46 Refugee Volunteer Opportunities: Make An Impact if You’re in High School or Beyond
Ahmed Sami Raihane
Do you keep yourself updated on current events? Or maybe you prefer
to catch up on the news with your daily cup of coffee? Regardless of
how you stay informed, we're thrilled that you've taken the time to learn
more about the refugee crisis and how you can make a difference.
Whether you're a high school student or someone else, there's always a
chance to support pressing issues, especially ones that affect the entire world.
Educating yourself on the refugee crisis is a crucial step in determining how you can make a
There are many ways to become informed on the situation, including reading articles or
conducting a quick
online search. As an overview, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency, a staggering
number of over
100 million people have been forced to flee their homes globally. The causes of displacement,
tend to stem from conflict, human
abuse, and persecution:
How Can I Help?
Want to make a positive impact on the refugee crisis? You're not alone! High schoolers, teens,
young adults and beyond have the potential to make a real difference through volunteering.
Ask yourself what motivates you - is it a desire to help others, a passion for global relief
causes, a calling in the humanities or healthcare? Maybe you even know someone personally
impacted by the situation. The world needs individuals like you to bring your unique skills,
empathy, and drive to the table and make a difference. Your contributions can make a lasting
impact, not only on your community but on the world!
When Do You Start?
By the time you're done reading this article, you'll have ample amount of insight into
learning how to help with the refugee crisis. Lucky for you, you can do everything
remotely and with the click of a mouse. There are, of course, other in-person options,
and those will be discussed as well. Given that the refugee crisis is an ongoing issue,
volunteering will be vital year-round. So, to answer the question posed, you're starting
RIGHT now! Given that your life is probably quite busy with school or work and time is
sparse, planning your volunteering time is essential for not only you but the cause you
wind up supporting! The big question you must ask yourself is how much time and resources
you can dedicate to these causes -- Luckily, most of these opportunities give you full
flexibility to decide on how you can contribute!
How Do You Choose Where To Volunteer?
When it comes to supporting a cause, there are a multitude of options available
for you to choose from. To ensure that your time, effort, and funds are directed
towards a trustworthy organization, consider using
Charity Navigator. This website
evaluates volunteer organizations and charities, working in collaboration with the
IRS and its partners to offer "unbiased ratings." This gives you peace of mind in
knowing that the program you decide to support is reputable and reliable.
Here are some tips to consider when choosing a cause to support:
Find out if the organization's mission aligns with your values.
Research the charity's documented impact.
Examine reviews and social media presence of the organization.
Don't hesitate to reach out for guidance and support from members of charities and
non-governmental organizations. They are always grateful for individuals who are willing
to help make a difference with important causes.
Inspire Your Humanity
The devastating effects of the earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria in early February
2023 has shaken the world to its core. With over 20,000 confirmed deaths and countless
others injured and trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, the situation is dire.
The freezing temperatures and already existing poverty in these countries make the need for
aid and rescue efforts even more pressing.
In response to this crisis, Molhamteam, a global charity, has launched an
"Earthquake Response Campaign"
to provide direct aid and resources to those affected by the disaster.
Founded by a group of Syrian university students, this organization was
established with the goal of aiding refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
Over time, the organization has grown to supply food, shelter, and medication
to those in need and has expanded to include legal offices in several countries
including Germany, Sweden, Canada, and Turkey. The goal of Molhamteam remains
unchanged: to put an end to world suffering.
Ways To Help:
To make a difference in the lives of those affected by
in Turkey and Syria,
consider advocating for others to donate to organizations such as Molhamteam. Utilize your
social media platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and your school's
to spread awareness about the urgency of the situation and encourage others to help.
You can also start your own fundraiser through
media pages to
raise funds and educate others about the disaster. Options include the Earthquake
Response Campaign, Snowstorm Response Campaign, and the Displaced People in Arsal
If you have the means, consider sponsoring a child in need.
