Volunteer Legal Advisors

Arab World, Law, 1-11 months, 12-23 months / Job ID: 1632

This organisation serves refugees through English language instruction and community support. It was one of the first organisations in the country dedicated to improving the quality of life of refugees and vulnerable migrants. Their purpose is twofold: to provide high-quality services meeting unaddressed needs of refugees and to provide a safe and inclusive space for displaced people to come together as a community.

We offer unpaid legal internships for qualified candidates for minimum 6 months. Volunteer terms begin in January and July. Volunteer Legal Advisors work under supervision and conduct intake and follow-up interviews with clients apply refugee law and policy to clients cases and prepare written submissions to UNHCR IOM and other national immigration authorities as appropriate. While volunteers receive training instruction and guidance working independently and taking initiative are necessary skills. Qualified volunteers will attend a one- to two-week training session prior to the beginning of their volunteer terms and will work at least 20 but ideally 40 hours a week and for a minimum of six months.

Candidates should have an interest in international law and refugee issues have strong research and legal writing skills and have their own laptop computers to bring to the office. They need to be flexible and sympathetic to cultural expectations and be able to work independently and take initiative to work with maturity and professionalism in stressful situations and with emotionally-difficult subject matter and to write and speak English fluently.

Midwife/doula/feeding expert

Arab World, Medical / Health, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1631

A small volunteer organisation is working to improve birthing knowledge and breastfeeding advice.

Helping prenatal and postnatal training deliveries and breastfeeding advice among locals and expats.

You should have experience of working in this area with a degree of flexibility and adaptability.

Teachers

Arab World, Education, 2+ years / Job ID: 1131

The vision of this non-profit accredited international school is to educate students academically culturally and spiritually with a Christian worldview through a biblically-integrated educational program which challenges them to impact the world. The course of study is based on an American curriculum. We also use the rich local historical and cultural heritage to enhance our childrens educational experience.

Teachers for different subjects and classes.

We are looking for a committed Christian who is actively involved in ministry with consistent participation in a local church and a role model of Christian character for the young people and their families.

Nurses

Arab World, Medical / Health, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1328

One hospital has provided compassionate healthcare to the people of this village for over 100 years. It is a full-service hospital with 75 beds and 24-hour staffing. For many families the hospital provides the only opportunity for affordable quality medical care. Another hospital opened in 2010 at the request of the community and in 2012 treated over 27000 patients.

We require nurses who can train nurses and upgrade the quality of nursing.

Nurses should be dedicated Christians with a nursing degree.

Physiotherapist

Arab World, Medical / Health, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 387

Various projects work with mentally and physically disabled children.

The role will involve working with disabled children and training nationals.

We need a trained physiotherapist who is able to be flexible and adaptable.

Phonics / Literacy Coordinator

Arab World, Education, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1124

A Learning Center meets the needs of refugees by running an urban school for over 500 primary and high school children. It desires to train refugee teachers to become competent teachers.

We need someone to head up these subject areas phonics and literacy to do assessments of students to determine the students that require literacy support and to work with the teachers to establish times and ways to support each student in need.

We need dedicated Christian teachers.

Studies in the Middle East

Arab World, Education, 1-11 months / Job ID: 1444

This theological seminary serves several Protestant churches in the Middle East. It offers a one-year introduction to the Middle East. A great place to get orientation in local culture Islam and Middle Eastern Christianity. Courses can be taken for credit or just audited. There are also ample opportunities for language-learning.

Student

Single people can stay on campus. Couples need to find accommodation off campus.

Community Centre worker

Arab World, Community Development, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1506

Established in 2015 the Centre is a holistic response to the unique challenges faced by the most-at-risk communities. At the Centre we provide a safe space for women to come together to learn grow and share their experiences making our work essential to the local community. An average of 700-1000 visits are made to the centre every month. The programs and safe space that we offer make a difference to each and every one.

