There are roughly fifteen international charitable organizations functioning in Saudi Arabia in addition to the numerous national organizations. The national organizations have the benefit of royal protection and are represented by a national body. The concept of volunteering is not too well understood locally and is bound by red tape and bureaucracy. For locals to be able to volunteer, a number of approvals from different government offices are required. Additionally if the project requires interaction with youth, then parental permission is also required. Despite the restrictive environment options are available.
International organizations supporting democracy and human rights use interns to help. Volunteer interns carry out research, and conference organization along with perform editing, writing, and website maintenance duties and provide educational support. Interns get scarce opportunity to learn of social, political, religious and economic developments in Saudi Arabia. The internships are available to graduate and undergraduate students on a continuous basis with flexible hours and school credit.
The best option for volunteering in Saudi Arabia is through one of the international organizations based in the country. The Red Crescent Society and the United Nations Volunteers are two organizations that recruit volunteers from time to time. While they don’t always have projects open in the country, one can make a request for when the opportunity arises. Working with organizations of repute ensures security, and credible work.