International Medical Corps offers many exciting ways to get involved, whether working with our professional staff in the UK or with our field-based experts in offices around the world.
Our volunteers are involved in every aspect of our work, from highly specialised medical professionals participating in humanitarian emergency responses to young people with a passion for global health and addressing poverty, supporting our efforts in London. Volunteering offers a fantastic introduction into the realities of working in a humanitarian NGO as well as unique challenges for professionals wishing to use their skills to help those affected by disasters, conflict and poverty around the world.
Mirko Zappacosta first volunteered with International Medical Corps in June 2011 as part of our emergency response in Haiti. Mirko supported the team by assisting the Logistics department, helping with the coordination of International Medical Corps’ vehicles distributing cholera treatment and hygiene kits to communities across Haiti.
After he returned to the UK to continue his studies, Mirko continued to help out with the lifesaving work of International Medical Corps by volunteering in the London Office. His support for the programmes team was vital in securing further European Union funding for the cholera response programmes he had helped set up in Haiti, months earlier.
Mirko is now working with International Medical Corps in South Sudan as part of our Logistics Department, supporting all emergency response and development programmes across the country.
“Volunteering for International Medical Corps has been a life changing experience, despite the challenges that come with being a volunteer. Working with local people to help local communities rebuild services and livelihoods is a fantastic reward in itself. Many of my colleagues I have met at International Medical Corps are now life time friends and I am looking forward to working with them again in the future”
International Medical Corps is always looking for highly trained medical staff to add to our emergency response roster, which requires that volunteers be willing to deploy rapidly—usually within 72 hours—and for a duration of 2–8 weeks. If you are interested in volunteering during a humanitarian emergency, please visit our US website and search for International Jobs >> Emergency Response Team
International Medical Corps also works with the UK International Emergency Trauma Register, bringing together surgeons, anaesthetists, emergency physicians/nurses and other supporting medical, nursing and paramedical personnel who are interested in responding to large scale emergencies overseas. Please visit their site if you are interested in joining the register
We also deploy medical and non medical volunteers to our overseas offices for a minimum of 2 months at a time. If you are interested in volunteering in one of our international programmes, please visit our US website and search for Volunteer Field Opportunities
International Medical Corps regularly recruits people who are looking to get their first experience of working with an international humanitarian organisation as interns. These positions are generally specialised, requiring some previous work experience or relevant academic study. Internship opportunities are advertised on our careers page along with details of necessary experience and how to apply.
International Medical Corps is committed to paying above the national minimum wage for our internships.
Our UK based volunteers work part-time at International Medical Corps offices in London, assisting with a broad variety of programmatic, communication and fundraising tasks, depending on work experience and areas of interest.
Many of our UK based volunteers are students with a passion for the work that we carry out around the world. A great way to get involved with International Medical Corps as a route to becoming a volunteer is through our Humanitarian Ambassador Scheme
International Medical Corps provides lunch and travel expenses to our volunteers.
The European Humanitarian Volunteer Aid Corps scheme provides people from across the EU with opportunities to work in humanitarian organisations at HQ and field levels in order to build humanitarian talent and professionalisation of future humanitarian aid professionals.
As a partner in the scheme, International Medical Corps helps recruit the volunteers, provides a 4 month training programme in London and deploys the volunteers to our field offices for a 5 month period. Throughout their time with International Medical Corps we provide a comprehensive programme of training and mentoring to provide the volunteers with the skills they need to pursue a career in humanitarian aid.
Diana Tonea joined International Medical Corps in our Cameroon office as part of the European Humanitarian Volunteer Aid Corps scheme. Diana is supporting our work with refugee populations from the Central African Republic and local Cameroonian communities as International Medical Corps delivers primary healthcare, HIV/AIDS, GBV and nutrition services.
With the support and mentoring of International Medical Corps’ staff Diana has been holding workshops on emergency preparedness with local communities; participating in the planning, monitoring and evaluating of programmes and has even found time to secure new funding for the country programme. Diana’s efforts have secured funding for the “Holiday without violence and HIV/AIDS” project which will increase awareness on sexual gender based violence, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive health and cholera prevention and hygiene in local primary schools.
“This experience has given me an immense opportunity to work in the field, to challenge myself, and to succeed in difficult working conditions. After my year in Cameroon ends I will take some holiday and then continue developing my international development career in the fields of public health, nutrition or WASH.