Our work involves improving the lives of locals including refugees and vulnerable nationals. We provide vocational skills such as computers and literacy to create empowerment and self-sufficiency. We also offer counseling and lectures to equip beneficiaries with coping mechanisms to deal with stress and for the integration of refugees into the host community. We would like to begin providing vocational skills for men also. Our mission is to provide a safe community equipping through education counseling and mutual support. We welcome volunteers who can pass on skills such as English teaching and handcrafts. Other classes offered by the centre include aerobics and soap-making. We are particularly in need of social workers Funding Proposal and report writers Business Strategists for handicrafts marketing and product development social media and marketing specialists.

Good English skills and relevant experience in their field are needed. Some Arabic is vital. We need empathic people with a servant heart. You need flexibility a love for people and a desire to share Christ in word and deed.

Church Volunteer (various)

Arab World, Theology / Church, 1-11 months, 12-23 months, 2+ years / Job ID: 1513

The Churchs vision is to grow to train people for ministry to design new programs and activities for youth and children to increase unity to be a neighbourhood church that attracts the neighbours to its services to increase social activities and to minister to the refugees in the area.

There are many possibilities for this role: the church and neighbourhood have many needs but the need is for human resources. The church would like someone who is able to fulfill one or more of the following roles: Youth work tutoring (French and English) music (for example to start a choir with the youth) teaching English to refugees working with the elderly (the church has an old peoples home — nursing experience would be a bonus) visiting refugees in the neighborhood and co-ordinating relief writing grant proposals and administration to improve ministry in the neighborhood medical ministry beginning a theological/ministry training centre manual work to maintain the church building.

The ideal person for this role is someone with entrepreneurial characteristics willing to work independently but with a high degree of judgement and cultural sensitivity. No specific qualifications are required if you are able to carry out one of the listed roles. If candidate has no working Arabic some Arabic study whilst in country is required.

Serving God without leaving home

A few weeks before my family went to live overseas for the first time, I got a phone call. The caller was an older friend whom I respected.

“Ruth”, she said to me, “I know we talk a lot about Jim’s role. But I wanted to remind you that the reason your family can go overseas is because you are behind him. If he could not rely on you as his wife and mother of his kids, then there would not be the option to go.”

It was the first time I recognised my unique position to be used as a stay-at-home mum overseas. We were heading there with a baby and toddler in tow. Usually the anticipation focussed on my husband's role, whereas mine… not so much. Let's face it, being a stay-at-home mum is not glamorous.

It didn't get any more glamorous overseas. There were still sleepless nights, tantrums and dirty nappies (to be clear: Jim also dealt with all of these – I couldn’t have done it without him!). Besides that, it is tough for kids in a new culture. They needed me close by, especially at first when the street dogs were scary, their tummies were upset and they were still getting used to having their cheeks squeezed by strangers.

But in the Middle East, there is a lot more respect for mothers than I'd experienced in Australia. To locals, I was doing a legitimate role. It was beyond their imagination that I put my children to bed before 11pm at night, or hadn't toilet trained them by 12 months old. But walking the kids to school, shopping at the market and doing my own cooking did make sense to my local friends. And that helped as we built our relationships.

Being a stay-at-home mum also enabled me to use other gifts in flexible ways. Relationship building was part of our ministry within the Interserve team. We loved having visitors and we would often have people over to share meals together because I had the time for hospitality. In the frequently stressful times of a foreign land, this mutual encouragement strengthened and refreshed us all for our ministries elsewhere.

Interserve’s vision is transformed communities. Did I transform anything through my school drop-offs and nappies and pots of spaghetti bolognaise?

Maybe the question is not what did I transform, but what was God doing though me? Like a tapestry that is not yet finished, I can only see scraps of the pattern God was creating. I do know my role contributed to helping us thrive as a family in the country. I had a part in enabling my husband to do the role God had for him. It also allowed me to pour time into building relationships with other cross-cultural workers, to support them in fulfilling their own God-given purposes. It gave me time to see the opportunities, and as the kids got older, to find my niche outside the home too.

I am no hero of the faith, but I trust God used me as a stay-at-home mum. He placed me there, made me the person I am, and gave me my role for that time.

The rest is His story.

Ruth served with her family in the Middle East for six years.
All names have been changed.