Volunteer Opportunities in Egypt

Technical Assistance Programs:

Medical Mission 2008Medical Mission to Egypt

The Medical Mission originated in 2007, in response to the numerous requests for professional training voiced by health care professionals working in clinics in underserved areas of Egypt. The aim was to facilitate establishment of new partnerships between American and Egyptian medical professionals in order to address the gaps in access to good quality health care in very remote and poor urban and rural areas in Egypt. Professional exchange and training programs now take place on annual basis. A number of American health care professionals, travel to Egypt every year to volunteer their services and conduct training sessions for local health care professionals and community volunteers.  Most Egyptian participants in this program are from the community based clinics that HANDS supports in Egypt and from public clinics and universities in Cairo and Minia.  These clinics regularly participate in our local partner’s health care improvement campaigns targeting poor and disadvantaged people in Cairo and Minia governorates.

The Medical Mission program is organized and implemented in cooperation with our Egyptian partner organization, CEOSS, which is one of Egypt's leading development organizations. CEOSS has worked in community health care for over 50 years. As a result, it has very strong working relationships with the Egyptian Ministry of Health, as well as deeply rooted relationships with over 150 marginalized communities in Egypt.

You can read more about previous Medical Mission campaigns:
Medical Mission 2008

Medical Mission 2009

Medical Mission 2010

Eye Care Center MiniaCommunity Eye Care Center in Minia, Upper Egypt

Funded by USAID, DANIDA, Christian Blind Mission and other donors, this center will start providing much needed eye care services to the residents of Minia governorate in early fall 2009. We will be recruiting volunteers to help with knowledge transfer component of this project. Ophthalmologists, nurses and hospital administration professionals from the US will have an opportunity to spend time in Egypt and share their expertise with their Egyptian colleagues. To read more about Community Eye Care Center, please click here.

For more information on this volunteer opportunity please contact us at 703-875-9370 or email Ivana Smucker at ismucker@handsalongthenile.org



In February 2009, several HANDS volunteers that included a designer Michelle Bayer and the members of Design Student Association (DSA) from the University of Texas at Austin Austin, Texas, travelled  7,000 miles in order to volunteer on a design project with a HANDS partner in Cairo.  After months of preparation, Michelle and her team were in the area of Cairo called Muqattam, observing the weaving, quilting and paper-making skills of a handful of young women in a garbage collectors’ community in Egypt.

These Egyptian artisans train at one of HANDS’ partner organizations, the Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE), which provides literacy classes, vocational training and sources of income to young women who would otherwise make a living by recycling city trash.  The APE focuses on teaching its participants skills that allow them to create marketable products, such as stationary and rugs, out of recycled materials. 

Michelle and the other HANDS volunteers organized workshops to teach a wider variety of artistic techniques, including embossing and screen-printing. The workshops aimed to provide young Egyptian craft-makers with a new set of skills intended to grant them greater independence in their artistic production.   Michelle and her team will continue to collaborate with APE on educational programs that will help to expand future options for these young artisans. They also documented their experiences working on this project in a book titled Stability through Sustainability.

For more information on this volunteer opportunity please contact us at 703-875-9370 or email us at info@handsalongthenile.org

Volunteer Opportunities in the US

Even if you can't travel to Egypt, there are many ways to help:

Host a "Crafts of Cairo" sale in your community

The Association for the Protection of the Environment (APE) (Moquattam) is a literacy and job-skills training center for girls and young women from the garbage collector community in Cairo. Women learn to weave, quilt and recycle paper as well as to read and write, empowering them to support their families and have a voice in their communities. HANDS organizes "Crafts of Cairo" sales of their handicrafts in America, sending the income to APE to support their training programs. Throughout the year, numerous APE sales take place in communities across the US.

A group of volunteers holds a three-day-long sale in New York City every December which attracts hundreds of people searching for meaningful, thought-provoking gifts for the winter holidays.

Hosting a "Crafts of Cairo" sale is an excellent and fun opportunity for you to promote knowledge of Egypt among Americans. Would you like to organize one in your city, neighborhood, or home? Please contact us at (703) 875-9370 or 1-800-564 2544 or by e-mail at crafts@handsalongthenile.org to learn more.

"Crafts of Cairo" Sales Schedule for 2014


Lend your expertise to HANDS' office in Arlington, VA

    • Data entry

    • Preparing mailings

    • Accounting

    • Proposal writing

    • IT issues

    • Translation - Arabic/English speakers are needed to help us bridge the laguage barrier during our exchange events

    • Program support – particularly with the American-Egyptian Dialogue or organizing and hosting special events that promote understanding of the Middle East

Tell us about your interest and skills by emailing us at volunteer@handsalongthenile.org or call (703) 875-9370. You may also download volunteer application form. Please fill the application and send it to HANDS by mail or electronically.

Medical Mission program was recently featured on USAID's webiste in celebration of International Volunteer Day. Click below to see the video interview with Ivana Veselinovic-Smucker, HANDS' Director of Programs, and Dr. Nancy Maaty, Medical Mission volunteer.

Medical Mission

Click on the image below to watch a video made by Laurie Roberts, Medical Mission volunteer, about her experiences in Egypt

Medical Mission Video


“Prior to going to Egypt, I had worked with the mentally disabled in the U.S. for several years. But I had never worked with mentally disabled individuals in another country. It was an immensely rewarding experience. The valuable lessons I learned from these particular youngsters was a far greater gain than anything I could ever have given them in return.”- Ian

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1601 N. Kent Street, Suite 1014 Arlington VA, 22209
Phone: 703-875-9370 Fax:703-875-9371
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