If you are interested in volunteering, you can reach out
firstname.lastname@example.org and they will assist you
in finding remote
to help families in need.
Other trusted organizations that could use your support
include AFAD, AKUT, Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations,
AHBAP, and OXFAM.
Also, consider signing the "Progressive International"
is aimed at lifting US-EU sanctions to provide direct aid to Syria.
Write to the White House, your local governor offices, and other
political bodies to advocate for refugees and the need for fiscal government support.
The International Rescue Committee:
Humanitarian aid organization
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) was established to provide support to refugees
conflict in Europe. Today, the organization operates in over 40 countries and 28 cities in
the United States to assist individuals and communities affected by humanitarian crises to
Ways To Help:
to the IRC is extremely helpful,
there is much more you can do as a volunteer!
You can start a fundraising campaign in your community,
school, or on social media platforms using a partner website called "Tiltify."
By clicking the link, you can access a toolkit provided by
the IRC to learn how
you can raise money for a cause you're passionate about, including increasing
access to clean water, creating cash vouchers for necessities, or expanding
access to educational programs.
The IRC also provides the opportunity to
host a live
stream fundraiser for a cause of your choice on platforms
like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Instagram, and more. You can find a
step-by-step guide on setting up a charity live stream in this 5-minute
Finally, the IRC has created over 141
different volunteering opportunities across the United States.
After you search for a volunteer opportunity that matches your goals,
you get interviewed by an IRC staff member, attend a remote IRC orientation,
complete a background check, and go from there.
Deploy an offline digital library in a refugee camp
Ámaxa has partnered with Teach by Tech to deploy a digital
library to refugees in need at another
refugee camp around the world. Using a Raspberry
an offline digital library provides
educational content to a large population of refugees who do not have access to traditional
education or Wi-Fi to access educational material online. The offline library actually
own Wi-Fi, allowing anyone who wants to access content to download it onto their own phones.
By joining the ámaxa program to accomplish this project, we will match you with a team and a
mentor who will help you deploy a library to a new refugee camp and make a real impact on
refugees living there!
Ways To Help:
If you’re in high school: apply
now! We will match
you with a remote team and a mentor
that will guide you in solving your problem in 4-6 months.
Alight was created to assist refugees with resettlement and first began as a
response to the Thai-Cambodian border crisis. Originally known as the
American Refugee Committee, Alight is currently creating hundreds of
health, sanitation, and educational services worldwide, serving
over 3,000,000 people worldwide.
Ways To Help:
Alight is always looking for volunteers and further has a
of internships that are remote to help
assist those in need of resettlement and resources.
You can further create skill-based projects, attend events, and much more. They also
reaching out to email@example.com. For instance, if you're interested in
or have other skills, they may be able to create a
tailored to you!
Save the Children:
Humanitarian Aid Organization for Children
"Save the Children" has a mission to ensure that every child has the chance to thrive.
Established in 1919
after the conclusion of World War I, the organization has worked tirelessly to bring an end
hardships faced by children throughout Europe. Today, more than 100 years later, "Save the
continues to make a difference, operating globally, including in the United States, to
provide support to
children during times of crisis.
Ways To Help:
Get involved and make a difference with Save the
Children! You can
start your own fundraiser
help of the organization. Simply reach out to
how you can make a lifelong impact, whether it's supporting the
U.S. Border Crisis, the recent earthquake crisis in Turkey/Syria, or something else.
You can also support the Children's Emergency Fund for
that hit the Syria and Turkey border by clicking here
for more information.
Currently, Save the Children has created a "Children's Emergency Fund" for the 7.8
that struck the Syria and Turkey border. Click here
to find out more information on how you can help.
Join one of the "Races
2023" events to raise
funds for children around
the world. Click here to see the list of races and choose one that interests you.
There are also numerous
opportunities available, such as
advocating for children, starting fundraisers, volunteering through your school or
workplace, and even
starting a Save the Children school club. If you're outside of the United States, check
out this special
page just for you to learn about the options to support global causes remotely!
