Le volontaire et membre de l’Assemblée Générale de JAVVA Mahmoud Quesreh connaît très bien ce qui implique participer à un projet international de volontariat. En tant qu’ancien demandeur de protection international, les leçons qu’il tire des ses nombreuses expériences sont particulièrement précieuses et méritent d’être lues par ceux.lles qui hésitent encore à partir faire un projet avec des jeunes de différentes nationalités.

Nous te remercions profondément pour ton engagement, Mahmoud !


International volunteering challenges

(for refugees and people from around the world)

Being volunteer in the international environment sometimes it is not easy especially for the first time, there are some difficulties and challenges you may face during the project so you need to be prepared for it and here what I am going to tell you from my experience as an expert international volunteer.

Since 2016 I have done more than 16 international projects in different countries in Europe and I have met a lot of people and I have learnt a lot from them.

I have been a leader for more than 5 international workcamps and 2 youth exchange and this helps me to see the world differently.

As a refugee, the biggest fair always faces me is people won’t accept me as who I am, I was always trying to not to tell people about my situation and avoid talking about this subject but sometimes I had to face situations I had to talk and guess what? It was great I felt very happy because I shared my story with other people and give them real information about refugees (not like in the media).

What you may face (as a refugee and from around the world) in an international volunteering project?
– You have to know that you may live with other people in the same room (for example) or cook with them and you need to respect the other person culture.
– You will see different culture from yours (especially if you are refugee), for example in some countries people feel normal by hugging a lot or they don’t mind playing games that you have to break the comfort zoon of other people. If you don’t feel comfortable about it you just have to say it, don’t be shy from telling what makes you feel more comfortable.
– Being in an international volunteering project means you need to work with a team, if you are not ready for it, don’t do it. It is very important to listen to other people opinion (even if you disagree) and sometimes you have to do what other people want, that’s very normal.
– You may see people who are totally against you and your culture (especially if you are refugee) and this happened to me personally in one of my projects, you have just to avoid talking to this person and be respectful, this may happen in 1 of 10 situations.
– You may see people who can speak fluent English and better than yours, that’s ok. If sometimes you don’t understand them you just ask them to repeat, it is totally fine.
– Most of the time (if not always) people will drink which is very normal, and they may offer you a drink, if you don’t drink you just say it, it is totally fine.
– Before you apply to any project make sure you read the info sheet very well, some volunteers they just apply and get accepted and they don’t know what they are going to do and when they arrive they will be shocked.

In the end, if you are a refugee or any person from the world, it is a very interesting opportunity for you to be a volunteer in international level and I advise you to do it at least once a life.

What do you think?

Rédigé par Mahmoud Quesreh, animateur et membre de l’AG de JAVVA