In Israel today, approximately 32 percent of the adult population are volunteers of one kind or another, which demonstrates that volunteerism is popular and highly regarded in the country. Several programs offer volunteers from abroad a chance to live in Israel, usually on a short term basis, and participate in a variety of different volunteer organizations.
The first step in choosing a volunteer position is to decide what type of opportunity best fits your personality, skill set, and qualifications. Volunteerism is performed in a number of ways including: developing new services, direct assistance to the needy, assistance to organizations, and activism towards social change.
Developing New Services. Most social services provided by the Israeli government were developed with volunteers in the framework. Examples of this could be: community health programs, hospitals, elderly care centers, and home assistance programs for the elderly. A prime volunteer to fill a role in this capacity would need to be a compassionate individual who may have a background in health care services, or a desire to pursue a career in this field.
Direct Assistance to the Needy. Examples would include: providing assistance to new immigrants, helping prepare and serve meals in soup kitchens, helping victims of assault, and assisting the homeless. A volunteer would need to have a desire to help with social issues, and be a comforting individual who can see the larger picture.
Assistance to Organizations. There are many types of organizations that are always looking for people to lend a hand. Examples could be various nonprofit organizations (cancer societies, hospices, or group homes) that would need assistance with providing information and guidance to the public. Volunteers with public relations or fundraising experience would be an asset in this type of role.
Activism Towards Social Change. Volunteers could be indirectly helping to change policies and behaviors.These actions could be done by proposal writing, and raising awareness within the community. Examples could potentially be: active participation in public protests to influence positive change, and participation in community committees intended to improve the quality of lives for those less fortunate. A volunteer who is passionate about positive change and comfortable speaking with many different people would be best suited for this volunteer position.
Israel is truly an amazing country with countless opportunities for international volunteers looking to make a difference in the lives of millions of local people in need of assistance. Whether you are helping care for an elderly person in need, serving meals at a local shelter, or writing press releases for an upcoming event, you are helping make the world a better place for us all.