Volunteering In Egypt: What You Need To Know

Volunteering in Egypt via Unsplash by Larm Rmah

Table of Contents


Whether you’re taking a work-break, about to make a career shift, just graduated from high school or university and looking into gap year volunteering programs, if you want to spend your vacation right, eager to fill your spare time doing a good deed, exploring a new city or a beautiful country, living like a local, and learning and/or teaching a new skill while giving back to the community, then volunteering in Egypt might be for you.

Volunteering 101: What you need to know

History

When was volunteering first introduced? It is believed that it dates back to World War I -I do believe it started since the beginning of time- when people of all nationalities, from all walks of life regardless of their political views, offered to aid those badly in need during the war, which wasn’t exclusive to the wounded, in fact there were several types of volunteering such as -but not limited to- transferring goods, counting heads, providing supplies, communicating with international organizations, moving civilians to safer areas, etc. Since then, the concept grew to the extent that people now go on volunteer vacations to add purpose to their travel.

So, what is voluntourism?

Als0 known as volunteer tourism, volunteer travel or volunteer holidays.

Google says; it is to freely offer to do something, or to work for an organization without getting paid. Which means that you happily offer your time & effort to do work that you believe will be beneficial to a community. But that’s not it, the practice has proved that those who offer their time to volunteer in their hometown, or abroad almost always gain so much experience in return.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Some of the benefits of volunteering are; your exposure to a new culture or traditions that you are not familiar with, where you could grasp the basics of a local language you’ve always wanted to learn, witness the day to day life and live like a local, experience a country/city with the eyes of a local instead of a tourist or a visitor, share your knowledge with a community that needs your expertise, and also learn from their best practices, and above all use your time to serve a cause.

What are the bad things about volunteering?

From the volunteer’s side

Some volunteers would take advantage of their “voluntourism” opportunity to travel for free, or for a minimal fee, without giving so much attention to delivering high-quality work, or serving the cause they are supposed to be adding value to.

From the entity’s side

Well, some entities are not selective enough, some others do not deliver proper training that would aid their volunteers to accomplish their mission. Also, a considerable number of volunteer organizations ask their applicants, to pay ridiculous amounts of money in order to participate in the program, which in my views kills the point of volunteering, and the whole idea of “freely offering to do something”.

Do not get too excited about a program without asking for details, as some organizations overpromise or else give inaccurate information, then the poor volunteer ends up located in another city/town, given tasks that weren’t agreed upon, or being not paid, or not given money/food although the agreement stated else.

Some tips before getting started

It’s good to agree on the terms of your work before joining any volunteering program, and know that volunteering requires lots of flexibility; be ready to get out of your comfort zone, to deal with people from all walks of life, from different nationalities and/or backgrounds, and to sometimes to deal with situations you didn’t see them coming.

Let me share with you my first volunteer experience at the Little Oasis farm in Dahab ;).

Our list of volunteering programs in Egypt

That’s why we have compiled a detailed list of great volunteer opportunities around Egypt, fitting all interests, for Egyptians and foreigners, giving you the chance to travel and volunteer in Egypt, a country that is filled with endless choices & activities to do & enjoy, let alone how budget-friendly it is, which might be the next best thing you do for the community, and yourself altogether.

Out of Cairo Volunteer Work Opportunities

Learn Farming at The Little Oasis, Experimental Desert Permaculture Garden (closed till further notice)

  • Location: Dahab, South Sinai
  • Age Requirements: none 
  • Type of Work: farming (better to have some previous experience, but not necessarily), watering, animal feeding, goat-milking (if you can), veggies, fruits & eggs collection, and producing some goods for Dahab’s Friday Market
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who don’t mind waking up early :D, and be nice & friendly to all farm’s visitors, and can handle little creatures that can appear in an open space
  • Duration: minimum 3 weeks to a month
  • Tuition Fees: EGP 30 per day including 2 vegetarian meals & some snacks
  • Accommodation: included in wooden huts
  • Program Dates: flexible, upon arrangement with the farm
  • Facebook Page: here

Teach your native language at Ahlan School

  • Location: Luxor
  • Age Requirements: none 
  • Type of Work: volunteer teachers who are willing to teach their native language to Egyptians, and do administrative & management work
  • Eligibility: foreigners who are learning Arabic, or have the will to, and have the ability to teach their native language to Egyptians, in addition to partaking in management & administration roles
  • Duration: minimum 3 months
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Accommodation options: apartments, homestays, hostels & hotels with rates starting from 70 euros per week
  • Program Dates: starts on the 1st & 15th of each month
  • Facebook Page: here

