Who will be sending help from the states?
July 25, 2006 7:52 AM   Subscribe

Where does one go if they're interested in humanitarian work in war-torn countries.

What organizations send people off to Lebanon, Israel, or even Solamia to help with war/postwar efforts. Not so much rebuilding (Halliburton/KBR), but helping people (Red Cross, United Way). I'm more interested in long term assistance, nothing under 6 months.
posted by killyb to Human Relations (9 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Don't know about INSIDE, but OUTSIDE organizations concerned with war-torn areas include The Institute for War and Peace Reporting in London, and The International Crisis Group in Brussels.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 8:18 AM on July 25, 2006

Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF)?
posted by handee at 8:23 AM on July 25, 2006

(That's Doctors without borders, but I think they mostly use the French name)
posted by handee at 8:24 AM on July 25, 2006

AmeriCares is often very early on the ground.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:56 AM on July 25, 2006

You'll probably want to look at jobs listed under "international development" and then the subcategory of "ER" or "crisis."

Usually you need to have a certain level of experience in an NGO environment, but language skills count for a lot. Oh, and getting a job at MSF is REALLY HARD for someone without experience.

Here are some places to start looking:

www.reliefweb.int/vacancies/ -- this is very emergency/conflict based

-- similar to reliefweb

www.devnetjobs.org/ -- very international and updating multiple times a day, this is the best site for development jobs internationally

http://www.idealist.org -- general NGO job search, very US-centric but updates many times a day

http://www.fpa.org -- foreign policy association, updates frequently

www.bond.org.uk/ -- this is a UK-based NGO site, doesn't update frequently but has a lot of good lists of NGOs

http://www.eldis.org/news/jobs.htm -- very international but often sharing jobs from other sites, worth checking out though

jobs.un.org -- obvious

http://developmentgateway.org/ -- has sector-based job listings, updates infrequently
posted by k8t at 10:52 AM on July 25, 2006 [3 favorites]

I have a friend who was researching a book on refugees/refugee camps and did a fair amount of travel that was somehow related to Human Rights Watch : hrw.org

I haven't looked much into it beyond that, but it might be a useful lead/resource.
posted by jrb223 at 11:08 AM on July 25, 2006

With the very greatest of respect, you go here: http://www.uk2.msf.org/donations/

Unless you have very specialised skills you're of no interest at all to MSF / Red Cross. Even if you've got them many of them won't want you for at least 2 years because you've got them from the armed forces and military mindsets and humanitarian aid do not happy campers make.

There's no shortage of local labour in these places to do grunt work re-building and they're likely to have local construction, materials and language skills that you don't. To be honest, they need the money more than you need to feel good about yourself. War's impact tends to be economic as much as anything else and NGO jobs are one of the very decently paying jobs in many marginalised zones.

You should also be aware that NGOs do not work in seriously war torn places. For instance MSF pulled out of Afghanistan more than 2 years ago because they couldn't guarantee the safety of their people. When you see the Lebanese Red Cross in action it's all local volunteers operating a local 'franchise'. Again, no foreigners required.

Please accept my apologies in advance. I do not mean this reply to be patronising and goodness knows the world needs more people who feel the same urge as you.

You've got a couple of options: i) retrain and get skills that are desperately needed in the places you want to work, water sanitation engineers and logisticians always welcome! ii) Use you existing skills and go and do something like Voluntary Service Overseas. If you're here perhaps you're a technologist; there's a ? (I seem to remember reading something about a technology NGO called 'Geekforce' but Google / my memory fails me).

Frankly you're going to do more good teaching English in Africa or implementaing a computer network for Cambodia than you are putting one brick on top of another in Beirut.

On a related note. Have you made the pledge yet?
posted by dmt at 1:38 PM on July 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

DMT was that tech NGO Geekhalla?
posted by ramix at 1:53 PM on July 25, 2006

Maybe you mean GeekCorps.
posted by phearlez at 2:48 PM on July 26, 2006

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