Volunteer with Geekcorps

Geekcorps’ international technology experts teach communities how to bedigitally independent by expanding private enterprise with innovative, appropriate, and affordable information and communication technologies.
How are volunteers selected? What is the procedure?
Geekcorps is in constant need of experts in its programs and accepts registrations on a rolling basis. As we receive them, we make notes and file them in our expert database according to area of expertise. When a new skill need arises, we look in the database for experts who match the particular information technology and/or business skills required. Experience, language skills, cultural adaptability, and willingness to live in circumstances with fewer amenities, are all significant factors.

When we have a short list of experts, we interview candidates by phone or in person. Final decisions are made soon afterwards. As soon as decisions are made, we send you detailed information about where you are going and what you will be doing, and what preparations you need to make.

Am I guaranteed a Geekcorps volunteer position if I register?
Nope. Financial and logistical constraints only allow us to take a limited number of volunteers for Geekcorps programs each year. You can increase your odds of selection if you company is willing to sponsor you, but don’t loose heart if not. We will keep your registration in our database and are constantly looking for different skill sets, both for Geekcorps and IESC. We could call you the day you register, or a year or two later.

Where would Geekcorps send me and for how long?
We send experts all over the world. The volunteer time period for the majority of our programs is four months, although other placements may run for as short as one month or as long as six. Our program sites have included Eastern Europe (Bulgaria, Romania), Central Asia (Armenia, Kyrgyzstan), Northeast Asia (Mongolia), Southeast Asia (Thailand), Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mali) and the Middle East (Lebanon, Jordan) and we are investigating additional countries for future programs as well.

How much does it cost? Who pays?
We understand that volunteering one’s skills is quite a sacrifice. You are most likely leaving a job or forgoing an opportunity to make a great deal of money on paying projects. We aim to make a volunteer tour as low-cost as possible to a volunteer.

We pay for airfare, accommodation, insurance and a monthly living stipend. Volunteers’ only out-of-pocket expenses come from any incidentals or personal purchases. We can’t, obviously, cover at-home expenses like rent, car payments, etc. that a volunteer might incur while on a project.

For Geekcorps, it costs several thousand dollars to send a volunteer abroad for four months. If you are in the enviable position of being able to help defray the costs, or have an enlightened company that will, a tax-deductible donation to Geekcorps/IESC for that purpose would be very much appreciated.

How is Geekcorps funded?
Geekcorps is a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Our funding comes from many sources. We depend on private donations, foundation funding, and U.S. Government grants. We also receive corporate funding from companies involved in information technology, primarily in the form of sponsorship of individual volunteers. You can contribute right now in fact, using the “Donate Now” button on this page.

How can I get my company involved?
Service with Geekcorps can empower talented people with greater insight, enthusiasm and experience for their work than they had before, a tangible benefit for your company, and one we hope they will sponsor. We’ve had companies like Hewlett-Packard give 4-month sabbaticals, sponsor volunteers, or contribute via a companywide giving campaign. Please contact us if you would like more information to take to your company and we can also speak with them directly if needed.

What kinds of tech specialists do you need?
All kinds… programmers, graphic designers, public relations and business consultants, database and e-commerce architects, marketing and networking gurus, web developers and designers, and GIS specialists… just about everything. We’re looking for really high-level skills, and though we don’t expect an individual to know everything, the more flexible you can be, the more attractive you are as a volunteer. more read
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