Int'l Relief Managers

International Relief Managers (IRMs) are trained and highly experienced volunteers that are available to respond quickly when support is needed for World Renew’s international disaster response work.

Would you like to put your project management and managerial skills to meaningful use during your retirement or semi-retirement? Consider becoming a volunteer International Relief Manager (IRM)!

IRMs serve in cross-cultural settings for several months at a time, usually as couples, and help World Renew manage the complex logistics of various disaster response and rehabilitation projects to help disaster survivors get back on their feet.

They are called on to manage and implement a wide variety of projects in response to natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes, and occasionally disasters caused by civil unrest. IRMs typically work for 4-6 months on an international assignment.

In 2016, 18 IRMs served in Indonesia, Nepal, Zambia, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya and Haiti.

In the last year, IRMs have helped to set-up responses to natural disasters, like Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, helped to develop partner capacity in Uganda and Kenya, managed the distribution of food assistance to 31,500 people in Zambia, and oversaw the construction of shelters in Nepal.

What's involved?

  • IRMs typically manage World Renew's International Disaster Response projects in food assistance, shelter, and water and sanitation

  • They provide on-the-ground leadership and management and enhance World Renew's ability to respond to crisis situations

  • Time commitment is usually 4-6 months at a time, sometimes more

  • Computer skills and financial mangement skills are required

  • Orientation module courses, correspondence with senior IRMs, and hands-on training sessions are required before your first assignment

  • Travel costs, housing, and a meal allowance will be provided

What can you expect?

  • Long drives on very bad roads

  • Unreliable and/or poor electrical, phone and email service

  • Fully paid (air) transportation to and from the field

  • Basic housing, possibly shared

  • A monthly food allowance

  • Emotional and spiritual support from World Renew staff

  • Extreme job satisfaction!

You could be a great IRM if:

  • You have a proven track record of managerial experience and are a strong organizer

  • You have been a leader in your church, or Christian organization

  • You can leave North America for 4-6 months, with a few weeks of notice

  • You are comfortable with email, MS Word, and MS Excel

  • You have traveled to, or have worked in, other cultures

  • You understand budgets and how to work with them

  • You are willing to participate in training sessions

  • You enjoy working in a cross-cultural setting

  • You have patient perseverance and are not easily frustrated

  • You are a committed Christian and have a passion to walk with those who hurt


Testimonials from our International Relief Managers

“What I enjoy most about being an International Relief Manager is the opportunity it offers to do a small portion of God’s work here on earth. At the same time to meet interesting people, live in and learn about cultures different than ours; all the while watching His hand direct my life and those around me. And in the end seeing hungry people fed, thirst quenched, and His love spread. What more could any of us ask of life?”  - Bernie Schaaf, Tinley Park, Illinois

“If you have seen scenes of water destroying homes and families huddled together and wanted to give them a blanket...If you have seen the tumbled mass of homes and could almost feel the trembles that caused the disaster...Then God has blessed you with a heart of compassion. An International Relief Manager has such a heart. We shed a tear with the people when they hurt and we celebrate with song and dance when they overcome. For a short time, we are part of these people and take joy in their restoration to a better life. So if God has blessed you with compassion, we wholeheartedly invite you to share it with the world an IRM.”  - John and Hilda Van Gyssel, Elmira, Ontario

“Our 13 years of retirement has been for us an exciting journey filled with new challenges, opportunities for learning and immense satisfaction. Our positions as International Relief Managers gave us all these things in addition to the opportunity as a couple to work together, instead of each going off to a different job each day! In our IRM work we try to be a blessing to those affected by disasters but in the process we have been blessed beyond measure.”  - Jack and Elly Dalmaijer, St. Albert, Alberta