Additionally, you can take part in various campaigns! By
#STOPTHEWARONCHILDREN movement, you can contribute to ending the conflicts affecting
countries such as Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, and Yemen. Click the link to show your
support! There are
also other ways to help children worldwide, including checking out the Save the Children
(SCAN) and exploring the opportunities it
Jesuit Refugee Service:
Accompany, Serve, Advocate
Originally founded by Father Pedro Arrupe, over 25,000 Jesuit leaders in the past worked to
Vietnam crisis. Now, Jesuit Refugee Services (JRS) can be found around the world with a
mission to serve
and advocate for refugees as well as those forcibly displaced by conflict. The goal of this
is to help people heal and come up with strategies to rebuild their lives and determine a
Ways To Help:
Good news! You can still make a difference for JRS even
comfort of your home. One way to support is by contacting your local policymakers and
refugees’ rights and services. Sign up for JRS Action Alerts
to stay informed
about petitions and
pledges that you can support, such as investing in refugee humanitarian education,
protection, and asylum safeguards. Your voice truly matters in making a change! For
instance, the JRS
currently has opportunities such as signing petitions for the 118th Congress committee
resources in refugee humanitarian education, psychological protection, and the creation
for those seeking asylum. They just reached that goal of 500 signatures! Keep up the
alerts so you can
continue mobilizing these needs.
Further, the JRS has events you can attend via zoom
and in person.
Every year the JRS also has a national advocacy day in which you, yourself, can bring
your voice to the
table. You can even view past events on the JRS website to inspire your future volunteer
Lastly, if you are religious, JRS has prayer resources available with
over 20 prayers and reflections to provide comfort and hope for those affected by the
important to find what works best for you so that you can make the biggest impact
British Red Cross:
Worldwide Humanitarian Charity
The British Red Cross is one of the largest organizations in the world aiding refugees. Aid
comes in the
form of providing health and education services for refugees and asylum seekers. Further,
organization goes a step above and beyond to help vulnerable migrants and survivors of
Ways To Help:
As a high school student (or any other individual), you
this organization by becoming a member of the Every Refugee
community. The more individuals who
take this pledge, the more visibility these critical issues receive. The pledge is also
being used to
oppose the Nationality and Borders
prioritizes the method of a refugee's arrival in a
country over the reasons and dangers that prompted their escape. The passage of this
bill would result
in millions being stripped of their rights, criminalized, and even incarcerated. It is
emphasize that every signature counts.
The pledge is as follows:
I believe every refugee matters.
I believe every refugee should be able to find
I believe every refugee should have a
I believe every refugee should have the support
I believe every refugee should be able to rebuild
and contribute to society.
If you would like to help contribute to the British Red Cross, please sign here, and
share the pledge on
your social media and in your community.
Participating in Miles for
Refugees in June is another way you can
support the British Red Cross. This event offers six different distance options that
journeys refugees have taken to find safety. Your aim is to raise £150 through your
profiles, which will be donated to the cause. Keep checking the website for updates on
2023 and future
Directly assisting the British Red Cross by volunteering
refugees with their casework, administration, and interpretation needs is also a great
way to help. The
British Red Cross has a database to
help you find volunteer opportunities in your area, along with
information on how to apply. Additionally, they have resources available for teaching
others in your
community about the refugee crisis and how they can help. It's never too early or late
to become an
educator in your community.
Another way to support refugees is by purchasing
refugees. From specialty coffee to recycled cards, mugs, and more, these unique items
not only make
great conversation pieces, but also have a significant impact on the lives of those
RefugePoint was established with private funding to reach out to refugees who have been
traditional humanitarian aid. Initially established to provide HIV care for refugees in
organization now operates in over 30 countries to offer medical assistance and resettlement
the most vulnerable individuals.
Ways To Help:
A meaningful way to support RefugePoint is by leaving a
impact. This organization provides you with the chance to directly contact their Chief
Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn
options and pledges that can advance their
mission. Get in touch with them for more information on how you can make a difference!
