Jusoor Summer Volunteer Program

The Jusoor Summer Volunteer Program in Lebanon gives young adults from 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 plight of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon. Designed as an educational ‘summer camp’, the program aims to provide new and engaging learning experiences for the children at our educational centers. The program aims to boost the children’s self-confidence and psychological well-being and provide holistic and inspiring educational activities.

In this program’s seventh cycle in 2020, participating volunteers will help us:

  • Facilitate educational activities for children. These activities will be influenced by the skills and interests of the volunteers and include various activities such as visual arts, music, theatre, film, storytelling, sports, peace-building, science, and language learning.
  • Help improve our centers by renovating rooms and turning them into beautiful classrooms.
  • Help develop activity and educational resources that will assist our teachers throughout the year.

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

We encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds to apply

Jusoor summer volunteers get to learn first-hand about the refugee crisis and education in emergencies. They work alongside 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 the diverse regions and communities in Lebanon.

Program Details and How to Apply

The program starts with three days of orientation and training. This includes advice on classroom management as well as preparing activities for the students. Every volunteer is assigned to a classroom at one of Jusoor’s educational centers.

Jusoor runs three educational centers in Lebanon – one in Beirut and two in the Bek’ka valley in Jeb Jenin and Jurahiya. This year, the program will run in the Bek’ka valley. The Jurahiya center serves around 300 children, and the Jeb Jenin center serves around 600 children. For more information about Jusoor’s centers in Lebanon, please visit Jusoor’s Refugee Education Program page here.

The children are between the ages of 6-12 years old. The centers’ primary goal during the school year is to provide remedial primary education so that students can successfully transition into the formal Lebanese public school system. The Summer Volunteer Program provides a ‘summer camp’ experience that constitutes a key opportunity for children 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 6 – July 31, 2020. To join, please submit this application form by May 1, 2020.

Apply

To cover transportation and accommodation fees, we ask that volunteers contribute $1,000 each upon acceptance into the program and before June 1, 2020. If volunteers would like to arrange accommodation on their own, we request $300 to cover transportation fees to the Bekaa valley, including logistic and operation fees.

For more information or questions, please write to us at

volunteer@jusoorsyria.com

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can volunteer?

Anyone can volunteer as long as they are 18 years old and above. Many of our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds and cultures but they all share the same passion, dedication and drive to improve the lives of Syrian refugee children. We welcome applicants who have teaching backgrounds but are happy to work with any volunteers who are interested in helping Syrian children.

Q: What are activities/programs are in place?

Activities are flexible and tend to change every year in order to keep the program as creative and diverse as possible. Our dedicated volunteers help to implement various activities that match their skills and expertise including visual arts, music, theatre, sports, peace-building, science, and language learning.

Q: Should I arrive in Lebanon before July 6 and travel after July 31, 2020?

Orientation starts on the 6th of July and the program ends on the 31st, so volunteers should arrive earlier than the 6th and leave after the 31st.

Q: What is a typical volunteering day?

We will have two types of volunteers

  • Classroom volunteers: facilitate and lead activities in science, arts, and peacebuilding (including story-telling, songs, photography.. etc)
  • Outdoor-activity volunteers: run recreational activities in sports, yoga, martial arts etc. The school day will start with a 30-min set-up time in the morning where volunteers and teachers prepare and plan for the day. Please have a look at the schedule here.

Q: How long does the camp last?

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

Q: What will we do during orientation week?

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

Q: Is speaking Arabic a requirement to volunteer?

No, we welcome non-Arabic speaking volunteers. Our volunteers will be accompanied by staff at our educational centers, and we will do our best to ensure that each classroom has an Arabic-speaking facilitator.

Q: How much does the trip cost overall?

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 (the trips will be optional). In previous years, this has amounted to $1,000 for accommodation and transportation.

If your proposed project/activity requires resources that we do not have at the centers then we encourage participants to carry the cost or at least make a contribution.

The currency in Lebanon is the Lebanese Lira, but you can use US dollars. Due to the current economic situation in Lebanon, we suggest carrying US dollars as it may be difficult to withdraw money from ATMs. Don’t forget to inform your bank that you are traveling in case you need to withdraw extra funds.

The accommodation is fully equipped with kitchen facilities so volunteers can prepare their own meals, though there are also a number of restaurants nearby. The cost of 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?

Most amenities are available. While summer in Lebanon is hot and humid, the educational centers are conservative in terms of clothing requirements. For women, this means covering your shoulders and knees, and for men, this means wearing long shorts. Previous volunteers highly recommend loose cotton pants and comfortable layers.

If you have a project or activity in mind, please bring the materials you need to run the session. We can provide basic art and sports supplies, but for more advanced projects, we appreciate you coming prepared.

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

Q: Is airport pickup included for my program?

Yes, airport pick up is provided and included in the overall cost of the program. We will arrange a taxi driver to pick you up at the airport and take you to your accommodation.

Q: Where do we stay?

We will provide opportunities for volunteers to stay in furnished apartments in Beirut. 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 with one or two of their fellow volunteers. Volunteers are also welcome to arrange their own accommodation but this will be paid for separately.

All our accommodation providers have been vetted and are checked regularly. We monitor the safety of all our locations, with the well-being of our volunteers our utmost priority.

Q: Do I choose the center?

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

Q: On what basis will you select volunteers?

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

Q: Is it safe to volunteer in Lebanon given the recent political unrest in Lebanon, and its proximity to Syria?

The safety of our volunteers is our number one priority. We work closely with our teams on the ground to assess the local security and safety arrangements, and only provide programs where we have carried out a thorough safety assessment. In addition to this, we will ensure that all safety and security considerations are made clear to you during your arrival orientation. Jusoor staff members are also on hand throughout the program if you need further assistance.

Our previous volunteers report that they find the Bekaa valley to be safer than in their home countries in terms of instances of personal crime such as mugging or petty theft. Although Lebanon has experienced insecurity in recent years, Jusoor has never experienced an incident of political violence in or near our centers. The recent political unrest in Lebanon has not affected Jusoor’s programs and we are continuing to provide education to Syrian refugee children.

Q. Will volunteers be supervised?

All Jusoor summer volunteers will be supervised by local staff while they are working at the educational centers. While not working, volunteers are free to use their time as they wish but we advise that volunteers always inform local staff about their travel plans and when they are expected back.

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

You can start by designing your project and ensuring you have all the necessary materials. You will have approximately 12-14 days to implement your project at the summer camp. You can also read about the situation in Syria and Lebanon, and study basic Arabic.

Q: What’s next?

Please read Jusoor’s volunteer guidelines here and fill out the application here by May 1st, 2020. We will arrange individual Skype calls with selected volunteers to discuss the next steps in greater detail. Volunteers will be asked to share their intended projects and activities. These will be included in Jusoor’s activity booklet which will be circulated and used by all volunteers taking part in the program.

Apply

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