Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions on the 14km International Volunteer Programme

General Information

What is the purpose of the 14km volunteer programme?

The main purpose of the 14km volunteer programme is to create strong social networks between individuals and organisations from the MENA region and Europe and, by doing so, to promote inter-regional dialogue, mutual learning and intercultural understanding. In addition to that, the programme supports the important work of 14km’s Arab partner organisations, and at the same time provides young volunteers and interns with an opportunity to gain professional skills and experience life in the MENA region.

Does the programme offer paid internships? Does 14km offer funding for the internships?

No. All 14km internships are unpaid (the programme itself is run by unpaid volunteers). However in most European countries there will be other institutions and organisations that offer scholarships or other kinds of funding for your internship. Yet, it is the responsibility of the applicant to seek out these external funding opportunities.

Is accommodation provided by the hosting organisation?

The hosting organisation is not responsible for your accommodation. Nevertheless, the hosting organisation is expected to help you in your search for an appropriate accommodation. Our team of 14km volunteer programme officers will provide you also with practical tips for how to find accommodation at the site of your internship.

Can I choose the organisation I want to intern/volunteer with?

In essence, you can indicate us what kind of organisation you would like to intern/volunteer with. Our aim is to accommodate your interests and requirements with the needs and requirements of the host organisation. However, it might happen that your profile will not match the selection criteria set up by the organisation you are most interested in, or that the organisation does not offer a placement at the exact time you require. In this case, we will endeavour to find a suitable alternative that matches your needs and can accommodate your internship request at the given time.

For how long am I expected to intern/volunteer?

The usual period to intern/volunteer is between two and five months. There are significantly fewer organisations which offer placements for less than two months. It also makes more sense both for you and the host organisation if you intern/volunteer for a minimum of two months or more, as in the beginning a lot of time will be spent on you learning and getting a grasp of the host organisation’s work and your tasks – thus, the shorter you intern, the shorter the period where you will actually be able to apply what you have learnt and be of help to the host organisation.

Do I need to have any special skills or previous work experience?

Not necessarily. However, every skill or experience you have makes you eligible for a larger number of organisations.

Do I have to speak Arabic for an internship/volunteer placement facilitated by 14km?

Not necessarily. Most of our partner organisations are happy to host interns/volunteers with a good knowledge of English or French. However, knowledge of Arabic is considered an additional asset by most of the organisations.

What kind of work will I be doing as an intern/volunteer?

The tasks assigned to you during your internship/volunteer placement are generally defined by the work fields and needs of the organisations as well as by the intern’s skills and interests, and they vary according to the organisations in question. Tasks might include participating in grassroots activities and events, maintaining social media activities and other public relations work, conducting research, organising workshops and other events, participating in fundraising and project development, among others. You might want to have a look at the reports of former interns to get an impression of what they worked on during their internships.

How many hours am I expected to intern/volunteer each week?

Typically, interns/volunteers work around 30 to 40 hours per week, but the involvement varies according to the individual organisations. If you would like to do a language course parallel to your internship/volunteer service, this is usually welcomed by the organisations and it is best to discuss with them during the facilitation process how working hours can be arranged for this purpose.

Eligibility

Can I apply for an internship/volunteer placement if I am under 18 years old?

Unfortunately not.

Can I apply if I am not German?

Absolutely! We welcome anyone who wants to intern/volunteer in the MENA region. The facilitation is done online and via Skype, so you will not incur any travel costs for the interview.

Are the internships/volunteer placements only for students?

The internships/volunteer placements are open to anyone regardless of their educational or professional levels. There is also no age limit.

Application procedure

How do I apply for an internship/volunteer placement?

Get in touch with us at volunteer@14km.org

Is there a deadline for submitting my application?

There are no fixed deadlines. Yet we ask you to submit your application at least three months before the desired start of your internship/volunteer service in order to give us enough time to find you a suitable placement.

What is the 50 Euros handling fee for?

The 14km volunteer programme is run by 14km volunteers who do not earn any money from their facilitation task – they decided to spend some of their time and energy to support intercultural exchange between Europe and the MENA region through the facilitation of internships. The 50 Euros handling fee that you are asked to pay for the facilitation of your placement is used to support the work of 14km, which consists in promoting intercultural dialogue and cooperation between the two regions through different projects, workshops and events. Thus, you can consider them as a donation. We can give you a donation receipt for tax deduction if you contact us for it separately at info@14km.org with your name, address and date of payment. If you would like to donate more, you will make us more than happy and help us to make an even bigger contribution to understanding, exchange and cooperation between the two regions.

Why do I need to pay the handling fee of 50 Euros before I have been accepted for an internship?

Due to a number previous applicants spontaneously cancelling arranged internships (on which our volunteer programme officers spent a considerable amount of unpaid time and energy) we have seen ourselves forced to ask for the fee before undertaking the task of arranging internships/volunteer placements in order to be sure of your commitment. Please note: You are asked to pay the handling fee before we start the actual facilitation process with an organisation, however only after we have done an initial interview with you to check the general suitability for an internship with one of our partner organisations (if this suitability is not given, you will be informed and do not have to pay anything). Also, if in spite of our attempts to find you an internship/volunteer placement we do not succeed to do so, you will be reimbursed the 50 Euros.

 

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