Clinical and non-clinical volunteers deliver essential services to participants of the Kovler Center. The use of volunteers is a natural extension our organizing principle that torture treatment is best supported in a community context. First helping a survivor to connect with their innate strength and resilience, and then helping survivors connect with community; the Kovler Center offers its community as a bridge to survivors.
If you are interested in serving as a part of this bridge to healing as well as receiving discipline-specific trainings on participant backgrounds, unique survivor needs, and effective methods of service provision for this population, please fill out our volunteer application.
Volunteer Opportunities are available in the following areas:
Medical and Rehabilitative Care
Volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, psychiatrists, physical therapists, and massage therapists treat survivors on-site at the Kovler Center or at volunteers' private offices in metropolitan Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. This flexibility of location expands the accessibility of services as immigrant communities migrate due to cost of living in the city. Physicians are also needed to complete forensic evaluations in support of participants' asylum claims.
Dental care, provided in volunteers' private practices, is essential to participants of the Kovler Center as many survivors of torture suffer from trauma-related dental problems and the effects of inadequate or absent dental care while living in poverty and/or refugee camps.
Mental Health Care
Psychologists, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselors (LCPC) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are needed to provide individual, group, and art therapy to survivors of torture and their families using an empowerment model to treat PTSD and other clinical diagnoses resulting from trauma. Additionally, therapists complete forensic evaluations in support of participants' asylum claims.
Interpretation / Translation
Because of the geographic diversity of Kovler Center's participants, volunteers are continuously needed for oral and written translation in languages such as French, Spanish, Amharic, Tigrinya, Arabic, Nepali, Somali, among others. Volunteers are asked to commit as little as a few hours a week to interpret in person.
Case Management Support
Volunteers with various skill sets can be utilized to support the work of the case management team through activities such as accompanying participants to doctor or social service appointments, teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, tutoring participants in general educational subjects, computer competency or driving, or assisting with special events (cooking group, community outings, gardening, etc.)
Building and Infrastructure Maintenance
The Kovler Center needs help from time to time in maintaining a comfortable, friendly building for participants to come to. Additionally, volunteers help with food collection, donation drives, and organization of our Free Store for participants.
Volunteers who have special administrative skills support the work of the Kovler Center through conducting research, grant writing, and newsletter support.
Congratulations to Dr. David Goldberg who received the Henry P. Russe, MD Citation for Exemplary Compassion in Health Care from the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. He received this award for his work at John Stroger Hospital of Cook County and for his pro bono service to torture survivors at Heartland Alliance Marjorie Kovler Center. Read his heartfelt comments about both communities that he delivered at the event on June 4, 2012.