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Last updated on December 2, 2022 by Wandering our World

Volunteering in Erbil, and Kurdistan in general, is a fantastic way to get to know this fascinating city and country, while also doing something worthwhile.

Thankfully there are several options for becoming a volunteer in Erbil and Kurdistan, although unfortunately they are not always so easy to find, especially for someone who is not living or visiting Erbil or Kurdistan currently.

That’s why we’ve done the hard work and found some great options for you!

Below are volunteering opportunities in Erbil for you to check out. However we have also compiled a list of volunteer roles in other parts of Kurdistan as well as Iraq – and you can see that by clicking here!

multi-ethnic volunteer group raising hands against blue sky

1. Al-Mesalla Organization for Human Resources Development

Headquartered in Erbil, Al Mesalla says it wants to reinforce ideas of “democracy, human rights, and conflict resolution” in the country.

As such the NGO carries out peace building and human rights programs in the Kurdistan Region.

They are often on the look out for people who are willing to volunteer to help with the day-to-day running of these programs, and for people with special skills (art/music/therapy).

To find out more about Al-Mesalla you can check out their website by visiting here.

2. Bring Hope

Although Bring Hope is actually a Swedish registered charity, this NGO does a lot of its work in the Erbil region.

This organization does a variety of incredible projects in Kurdistan, working with vulnerable children and women, and concentrates its activities mainly on IDPs.

They are always looking for people with mental health training to help with their mental health healing program which works directly with victims of trauma and violence. However they also have programs that teach things like football and sewing, so there’s a variety of potential volunteer opportunities available.

To find out more, check out their website here.

Shar park in Erbil, North Iraq, Kurdistan Autonomous Region

3. Doctors Aid Medical Activities (DAMA)

Based in the capital of Kurdistan, Erbil, DAMA are regularly looking for volunteers to join them in Erbil, who can help with the day-to-day running of the NGO.

However they do ask that volunteers speak three languages – Arabic, Kurdish, and English – and need people who can work efficiently under pressure.

With DAMA you will work with IDPs throughout the region, doing worthwhile and important work in Erbil and the wider Kurdistan region.

Click here to learn more about DAMA.

4. Global Surgical and Medical Support Group

Are you a doctor or surgeon who wants to do something incredible in between jobs, or with your holidays?

Well GSMSG are often looking for experienced professionals to head out to Erbil to volunteer their skills, and time, to locals that are in desperate need of medical help.

In particular they specialize in providing complex surgeries which patients may not have access to at all in the country.

To find out if they have any vacancies, or are looking for volunteers at this moment, it’s best to send them an e-mail. Their contact details can be found on their website.

Surgeons team working with Monitoring of patient in surgical operating room.

5. Public Aid Organization

This NGO has a presence throughout the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, but has its HQ in Erbil.

Public Aid Organization looks to enhance human rights in the country, and implement better rights for people living here. In particular they work with women and children.

They’ve made calls for volunteers several times previously, but are a little vague about what they are looking for. Best to get in touch with them directly to see if your skills and experience match.

Their website can be accessed here.

6. Rwanga

With offices in all three major Iraqi Kurdish cities – Sulaymaniyah, Erbil and Dohuk – Rwanga is committed to providing accessible education to children throughout Kurdistan.

If you share their passion for education, then volunteering in Kurdistan with Rwanga could be an amazing experience.

Go here to visit Rwanga’s website.

View of Erbil citadel, Erbil city, Iraq

7. Qandil

Another Swedish NGO that works in the Kurdistan Region, Qandil – named after the mountainous region in Iraqi Kurdistan – are often on the lookout for volunteers that are willing to work in the Erbil region.

Their volunteer positions are usually very professional in nature, and include activities such as interviewing, record keeping, research gathering, as well as coordinating with governmental and non-governmental organizations.

In particular they are looking for recent graduates (with relevant degrees), or individuals with some working knowledge of NGO work.

Get in contact with Qandil by visiting their website by clicking here.

Check out our list of volunteer roles in Iraq and other parts of Kurdistan here!


  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.