violence are rare. We have never experienced any incident of political violence in or near our schools or accommodations in previous years.

 

Q: Where do we stay?

A: We will provide opportunities for volunteers to stay in university housing, furnished apartments, their own accommodations, or hostels, in either Beirut or the Bekaa Valley. The final housing decisions will be made according to the number of volunteers participating in the program this year. Volunteers will stay in shared gender-segregated rooms.

 

Q: Do I choose to which school I will be allocated?

A:No. We will do our best to make sure that every volunteer feels comfortable at the school they are allocated to.

 

Q: What can I do now to start preparing for the program?

A: You can start by designing your project and getting all the materials ready for it. You will have approximately 12-14 days to implement your project with children during the summer camp. You can also start reading about Syria and Lebanon and studying Arabic if you like.

 

Q: What’s next?

A: Please read Jusoor’s volunteer guidelines here and fill out the application here by May 1st. We will then contact the semi-finalists to set up a Google Hangout conversation to discuss your ideas and answer any additional questions you might have. We will then arrange individual Skype calls with selected volunteers to discuss the next steps in greater detail.

 

 

 

Back to Top