Increasing Volunteer Pool by Creating More Inclusive, Cross-Cultural Volunteer Teams: INJAZ United Arab Emirates (UAE)
Pairs of volunteers (one Arabic speaker and one English speaker) were assigned to deliver the program in English to Arabic-speaking sixth- and seventh-grade students. (Higher grade levels were targeted because of the need for fluency in English.) The teams reflected the business environment that the students are likely to encounter when they graduate from college – a truly global business world.
This approach worked well. As the business hub of the Middle East and North Africa, the UAE has a strong multi-national presence of expatriates from all over the world, particularly South Asia. Many potential volunteers at HSBC previously felt excluded from participating in programs delivered in Arabic, so this cross-cultural team strategy built team spirit for the company, as well as the program. An added benefit was that volunteers felt less anxious going into the classroom because they knew their partner would be there.
Contact: Sulaf Al-Zu’bi, Sulaf@injaz-arabia.org