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Humanitarian jobs??

Hooligan

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2005
So I was thinking yesterday that i would want to do some humanitarian work. I think it's time I help out the poor instead of letting the rich feed off me. So I started to check Red Cross to see how I can be a field worker or whatnot.

What I found was that more or less you have to be a doctor or something in those standards. I don't even have a Univeristy degree. Does that mean I won't find any jobs? I'd really like to go and help out the people in however measure I can.

Do you guys know of another organization that it would be easier to get into?

KateL57

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  • Added on: November 29th, 2005
I think it is pretty hard to get jobs in this field unless you are highly qualified, experienced or have specific skills to offer.

I think the Red Cross does have a position called "delegate" that involves fieldworkd and requires strong communication and organization skills, but also a college degree I think as well as fluency in French (as well as English).

You might look into volunteering - I've heard of an organization called peace brigades international that selects volunteers to accompany local human rights workers. They do require fluency in Spanish for the programs in central and south America and have or had a program in Indonesia that they recommend a language class for (!). You might also check out idealist.org, though I think you will find that you probably have to pay for many of the programs, and I don't know how much of it you would consider humanitarian work.

There are a couple of humanitarian-work websites - I think relief.org or .net is one. But again, they usually require advanced degrees or technical skills...if you are really motivated one way might be to get some certification in one of the technical skills they need.
Make cay, not war - Kesmen

Lost76

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  • Added on: December 1st, 2005
Work in international development and humanitarian relief is very hard to come by. I have spent the last 8 years getting a masters degree, volunteering, doing internships and gradually working my way upwards, and am finally strating to get somewhere with my career. You will be very hard pushed to find something without a degree, although if you managed to get several years of field experience (which, of course, is hard to get unless you are willing to volunteer - and even volunteer work is hard to get without a university degree - yeah, I nknow...) then they might let you bypass it.

My advice to you would be if you really feel that this is something you want to do then go for it - but be prepared that you need to give it 2-3 years before you'll get anywhere. You will more or less need a degree. To be honest, many organizations won't even consider your CV if you dont also have a masters. You also need experience from one or preferably several developing countries, doing proper work with organizations based there (not short-term volunteering with a gap year type organization). An extra language is a bonus. Volunteering in your home country with eg a human rights organization or similar would boost your CV too and is a good way to demonstrate your genuine commitment.

As a hint, if you did want to specialize in something at a university level, a skill such as engineering, nursing, nutrition, or similar is always useful - and always in demand.

finally, as was mentioned above, the Red Coss do have delegates that they send out, which is a very good scheme but might take a few years preparation....check out wwww.idealist.org in addition to relief web mentioned above. They also have a lot of volunteer and internship opportunities.

Good luck (and hey I hope I am wrong and you find it very easy!)

crackerjillian

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Began Gap Year Trip Six Years Ago
 
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  • Added on: December 1st, 2005
You can also volunteer at home. Mercy Corps is another organization that always accepts volunteers. As far as aid work abroad, I'm looking at getting into it and am expecting at a few more years of getting experience before I expect to really find work I want to do. I'll have my degree in June and am trying to get a job in France next year so I can learn French. I already speak Spanish and I figure French will help a lot as well. Considering I want to be involved in the education end of things, I'm expecting to need several years of hands on experience before I'll be able to find any NGO type work.

If anybody has any first hand experience with this I'd love to get any info you might be willing to impart!

KateL57

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  • Added on: December 1st, 2005
It's interesting to see more posts here...

I think Lost has a good point about the language...and I wonder if it would help you to have a more unusual language so you would stand out - if you can narrow it down to where you want to go. I think French is required for a lot of international organizations, and Spanish is obviously spoken all over the place.

If you are up for getting some technical skills, check out what they look for for Doctors Without Borders. Obviously they need doctors, but I think they do need some technical support staff too...I know several people in Sarajevo who worked with/for dwb and all had very positive things to say.

I tried to find an unpaid internship while I taught English part-time in Sarajevo. There are still tons of international organizations around, but I found it really hard...most people who responded wanted volunteer English lessons! I think one of my mistakes was not being specific enough about what skills/services I wanted to offer. If you approach organizations independently, maybe it would help to have a very clear working knowledge of what they do and a specific idea for what you could contribute. (maybe this is stuff everyone else knows, but at the time I tried to find something, I thought it was better to be general so they wouldn't just pass me up because they didn't need whatever skill I was offering.)

another website with jobs is "theirc" I think.
Make cay, not war - Kesmen

Ilina

Thorn Tree Refugee
 
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Joined: November 11th, 2005

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  • Added on: December 2nd, 2005
I can probably arrange something for volunteering in a NGO in Kosovo. Write me more about what interests you.
Cheers

Elis

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  • Added on: December 3rd, 2005
I think one thing that's easy to oversee, Hooligan, is that the poor all over the world have plenty of hands around. That's basically why it's necessarry to have an specific education to be in demand for humanitarian work. Picture it, slums all over the world have millions of unemployed adults capable of working who only request food and shelter. So basically, you have to make sure you have something extra to offer, because if they're looking for unskilled hands they've got plenty who need the work more desperately than you.

Once you've digested that bit, there's one more piece of bad news: there are also large numbers of unemployed university graduates in the third world. (the world bank actually tries to discourage countries from turning out more college grads than they need, they're a tough bunch to control politically). Back to the thread on hand: the better NGOs will typically also try to hire on a good number of qualified and university educated locals, so that makes it even harder for you.

But honestly, what about your own area? get started there, gain some valuable experience (while taking language classes on the side, maybe Russian or Swahili). That could give you a chance even if you never desire to see the inside of a university lecture hall.

Appleseed

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Joined: December 6th, 2005

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  • Added on: December 9th, 2005
quote:
Originally posted by Hooligan:
So I was thinking yesterday that i would want to do some humanitarian work. I think it's time I help out the poor instead of letting the rich feed off me. So I started to check Red Cross to see how I can be a field worker or whatnot.

What I found was that more or less you have to be a doctor or something in those standards. I don't even have a Univeristy degree. Does that mean I won't find any jobs? I'd really like to go and help out the people in however measure I can.

Do you guys know of another organization that it would be easier to get into?


Hi there,

I'll be heading towards Cambodia next July to help out in an orphanage. This fortunately do not requires any qualifications. You can check out http://ohf.org.sg/index.html This is a project set up by a Singaporean and I think they welcome people from all over the world to help.

Hope this piece info is of interest to you.

Smile

NPM

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  • Added on: April 15th, 2010
The site humanitarianjobs.info deals with the question of how to find work in relief and development in detail.

Jeff_Houston

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Joined: October 26th, 2010

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  • Added on: October 26th, 2010
This isn't exactly working for the poor but it's definitely working for people who need your help.
http://careers.amedisys.com has a number of home health care jobs available.

sarahg

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Joined: March 28th, 2010

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  • Added on: November 12th, 2010
If you can make a long-term commitment (and you may have to be American, I'm not sure), the Peace Corps might work out well for you. You can make enough to live on and would definitely be doing field work. I've also heard that in the international development field, it's a huge career booster, so it would improve your chances of being able to do humanitarian work later on as well. But, if you don't have a degree you do need to have several years of work experience. If you are young, the best thing might be to volunteer locally (wherever you are, there are charities that can use help) while working on a degree.



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