We could not do our job without the help of volunteers. Volunteers participate in the activities of Refugee Council mainly as integration mentors and language buddies. We also offer refugees the opportunity to work as mentors. We have sent and are sending volunteers abroad to our humanitarian aid projects. But you can also contact us if you have another idea or suggestion!
If you are interested in volunteering in our activities, sign yourself up!
What exactly do volunteers do?
- Integration mentors are volunteers whose task is to support the cultural and social adjustment of refugees, help them to set and keep in mind long-term goals in Estonia by using coaching methodologies. Intergration mentors receive appropriate training before taking action.
- Language buddies help refugees to learn Estonian. You don't have to be a philologist or a teacher to help people from another country learn a language! Language buddies support formal language learning through the practice in common situations. There is no need for textbooks or a curriculum, only the will to communicate with one refugee in Estonian once a week. For our part, we provide little preparation and simple instructions for being a language buddy.
- Employment mentors help refugees find work or start their own business in Estonia. Entering the labor market can be quite difficult for refugees who have arrived in Estonia - whether it is a doctor or an ordinary worker. Employment mentors are themselves successful specialists or entrepreneurs who, based on their experience, can help people who are only looking for a place in the labor market with the help of counseling. Ideally, we try to bring together a mentor and a refugee from the same background - a Syrian dentist with an Estonian dentist, a Yemeni chef with an Estonian chef.
Other options. You may also have other skills or experiences that you would like to share with Estonian Refugee Council. For example, we are very happy if a volunteer wants to contribute to the activities of a men's or women's club with a workshop or activity. We are also grateful if you happen to know the real estate market well and can give us recommendations for finding rental apartments for the refugees. Contact us and we will look for the right opportunity for you!
As an organization, we value the contribution of volunteers. Estonian Refugee Council has been recognized with the Volunteer Friend quality label issued by the Estonian movement Kodukant. The organizations that have received the label have participated in a special program and have thoroughly considered the involvement of volunteers and organized the volunteering activities in accordance with good practice.
In December 2016, President Kersti Kaljulaid presented the Estonian Refugee Council with a title of Volunteer’s Involver of a Year.