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Volunteer with Children in Ethiopia

General Care Projects
  • Placement locations: Addis Ababa
  • Types of care projects: Day care centers, kindergartens
  • 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 at a childcare center with 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 in disadvantaged circumstances. 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 day care centers and kindergartens 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 E. shares her volunteer review from the Care project in Ethiopia
Rachel E.
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 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.

Volunteer in a Kindergarten in Ethiopia

A Care volunteer at work in a care center 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 J. shares her volunteer review from the Care project in Ethiopia
Lisa J.
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

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.

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.

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.

Volunteering in Orphanages in Ethiopia

Over the years, our volunteers have worked with children at orphanages and residential care homes in Ethiopia. They have done incredible work at these placements, improving living conditions there and creating opportunities for children by supporting their education and care. However, we have decided to move our focus away from orphanages and homes toward community and family-based care. This is because we believe stable family environments are best for the children we work with. Read more about orphanage volunteering and our position on it.

This means that instead of volunteering in orphanages in Ethiopia, volunteers will work in placements like day care centers, kindergartens and schools, or support groups for the elderly and mothers and babies. This will help Projects Abroad build stronger relationships with local communities and – most importantly – help families stay together and flourish.

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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