Kamel Al Asmar

Ashoka Fellow
Amman, Jordan
Fellow Since 2012


This profile was prepared when Kamel Al Asmar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Kamel is professionalizing volunteerism in the Levant using a methodical approach that makes volunteering accessible to youth (aged 18 to 36); equipping them with the tools to create meaningful change in their communities. Through personal experience and observation, Kamel realized that the concept of volunteerism in the Arab world is not strong. In 2009 he created Nakhweh, an online and offline social venture solely dedicated to encouraging volunteerism and innovation by nurturing the current climate around volunteerism.

Kamel’s three-pronged approach tackles the two largest actors in volunteerism: citizen organizations (COs) and potential volunteers, namely youth. Kamel’s training and assessment initiative provides COs with the tools to effectively attract and manage volunteers. Often unaware that volunteer opportunities exist, youth have had little to no exposure to volunteering. Kamel’s website advertises volunteerism in a professional manner, and his exciting on-the-ground initiatives and events engage youth on a personal level.

The expressive name is inspired by an Arabic song, “El Dameer El Araby” (The Arab Conscious) which expresses the “Nakhweh” of people in the Arab world; their chivalry and bravery, qualities long engrained in Arab culture but somewhat lost over the years. Capitalizing on this sentiment and the positive energy in the region and hunger for change, Kamel’s idea “connects hearts to change the world.”
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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