Collect dates & olives at Fahmi’s Garden

  • Location:  Siwa
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of work: woodworks & harvesting
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners skilled in wood-making are needed all year round to build treehouses or do other woodwork projects; everyone is welcome to help harvest time of dates & olives in November
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: included as well as food
  • Program Dates: November for dates & olives harvesting, but wood-working is all year round
  • Facebook Page: here

Enhance your farming & clay building skills at Organic Farm Wadi Marawan Camp

  • Location: Dahab, South Sinai
  • Age Requirements: preferably 20+, all depends on previous experience
  • Type of Work: Organic farming & building houses made of clay
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners are welcome to volunteer, but only those who already possess organic farming & clay building skills
  • Duration: at least 15 days
  • Tuition Fees: EGP 50 per day
  • Accommodation: included with 2 meals
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

You might as well read: our complete guide to getting the best out of hippie Dahab

Teach English at ConnectIn Groups

  • Location: Siwa
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of Work: English teaching & admission
  • Eligibility: Egyptians or foreigners who can teach English, or can work in school admissions
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: included with 2 meals per day
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

You might also want to read all about: Siwa sand baths

Care for animals at Animal Care in Egypt – ACE

  • Location: Luxor
  • Age Requirements: 18+
  • Type of work: mainly animal care, but is also open to volunteers of all walks of life
  • Eligibility: anyone who loves animals, and cares about their well-being
  • Duration: minimum 1 week
  • Tuition Fees: it’s not a tuition fee, instead volunteers must fundraise following these guidelines
  • Accommodation: included in shared en-suite twin rooms
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Read also: 10 Dog-Friendly Places in Egypt

How to volunteer at Hawyet Siwa

  • Location: Siwa
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of work: highly depends on what kind of help do they need, but mainly hospitality, renovation or construction
  • Eligibility: open to anyone
  • Duration: depends on the project the volunteer is working on
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: included with 2 meals per day
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Organic farming crash course at Habiba Organic Farm (HOF)

  • Location: Nuweibaa, Sinai
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of work: organic farming
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners
  • Duration: 3 days, a week or two
  • Tuition Fees: EGP 1200 for the 3 days program, EGP 2350 for a week program, & EGP 3950 for a two weeks program
  • Accommodation: included, in addition to two vegetarian meals per day
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Looking after environment friendly projects at Pharaoh Dive Club

  • Location: El-Qoseir and/or Dahab, Red Sea
  • Age Requirements: 21+ & in good health
  • Type of Work: completing reef clean-up dives, establishing survey sites, supervising and taking part in Beach Clean Ups at the local dive sites, and liaising with local conservation bodies such as HEPCA and RSEC
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who dive, or are willing to learn diving. This is more of a volunteer diving program.
  • Duration: minimum one month
  • Tuition Fees: GBP 700 for a month stay (including diving lessons in the weekend)
  • Accommodation: included with breakfast in furnished apartments in Dahab, or eco hut style room at Roots in El-Qoseir
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

You might want to consult our beginners guide to Red Sea diving

All skills needed to establish Shamofs Camp

  • Location: Siwa, Western Desert
  • Age Requirements: 20-50
  • Type of Work: building, gardening, sewing, painting, handicrafts-making, & woodworks. Those are the main duties, however as the camp is still under establishment, you could be asked for more tasks
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who are flexible & are willing to give a hand
  • Duration: minimum 20 days
  • Tuition Fees: EGP 40 per day to cover your meals
  • Accommodation: included
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with the camp
  • Facebook Page: here

Teach kindergarten-aged kids at The Bedouin Primary School Project

  • Location: Dahab, South Sinai
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of Work: teaching kids ages 3 to 6
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners are welcome to teach kindergarten-aged kids
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included, but they can help you find accommodation
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: it’s a group, not a page

Help is always needed at Nanshal Siwa

  • Location: Siwa
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who are flexible to give a hand at any given task, and not allergic or fear cats
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of Work: highly depends on what kind of help do they need, but mainly hospitality, renovation or construction
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: included with 2 meals per day
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Volunteers from all walks of life can help the cause of Catherine Exists