Just 22 hours after the devastating 7.0-earthquake hit in January 2010, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team was on the ground in Haiti providing medical care to survivors. Our doctors and nurses were able to mobilise on an unparalleled scale to provide 24-hour emergency care to the acutely injured at the Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haiti (HUEH), a 700-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince. HUEH was badly damaged in the earthquake and many local health care professionals were missing. We were able to save thousands of lives through emergency and trauma care in the critical days following the earthquake.
At the height of emergency operations at the hospital, International Medical Corps treated approximately 1,000 patients per day. Our early entry also gave us the foundation to rapidly expand our operations to 15 mobile clinics throughout Haiti to provide critical services. Through the hospital and mobile and fixed clinics, International Medical Corps teams provided more than 110,000 patient consultations during the first year following the emergency.
When reports of acute diarrhoea emerged from the north of Haiti in October 2010, International Medical Corps doctors and nurses immediately deployed to the region providing emergency relief for the growing cholera crisis. Our network of rapidly constructed cholera treatment centres, supported by 820 community health volunteers to educate communities on how to prevent and identify cholera, meant that more than 30,000 cholera patients received life-saving treatment within the first year following the outbreak.
International Medical Corps was among the first organisations to enter Libya once the conflict began in February 2011, providing emergency medical care to casualties from the fighting and support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies. Among the first challenges our Emergency Response Teams encountered was a chronic shortage of nurses, as thousands of foreign nurses had fled the country. In partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society, International Medical Corps immediately deployed volunteer nurses to health centres across eastern Libya moving them to towns and cities throughout the country as access permitted. Volunteer nurses trained the local counterparts while working alongside them.
At the country’s borders and within Libya, we supplied those displaced by the fighting with essential relief items, including blankets, bottled water and food. Recognising the danger posed by communicable diseases, our sanitation and hygiene specialists constructed latrines and washing stations in transit camps along the Tunisia borders.
As the fighting went on International Medical Corps worked as close to the front line as possible, providing emergency treatment to those injured in the conflict, and medicines and supplies to besieged towns and cities. In Misurata, inaccessible by road, we evacuated nearly 500 injured civilians by boat. International Medical Corps’ mobile field hospitals treated the wounded from battles in Tripoli, the Western Mountains, Bani Walid, Sabha, Jufrah and Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.
International Medical Corps mobilized an emergency response in Mali in January 2013 after rebel armed forces from the north began moving south, triggering French military intervention. In Timbuktu, which had spent months under the control of armed Islamist rebel our team were amongst the first international organisations to arrive and found pillaged clinics, missing medical personnel and damaged health infrastructure.
We immediately began supporting eight strategically targeted health clinics in remote areas around Timbuktu, where the Malian Ministry of Health has been unable to maintain adequate services to local communities. By providing medicines, training staff and recruiting qualified doctors and nurses, we can ensure local people will now have access to basic primary and secondary health care for the first time in months
True to our mission to build self reliance, International Medical Corps is also already training community health workers to go out to local markets and spread essential hygiene, reproductive health and nutrition messages. We are also working to rehabilitate clinics damaged during the conflict, by building or repairing latrines, water systems, solar panel systems and other infrastructure repairs, enabling health workers to have stable and well-equipped facilities to help the people of Mali.
Basanti, a young mother of two in Nepal, returned home from fetching water for her family to find her 8-month old son Bishal had fallen into the open cooking fire. Basanti was in shock, but she wrapped her baby in blankets and ran for help. No one in their village or at the local health post knew what to do so she had to travel more than six hours by bus to seek emergency care at the closest hospital. The district hospital could only stabilize Bishal and wasn’t able to treat his wounds properly. As a result, his little fingers contracted into a fist as the burned skin contracted and “healed” over the coming year, making it impossible for him to use his hand. His cheek, lips and eyelid also contracted and tightened, threatening his vision.
After selling part of their farm to pay for transportation to Kathmandu, Basanti sought further treatment for her baby. However, two hospitals in the nation’s capital could not help either. Adding to Basanti’s struggles, her husband abandoned the family, leaving her alone to care for Bishal and his four-year-old sister.
Thankfully, Basanti heard about the surgical care available through ReSurge International, our trusted partner with a 43-year history of serving burn victims. Dr. Rai, ReSurge’s Outreach Director in Nepal, and his team restored Bishal’s eyelid and his hand will soon be surgically repaired as well.
Even though it took more than a year for him to get appropriate treatment, Bishal is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of children never get the care they need to live a normal life after a disabling burn.