ORAM - Organization for Refuge, Asylum,
ORAM is a pioneering internationally recognized non-governmental organization (NGO)
dedicated to helping
individuals who are fleeing persecution based on gender identity, expression, and sexual
organization may be a great cause for you to support if you're an ally of, or a member of,
community. Some of the initiatives that ORAM directly supports include providing HIV
access to sanitary facilities, and offering legal support for those affected.
Ways To Help:
valuable to this organization. Another
way you can get involved is by participating in their live seminars and pride
ORAM's newsletter is a great way to stay updated on event dates.
Although this form of giving back may seem like a big
a high school student (or anyone in general), there is the option of sponsoring an
seeker. If you or your family have the resources to provide a warm and safe environment
for someone in
need, ORAM will work directly with you to make that happen. Not only will you form a new
someone from across the world, but you will also help promote conversation about
prejudice, and acceptance. You can find more information by contacting email@example.com or visiting
their website. Don't
hesitate to reach out
to ORAM for other opportunities, as they welcome all forms of
RCUSA - Refugee Council USA
RCUSA, established in 2000, aims to provide protection and support for asylum seekers,
refugees, and those
who have been displaced. A significant portion of RCUSA's efforts is focused on promoting
laws that encourage collaboration between the government and civil society. With a network
of more than 33
non-government organizations across the United States, RCUSA is dedicated to making America
welcoming place for those seeking refuge.
Ways To Help:
Looking to support RCUSA and make a difference in the lives of refugees? Here are a few ways
Sponsorship Partner with a
local community sponsor and
welcome a refugee family with open arms! This is your chance to show empathy, love, and
those in need. Check out this interactive
map to find opportunities near you.
Advocacy: Make your voice heard! Whether in person or
advocate for policies that support refugees and push back against anti-refugee
pledges, engage with local policymakers, and connect with national and state
resources to help you find individuals to contact at the city, municipal, and
Volunteering: Lend a helping hand at your local
Whether you're working at the front desk or teaching English, you can make a positive
impact in the
lives of refugees. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for
on how you can get involved.
Share Your Story: Your story has power! Whether you're a
member, refugee, supporter of refugee rights, or an advocate, share your story and
raise awareness about
the importance of supporting refugees.
IOM - International Organization for
IOM is one of the top leading intergovernmental organizations that specialize in the field
With over 175 member states and offices in 100+ countries, IOM is on a mission to promote
conditions for all and has aided over 1.7M+ migrants. Their water program has helped over
individuals, cash-based assistance has reached 1.9M+ individuals, and over 4.8 million
from their shelter and non-food item assistance.
Ways To Help:
IOM has ample volunteering opportunities and internships to help
assist migrants around the world. They do have a minimum threshold of being 19 years old
to apply, so
this may be a perfect opportunity for you to keep in the back of your mind if you're
education or would like a career in assisting refugees in crisis.
On the other hand, volunteering opportunities are not
limited by age!
The IOM works directly with a program known as the United Nations Volunteers.
and the organization will work to find you volunteering opportunities either remotely or
WFP -World Food Programme:
The World Food Programme is one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations that work
individuals recover from disaster, conflict, and more. Typically, this organization focuses
funds for food assistance and disaster relief. Working in over 120 countries, this relief
does more than short-term resolutions, they give the tools to women, children, farmers, and
improve productivity and create pathways to stability.
Ways To Help:
To support the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP),
various ways to get involved and make a difference in the fight against hunger. One of
the simplest and
most fun ways is to play the game "Free Rice." With
answer, 10 grains of rice will be
donated to WFP. This game not only provides a fun way to volunteer, but also helps raise
support for various issues faced by refugees, such as health and nutrition, climate
action, and gender
Another way to support WFP is by pledging your commitment
hunger through their organization. You can sign appeals
such as the Madagascar Emergency Appeal and the
Urgent Yemen Appeal, and make your voice heard.
