Volunteering without borders: experience of Pakistan - Добро.Медиа

Volunteering without borders: experience of Pakistan

How does volunteering abroad work? What programs and projects have been created to help people in other countries? How is the volunteer motivation system organized? The answers to these and many other questions are collected in our new rubric "Volunteering without Borders" with our foreign experts and participants of the International Prize #WEARETOGETHER.

It’s not about copying international experience  we know volunteering activities and projects are formed taking into account values, culture and national needs. We hope you will get some ideas by projecting the experience of foreign colleagues onto your realities. 

An expert from Pakistan, Faisal Ilyas, executive director of Peace Hope Pakistan and former executive secretary of Peace Center in Lahore, shared with Dobro.Press the peculiarities of volunteering in his country.


According to an overview report in 2021, about 228 million people live in Pakistan, many of them are in poverty and need help. There are many organizations in the country that help fight poverty: some of them work together with the government, and others work independently. Most NPOs and volunteer organizations recruit international volunteers to work in the field of education, community development, teaching locals in new skills and refugee support.

As for the overall literacy rate in Pakistan, today it is about 56% generally, and even lower among girls. There is an urgent need to draw attention ща locals to the need for school education. Volunteers spread information about free education through seminars and trainings in rural and urban areas to motivate people - especially parents to send their children to school. Also, public organizations and the government are working on concluding agreements with various foreign universities to send young people from Pakistan to get higher education.

Another important problem is the outbreak of armed conflicts in the country, including those related to radical religious and political movements. The non-profit organization Peace Hope Pakistan, established in 2017 and focused on strengthening peace and the realization of human rights, actively conducts seminars and workshops to teach young people to achieve interfaith harmony and play a positive role in society.


During the COVID-19 pandemic period, young people in Pakistan suffered greatly in many ways. According to the National Human Development Report in Pakistan, today 57% of the population are unemployed and are not looking for a job. This unemployment situation was exacerbated by the pandemic crisis, when young people were even less engaged in education, sports and other useful pastimes. To alleviate the situation during the pandemic young people were involved in volunteer activities. They delivered food to families in marginalized communities. In total, during the project, a team of 100 volunteers helped thousands of families.

At the same time,it is worth noting that the biggest role in involving young people in volunteering was played by non-government organizations in Pakistan.


Various organizations invite foreign volunteers to Pakistan to exchange experience and implement socially significant projects. Thus, organizations engaged in improving literacy motivate children to get free education by inviting volunteers to conduct lessons and joint classes. In such programs, volunteer teachers are invited to conduct educational classes, and volunteer mentors help students learn a foreign language, talk about the culture of other countries and regions, engage in environmental, art and other educational projects with them.

Most organizations need volunteers for long-term projects with an employment of at least 3 months. Short-term volunteer opportunities for a few days in Pakistan are generally quite difficult to find.

Unfortunately, the recent situation in Pakistan related to the fighting has led to the fact that the number of international volunteers involved in Pakistani projects is now decreasing.

Author: Alena Burko

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