  • Location: St. Catherine in Sinai, but most roles do not require being based there
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners; first and foremost those with a passion for Catherine Exists’ cause
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Needed Work: marketers, fund-raisers, head-hunters, ambassadors, operations, tutors, decorators, & doctors
  • Duration: highly depends on the mission the volunteer will be in charge of
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Accommodation Options: AlKarm Ecolodge, only 5 minutes from the community center
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Cairo & Giza Opportunities

Female teachers are needed at Nile River School

  • Location: Al Ayyat, Giza
  • Age Requirements: 25-40 years
  • Type of Work: Education
  • Eligibility: Females who are able to deal with children, & capable of taking care of their personal needs
  • Duration: 2 – 6 months
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: Provided
  • Program Dates: always welcoming new volunteers
  • Facebook Page: here

All farm related tasks at Al Sorat Farm

  • Location: North of the pyramids of Abu Sir near Sakkara Country Club
  • Age Requirements: Over 10-12
  • Type of work: This is a farm where new projects are always initiated. Volunteers will be taught; how to take good care of animals such as goats, sheep, donkeys, horses, dogs, and poultry. The farm has a drip irrigation vegetable garden where new plants are cultivated regularly and seeds are harvested, that’s beside veterinary care provided for animals in the area for free, being a center for schools, families & visitors to learn about the plants and animals of the farm. Volunteers could teach classes, prepare lunch for visitors, milk goats, make cheese, and introduce visitors to the edible farm plants and herbs.
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who are flexible to do any type of work related to animals, & to the farm, and can manage to get to the farm, where there is no public transport. They can often help volunteers get to the Metro near Moneeb.
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: Free. Lunch is provided for EGP 30 per day, generally cooked from the farm’s produce
  • Accommodation: not provided
  • Program Dates: To be arranged
  • Facebook Page: here

Assist refugees enjoy a better life at Refuge Egypt

  • Location: Cairo
  • Age Requirements: 18+
  • Type of work: English teachers & assistants; French teachers; occasional per-project opportunities, such as clothing or food distributions; office work requiring at least conversational Arabic
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners
  • Duration: minimum one month
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Accommodation options: housing at a guest house for 25$ a night including breakfast
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Animal lovers can apply at ESMA (Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals)

  • Location: Giza
  • Age Requirements: none
  • Type of work: volunteers can choose whether to work at the dog shelter or the cat shelter where they can help socializing, bathing, walking, bottle feeding, feeding, helping in medical aftercare for some of the cases, flight parenting (act as a courier to an adopted cat or dog flying outside of Egypt), cleaning & organizing the shelter
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners who are animal lovers
  • Duration: no special requirements
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Legal advisors & teachers are required at STARS – Saint Andrews Refugees Services

  • Location: Cairo
  • Age Requirements: depends on the task
  • Type of work: legal advising and/or education
  • Eligibility: Egyptians & foreigners with previous legal advising experience specialized in refugee legal aid, also English teachers & tutors
  • Duration: for the legal advisors a minimum of 6 months, but for teachers at least 10 weeks, for tutors at least 2 months
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Program Dates: for legal advisors January till July, but for teachers & tutors it could be arranged with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Release the dreamy farmer inside you at the Egyptian Hydrofarms

  • Location: Cairo-Alexandria Desert Road
  • Eligibility: anyone eager to learn about farming
  • Age Requirements: 12+
  • Type of work: farming
  • Duration: no special requirements. A task would require 30 minutes of learning, with practice you gain the skill
  • Tuition Fees: none
  • Accommodation: not included
  • Accommodation options: can help you find nearby accommodation
  • Program Dates: upon prior arrangement with them
  • Facebook Page: here

Volunteer work programs that suit almost everyone

Incomplete Information

Aswan

Siwa

Fayoum

Dahab

Hurghada

We want to encourage people to do more of community service trips, as we cannot stress enough, at how these programs hugely influence the Egyptian society as a whole, but also have a positive impact on our lives as humans too.

We’d like to make this list grow, so if you happen to have solid information in regards to any volunteer opportunities in Egypt, or can complete the missing info that we couldn’t get our hands on, please mention them in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.

*Information & pricing are updated as of December 2017

**Our featured image is courtesy of Larm Rmah via Unsplash

We hope you really liked this blog post, as much as we enjoyed putting it together. If you want to ask us any questions, or engage with other people, join our Facebook group here.

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Egyptian. Ex-Lawyer. Former Corporate Slave. Travel Blogger & Photographer. Proud Kilimanjaro Summiteer. Budget Traveler. Thrill Seeker. Foodie.
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