Lastly, if you have innovative ideas for food relief
encourages you to share them. Regardless of your age, you have the potential to come up
to real-world problems. If your idea is feasible, you could receive up to $100,000 in
funding, mentorship, and access to WFP's network. Submit
an application to WFP today if you have a call
to action and want your idea to be seen and heard!
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee
Safeguarding Immigrant and Refugee Children
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) has a rich history of aiding refugees,
its establishment to help those displaced by war in Europe. Over time, the organization
broadened its scope to support refugees beyond the Lutheran community. Currently, LIRS is
providing critical legal services to refugees, assisting them with navigating the complex
Ways To Help:
LIRS offers a variety of volunteering
opportunities for individuals
to make a difference in the lives of refugees. From advocacy and national programs to
detention visits, foster care, and pen pal ministry, there is a cause for everyone to
support. You can
sign up for a volunteer contract form and
let LIRS help
you find the right opportunity to fit your
Through the "ACT" database, you
can have a direct
impact on the lives
of refugees. For example, the "Fresh Change" program enables you to welcome new
immigrants by providing
them with a bag of clothing. You can also organize a Fresh Change clothing drive in your
If you have language skills, you can sign up to be an interpreter
phone or Zoom with the Border Servant Corps and assist refugees around the world. Other
joining or starting a pen
pal program to keep refugees connected with their loved ones. With so many fun
and meaningful ways to get involved, I encourage you to click here and discover
the other programs
available to make an impact.
IRAP - International Refugee Assistance
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) is dedicated to supporting refugees in
of safety. They do so through offering legal aid, engaging in litigation, advocating for
and more. IRAP recognizes that refugees often face political and economic marginalization,
so they work
tirelessly to level the playing field and protect the rights of those seeking refuge. IRAP
has made such a
significant impact that it is now supported by several law schools in the United States,
volunteer their time and skills to assist those in need.
The International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) focuses on supporting refugees by
providing legal aid,
undertaking litigation, advocating for policy change, and more to defend the rights of
refuge. As refugees often face marginalization on both political and economic fronts, IRAP
tirelessly to address imbalances in public policy and protect the rights of those in need.
received widespread support and recognition, with multiple law schools in the United States
organization and providing volunteer opportunities for their students to support those in
For more information on the types of litigation IRAP engages in, including their efforts to
discriminatory policies and bills, as well as access to legal resources, click here!
Ways To Help:
Awareness is key - stay informed about the challenges
refugees by subscribing
to IRAP's newsletter.
Keep an eye out for IRAP's remote Zoom events,
where you can learn
about direct ways to help those in need. They welcome new participants and are eager to
about their cause.
Voice for Powerful Action
Refugees International was established with the aim of advocating for the provision of
safeguarding the rights of displaced individuals globally, developing solutions for
issues, and advancing human rights in developing countries. It's worth mentioning that the
operates independently, as they do not receive funding from the government or the United
impartiality strengthens their credibility when working with the US administration, the US
UN, and other governments worldwide. Originally founded in 1979 to support refugees in Laos,
Vietnam, Refugees International has been tirelessly working towards its ultimate goal of
lives of those most in need.
Ways To Help:
There are several ways to support Refugees International,
attending events hosted by the organization in New York City and Washington, DC.
attendance may be challenging, events are usually live-streamed and can be viewed on the
blog. Stay informed and
updated about the
plight of refugees worldwide by subscribing to their
and be alerted of
any volunteer opportunities that arise.
Refugees International is committed to advocating for
help persecuted and oppressed communities. Right now, they need your support to pass the
Adjustment Act. You can make a difference by volunteering your time to sign the pledge
and sharing it
social media. This will not only bring attention to the cause but also notify your local
of your support. By using the hashtag #ThisIsHome, you can also join the effort to urge
Congress to act
on this bill and help over 70,000 Afghans restart their lives in the United States after
took control of their country.
to find ways to share this pledge on social media and help
refugees find a home.