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The Volunteer Circle x Electronic Literature Day

Support The Volunteer Circle's "Beirut Explosion Response" project

The Volunteer Circle is a community fostering volunteerism in the MENA region with a vision to build a creative skill-sharing culture that paves the way for sustainable change. Through a smart online platform, volunteers are connected to opportunities based on their skills, interests, location, availabilities, and the type of impact they wish to make, in real-time.

In 2019, The Volunteer Circle launched in Lebanon on March 27 with 27 non-profits and 3 volunteers. Since then, the community has grown to thrive on the diversity of skills of 4,000+ volunteers and 180+ non-profits across all sectors and locations in Lebanon, with a vision to expand to Egypt and Jordan.

After the tragic Beirut Port Explosion on August 4, 2020, The Volunteer Circle supported NGOs with volunteers for the immediate relief response. Helping in any way possible throughout the streets of devastated Beirut, the team of dedicated volunteers also conducted a thorough needs assessment of 726 families in Gemmayzeh, Mar Mkhael, Rmeil, Mar Mitr, Karm el Zeitoun and other affected areas. The assessment was based on an internally developped mapping system for accuracy and we were able to create a database of short and long-term needs within the overall titles of "Food Security," "Personal Hygiene," "Technical Damage," "Medical Needs," "Financial Hospitalization," "Children," "Elderly Support," "Furniture/Appliances," "Physiotherapy," and "Psychology". While the immediate volunteer relief efforts played a huge role in alleviating the impact of the tragedy, long-term needs are constantly growing and unmet.

We've teamed up with various NGOs to fill this gap and create a network of sustainable support for the most vulnerable families affected by the blast. Every donation will take us a step further!

Thank you Barakunan and the artists and audience of Electronic Literature Day for believing in our work and supporting our volunteers on-ground. Visit our website or social media platforms to find out more, or get in touch with us directly!

Background

The Volunteer Circle was established by Malak Yacout, entrepreneur and volunteerism expert, and Nadine Makarem, civil society worker and writer, in March 2019.

Taking into consideration changing trends, volunteer cycles and interests, and increasing community needs, the Volunteer Circle is designed to mirror our individual and collective evolution as human beings and society.

Focused on creating value for both non-profit organizations and volunteers through a proven efficient match-making system that connects the supply of skills of volunteers to community needs in real-time, we designed the platform to answer at any moment in time, the following: how can I make a positive impact in my community? Where can I use my time and skills meaningfully?
Purpose married to opportunity is the greatest empowerment you can give.

The model has already proven to work. Since it went live in March 2019, despite the global pandemic, Lebanon going bankrupt, the civil uprisings and the explosion, The Volunteer Circle connected 4000+ people to 260 volunteer opportunities among 180 non-profits, touching the lives of more than 150,000 beneficiaries.

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