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Volunteer with Children in Ethiopia

General Care Projects
  • Placement locations: Addis Ababa
  • Types of care projects: Care homes, day care centres, kindergartens, orphanages
  • Age of children: 0 - 18
  • Number of people cared for: 15+
  • Role: Volunteers work on achieving the goals set out in the Care Management Plan, including running educational games and group activities, and providing emotional support.
  • Requirements: None
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Length of placement: From two weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

Volunteer doings arts & crafts with kids in a care center in Ethiopia, Africa

Ethiopia is a fascinating country in which to volunteer with orphans and disadvantaged children in Africa. Only two decades ago, Ethiopia was ravaged by massive famine and cruel conflicts that left many hundreds of thousands of children orphaned. Today, the onslaught of HIV/AIDS combined with endemic poverty means that many children are left to fend for themselves. The need for volunteers cannot be over-emphasized.

Despite the rapid growth of the capital, Addis Ababa, and the emergence of a small Ethiopian middle class, over three quarters of Ethiopians still live on less than $1 a day. A placement on one of our volunteer Care Projects is sure to be challenging but there will not be a single moment when you doubt that you are needed, or valued.

You can experience volunteer development work on a Care placement in Ethiopia as part of a gap year in your education, a university summer vacation, on a career break, as part of an extended holiday or during your retirement. You could be a trained professional or totally new to the field. All we ask is that you have a passion for and a commitment to the work and to the people you are there to help.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Ethiopia Care Management Plan.

Volunteering with Orphans in Ethiopia

Volunteer doing an educational activity with kids in a childcare facility in Ethiopia, Afirca

Projects Abroad is based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital. Located in the centre of the country at an altitude of 2400m, Addis Ababa is the third highest capital city in the world.

Care volunteers in Ethiopia work in orphanages, day care centres, kindergartens and care homes in and around the capital. The homes provide full-time care for orphaned or abandoned children and are places where children are given friendship and support while they wait to be adopted. The children who have made it to these homes and centres will benefit from the emotional support that volunteers have the time and energy to give. This is where your help is most needed. Volunteers also organize occasional trips out from the orphanage and sometimes assist with fundraising events.

We also work with a local organization that arranges activities like games and sports for street children. These extra activities usually run a couple of times during the week and on Saturdays and all our volunteers in Ethiopia have the opportunity to be involved.

Volunteer Work in Ethiopia in Care Centres

Volunteer and children wave to the camera during a visit to a kindergarten in Ethiopia, Africa

Day care centres and kindergartens provide a safe haven where children can be free to play and learn away from the stresses of their home or street lives. Apart from fundamental childcare activities such as feeding and making sure all the children have suitable clothing and access to bathroom facilities, you will find yourself getting involved in other essential activities. Whether you are helping a child to learn to count, organizing a game of catch or letting a child braid your hair, volunteer work in Ethiopia will make a difference to the quality of their daily lives.

Many placements will appreciate you providing an extra dimension to the children’s’ education by giving them some informal English lessons. With Ethiopia increasingly becoming a tourist destination for visitors from the developed world, this will be a valuable skill for young people trying to find jobs.

Volunteer Profile Volunteer Lisa Jung shares his story from the Sports project in Costa Rica
Lisa Jung
Most importantly the work with the children was quite amazing. Being a private kindergarten, the school was well organized and the children studying here are really lucky. A big part of this successful teaching method was down to Ayantu, my supervisor. She is great, always having new, interesting ideas and inspiring me and the other teachers a lot Read more...

A Care volunteer at work in an orphanage in Ethiopia.

This project is available for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for shorter durations for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone participating for a longer period.

If you are a high school student and first-time traveller you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Care Management Plan

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