Frequently Asked Questions
Below are answers to some of the most common questions about volunteering with Project Hope. Accepted volunteers will also receive a detailed Volunteer Guide with more information.
- Eligibility + Timing
- Getting here and getting around
- Money matters
- Accommodation + Safety
- Culture + Language
- Other ways you can help
Eligibility + Timing
How old do I have to be to volunteer?
You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer with Project Hope. We welcome mature volunteers.
How long can I volunteer for?
We ask for a minimum commitment of one month, though we prefer volunteers who can stay for three months. In exceptional circumstances, volunteer stays of longer than three months are at the discretion of our Nablus staff.
When should I arrive?
Long-term volunteers (three months or more) will be expected to attend a volunteer training session at the start of their placement. Volunteers should contact us for upcoming training dates and plan their arrival accordingly.
Getting here and getting around
How will I get to Project Hope?
You are responsible for your own transportation to Nablus. If you are accepted as a volunteer, you will receive a Volunteer Guide with detailed directions to the Project Hope office from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, Queen Alia Airport in Amman, or Cairo Airport.
How will I get to my classes?
Many of our classes are held at our English Center, across the street from the volunteer accommodations. For any classes farther afield, a Palestinian translator will accompany you and help you navigate the city. Volunteers are responsible for paying for their own travel to classes, typically less than US $1 each way.
How much does it cost to volunteer with Project Hope?
You will be asked to contribute 500 shekels per month to cover the cost of your housing. We also ask each volunteer to make a US $100 contribution to our materials budget. This money helps us purchase supplies – notebooks, crayons, markers, white boards, etc. – for our students and classrooms.
What is the cost of living in Nablus?
Obviously this will vary depending on how often you eat out at restaurants, whether you travel on the weekends, etc. But you can expect to spend between 10 and 20 shekels per day. Volunteers are responsible for paying for travel to and from classes, but these expenses are minimal, typically less than US $1 each way.
Will I get paid?
No. This is a volunteer opportunity, and we encourage a community of giving rather than reward. Volunteers will nevertheless find that living and teaching in Nablus is an incredibly rich experience. The amount they learn, the skills they gain, the friends they make, and the joy they bring to their students are compensation enough.
Is there funding available to support me?
Unfortunately, Project Hope is unable to offer financial support to volunteers. However, many countries have organizations that provide funding for volunteers. Americans, for example, may be eligible for the AUA Mosaic Scholarship. The majority of our volunteers fundraise on their own before coming to Nablus, which we encourage as a great way to raise both funds and awareness about your trip and Palestine. Visit our Fundraising page for ideas.
Accommodations + Safety
Where will I be staying?
Volunteer accommodation is provided in a beautiful historic Nablus home, across the street from the Project Hope office. Male and female volunteers are housed on separate floors, as per local custom. Depending on the volume of volunteers, you may share a room with up to two others.
The apartment includes kitchen facilities, a washing machine, wi-fi Internet, and a television/DVD player. Volunteers are also currently preparing our beautiful garden as a place to sit, relax and drink fresh lemonade from our lemon tree on those hot summer afternoons in Palestine.
Is it safe?
Nablus is quite safe. The situation has been relatively calm for the past several years. The Israeli military still makes late-night incursions, but these are confined to the refugee camps on the outskirts of the city. The Project Hope offices and accommodations are located in a quiet, residential area. We host more than 100 volunteers every year without incident or injury.
That said, we cannot guarantee the personal safety of volunteers, particularly those who choose to participate in political activities outside of Project Hope.
Culture + Language
What will be expected of me culturally?
Palestine is a predominantly Muslim society, and you will be expected to respect the local culture. We ask that both men and women dress conservatively and refrain from certain behaviors (public displays of affection, drinking alcohol, etc.). More detail on culturally appropriate dress and behavior will be provided to accepted volunteers in the Volunteer Guide.
Do I need to speak to Arabic?
No. A translator will accompany you to all your classes to facilitate communication with your students. You will also receive free Arabic lessons throughout your stay to help you master some of the basics.
Where will I be teaching?
We hold classes in a wide range of locations — community centers, libraries, private schools, refugee camps, etc. You may be teaching in any combination of these locations, or across the street from your accommodation in Project Hope’s new two-story English Center, which houses several classrooms, a computer lab, and a lecture hall.
What teaching resources are available?
English teachers will be given our curriculum materials, based on Oxford University’s Headway series. Volunteers will also have full access to the Project Hope library, which contains a wide range of additional teaching materials. Volunteers will have access to printers, scanners, and photocopiers to prepare lesson materials, though we ask that volunteers try to be economical when using these resources.
Can I design my own project?
Absolutely. If you have an idea for a new program, we’d love to hear it. If it’s within our capacity, we’re more than happy to work with you to make it happen. Check out Our Work in Palestine to get an idea of the kinds of classes we’ve held in the past. You’ll see we’ve offered everything from graphic novel design to kickboxing, based on volunteers’ individual interests and talents.
It’s rare that we’re able to offer a full teaching schedule of these kinds of activities, so if you design your own project, you’ll probably be asked to teach English or French as well. Those with a background in film or photography may be asked to spend some of their time each week creating media.
Other ways you can help
Are there other ways I can help Project Hope if I can’t come to Palestine?
Definitely. If you would like to make a contribution or organize a fundraising event, please visit our Giving and Fundraising pages. Or, if you have a new idea to promote Project Hope, please contact us. We appreciate your support and look forward to hearing from you.