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Volunteer with Children in Ethiopia

General Care Projects
  • Placement locations: Addis Ababa
  • Types of care projects: Care homes, day care centers, 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 2 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 greater.

Care volunteers in Ethiopia are based in Addis Ababa and work in orphanages, day care centers, kindergartens, and care homes in and around the capital. You can volunteer on a Care placement in Ethiopia as part of a gap year, a summer vacation, a career break, as part of an extended vacation, 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 helping others and a commitment to the work and to the people you are here for.

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

Volunteer Profile Rachel Edwards shares her volunteer story from the Care project in Ethiopia
Rachel Edwards
I loved my placement in Ethiopia. The kids are an inspiration and I wanted to bring them all home. They are always happy even though they have nothing. They love having volunteers there and as soon as you walk through the gate they all run up to you wanting to hold your hand or be hugged. Read more...

Volunteering at an Orphanage in Ethiopia

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

Care volunteers have the opportunity to work with orphans in adoption homes. 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 centers 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.

Volunteering in a Care Center in Ethiopia

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

Day care centers provide a safe haven where children can be free to play and learn away from the stresses of their home or street lives. You will work with children ages 4 to 18 who are either former street children or otherwise at risk. 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, your 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.

Did you know? Traditionally, parents and children do not share a last name in Ethiopia. Most children take their father’s first name as their last name.

Volunteer in a Kindergarten in Ethiopia

As a Care volunteer at a kindergarten in Ethiopia you will have a chance to help an over-stretched local staff take care of young children aged between 3 and 6. Though the staff are competent and professional, they lack the necessary resources to properly look after so many young children, and are grateful for your help. You will help by organizing informal activities such as arts and crafts, songs and other play-time activities.

Volunteer Profile Lisa Jung shares her volunteer story from the Care project in Ethiopia
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...

Volunteering at a Care Placement in Ethiopia with Projects Abroad

A Care volunteer at work in an orphanage in Ethiopia.

In Ethiopia, 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.

A placement on one of our volunteer Care Projects is sure to be challenging but there will not be a single moment when you will doubt that you are needed and valued.

The General Care Project in Ethiopia 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 traveler you may want to consider our High School Special programs in Ethiopia.

Ethiopia Care Management Plan

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