Volunteer

Volunteer

Get Involved!

Become a Volunteer at The Palestine Museum of Natural History (PMNH) and its Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability (PIBS) work. We have many volunteer opportunities that will enhance your skills and allow you to be part of a team that is dynamic and energetic and making a difference locally.

Experience There are many activities in which to volunteer  at the Museum. Outdoor activities can include working in the botanic garden related to gardening and maintenance of various permaculture projects. Opportunities to volunteer also exist in these areas: biodiversity research, taxonomy of different animal and plant groups, collection management, maintaining living ecosystems, administrative areas, fundraising, media work, education, publicity, working with children, art, and exhibits related to our mission as noted above.

Many benefits accrue to volunteering, including learning new skills, meeting new people, learning about the situation in Bethlehem (under Israeli occupation), interactions with people of various faiths, chance to expand knowledge of this part of the fertile crescent (where agriculture first developed), visit fascinating places like the birthplace of Jesus and the oldest continuously inhabited town on earth (Jericho) and many more.   You will also delve into deep-rooted Palestinian culture, its rich cuisine and historical monuments (including world heritage sites like Battir), and learn more about regional conflict. You can also explore the exotic Palestinian biodiversity through ecotourism as well as discovering the contrasts in geological setting. You can explore areas from the lowest point on earth (the Dead sea) in the Jordan valley to high mountains with Mediterranean forests.

Accommodation There is a modest apartment available  for volunteers (shared with other volunteers). There are two bedrooms (maximum accommodating six volunteers at a time), with a kitchen and living room and one and a half bathrooms.  Minimum volunteering time to partake of benefits like lodging and accommodation is 3 weeks.

Travel Most people coming to visit get through when they declare at Lod (“Ben Gurion”) Airport that they are tourists coming to visit the holy sites, Nazareth, Jerusalem, Bethlehem. If asked where you will be staying mention hostels in Jerusalem. From the airport you can take a Sherut (shared service taxis) to Jerusalem. From Jerusalem to Bethlehem, take bus 231 or 234 from Damascus gate. If the 231bus, you get to the last stop, Bab Zqaq, and take a taxi to the museum (15 shekels). If the 234 bus, get off at the last stop at the  wall, cross over through the wall and then simply walk to the museum (see map at palestinenature.org/visit) or again take a taxi. Taxi drivers are usually happy to call using their phone to get directions to where we are (in the Karkafa area of Bethlehem). But again agree to the price before you get into the taxi.

Various activities that volunteers have engaged in in the past

  1. Participating in a research project:see our current and past research projects here https://www.palestinenature.org/research/
  2. Ecosystem structures: the design of living outdoor and animal/plant exhibits that are interactive and not “zoo like” or “garden like”. The main goal is to recreate a habitat that will allowgrowth in the number of species and an equilibrium in the ecosystem created. People are needed who are interested in this concept as well as landscape designers, architects, and others who can contribute.
  3. Education/behavioral change: developing the education system in schools, to increase the curiosity of  the children and the way they are thinking about the natural world around them.. Developing and training children about recycling/ up-cycling and developing a SMART science exhibition for students in the museum.
  4. Recycling and upcycling and composting projects.
  5. Permaculture –  including aquaponics and aquaculture.
  6. ing: : grant and proposal writing, holding fundraising events, brainstorming about projects for our own sustainability (income generating projects and implementing them etc.)
  7. Administration: making partnerships and developing the relationship between the museum and other organizations and museums around the world and making sure that all tasks relating to running such a project are well done.
  8. Architecture and new designs: designing and building the new eco-friendly building and gardens.
  9. Media and IT work: writing stories about the museum and our work including the volunteers and their research; translating it into many languages and publishing it in the western and eastern media including social media. Making documentaries and animation movies for  children. Building and developing a database for the collection and the researches at the museum in order to have an online library in the future.
  10. Field work: join us in field trips to study and document natural history in Palestine.
  11. Preparation of material for research and exhibition: there are many opportunities here from cataloging to preservation to pinning insects to taxidermy of vertebrates to model building etc.
  12. Tour guiding and hospitality: many visitors are already coming and we expect thousands to visit in 2016 and beyond so volunteer to help host and take care of those.
  13. Translations and working with international visitors
Once you decide to volunteer, we ask you to fill out this Volunteer Application Form and email it to info@palestinenature.org