Bring your skills to Ethiopia

Are you looking to volunteer in Ethiopia but not looking to teach English. Do you have skill that young people or people who work with young people could benefit from and want to immerse yourself in a fascinating culture? At Link Ethiopia we are deeply integrated into the local community and thus have the experience and connections required to facilitate a range of different of volunteering placements. Also if you are a qualified teacher, we can arrange placements that go beyond our regular teaching placements.

What type of skills are needed in Ethiopia?

Computer Training

Computers are an integral part of our everyday lives and computer literacy is more and more of a necessity to live in the modern world. By giving computer support and training to both teachers and pupils, you will give them skills necessary to flourish in the increasingly sophisticated Ethiopian job market. You don’t need to be an expert in programming, you just need to be able to find your way round a computer, teach basic skills and perhaps repair minor problems.

Business and entrepreneurship

Unfortunately, Ethiopia, like many similar countries suffers from high unemployment and underemployment of young people. With a lack of available jobs, many Ethiopians are self-employed. You could provide workshops for senior students to get training in business skills such as budgeting, planning, proposal writing, and thinking about ways to create businesses and livelihood opportunities, to increase their career options.

Sports coaching

Visiting a number of schools on a weekly basis, you’ll bring your sporting skills to life by training kids in a variety of sports and games. You could introduce some new sports into the mix – your pupils would love it! So bring your passion and experience of different sports to a whole new level by teaching in our Ethiopian schools. We’ll provide the equipment, and you are sure to leave a lasting gift and have an unforgettable experience.

Why should I volunteer with Link Ethiopia?

Your Impact

Whether its in local schools or in our offices you will have a massive impact on the people you work with. Schools often lack quality extra-curricular activities or the specific knowledge needed to make the most out of their resources, and you can help change that. These skills are just as important as academic knowledge in helping young people succeed.

Link Ethiopia’s support

You will be supported from the moment you sign up by our friendly and knowledgeable UK and Ethiopia teams, who will work hard to create the placement that is right for you, and advise on how best to share your skill. We offer help and advice in advance of your placement and on arrival, and constant in-country support as well as email and telephone contact to our UK office.

Supporting Ethiopia

We pride ourselves on offering the best value for money volunteering experience in Ethiopia, starting from £670. As you can see in the cost breakdown below, 50% of the price of your volunteering will fund our work in communities in Ethiopia, and so your volunteering placement will have an impact long after you return home! To find out more about the work your volunteering funds visit Our Impact.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits to you?

Experience of a lifetime

Volunteering in Ethiopia is an incredibly rewarding and can be a life-changing experience.You will be immersed in an amazing country, in all its richness – its culture, its music, its food, its religion, its historic sights, its wildlife, and of course, its hugely welcoming people. Many volunteers form strong friendships with the young people they teach. Coming away from this trip will not only give you an insight into a different culture but will no doubt give you a sense of fulfilment and purpose to your overseas trip.

Your CV

In addition their are more practical benefits from volunteering with Link Ethiopia; This experience will give your CV that extra edge and make it stand out. After all nothing radiates confidence and self determination more than living independently, navigating a new culture and teaching children in a foreign country.

What are the benefits to Ethiopia?

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What’s a typical day of volunteering?

A typical day begins at 7 or 8am with breakfast in a local cafe. Volunteers spend four or five hours a day working with their trainees, with sessions generally starting at 9 or 10am. In between and after classes you can spend your time in a variety of ways: many volunteers get involved with other projects, such as reading and literacy projects, supporting students with special needs, and supporting our teams in the office and visiting projects. Gondar and Bishoftu are large towns offering plenty of ways to relax – you can try Ethiopia’s unique and spicy cuisine at one of the many restaurants, explore the buzzing markets, play football, pool, table tennis or learn Ethiopian billiards, watch a film or simply relax with new friends in one of the many cafes. For weekends, the towns are well positioned for visiting other places in Ethiopia. From Gondar you can explore the monasteries of Lake Tana, delve deep into the catacombs of Lalibela’s churches and trek in the breathtaking Simien Mountains. Gondar is well known for its night life too and you will soon be initiated into traditional dance!

What will I be doing?

Of course, the nature of what you will be doing will depend entirely on the nature of the skill that you are sharing. You may be running workshops or training sessions in local schools, or you may be working more closely with the school and Link Ethiopia staff. Teachers and administrators can greatly benefit from training, either in areas of their own work, or in how they can train young people. If you are a qualified teacher we can either organise a formal teaching position for you in a school, or you can work closely with our libraries and literacy work.

Could I cope?

Living away from home in another country is a challenge for anyone, but it is a challenge that all of our volunteers have really valued. All you need is:

  • A willingness to pitch in and get involved
  • An appreciation that life in Ethiopia can move at a different pace
  • Patience and a sense of humour when things don’t go to plan
  • A friendly and open attitude

Where are the projects?

You will usually be volunteering in schools in Gondar or Bishoftu, where our offices and teams are based.

Gondar is a large town in the north of Ethiopia. It is a friendly town on a hillside with a pleasant climate and it is home to one of Ethiopia’s major universities. The town centre has modern amenities such as internet services and laundries, however, venture a little outside town and you will see rural Ethiopia as it has been for centuries. Read more about Gondar here.

Bishoftu is situated 45km away from the capital city, Addis Ababa. There are five crater lakes near the town, which are home to many water birds and a great base for water sports. The Bishoftu community is very friendly and supportive, and the town attracts some tourists to see its beautiful lakes.

What support is given?

We are here at every step to ensure you have an amazing time in Ethiopia. You will receive:

  • Good, clean accommodation
  • Airport pickups
  • Lots of help and advice in advance of your placement and on arrival
  • Support on how best to share your skills
  • The constant support and guidance of our full-time Ethiopian staff in our two Ethiopian offices
  • Email or telephone contact with our UK office to support and advise as necessary

What are the schools like?

Most, but not all of our volunteering programmes operate in conjunction with local schools. They are generally very basic, often short of resources such as books, sports equipment and IT. For this reason, volunteers can make such a difference. The lack of equipment is more than made up for by the enthusiasm of Ethiopian students.

What accommodation is provided?

You will be based in good standard accommodation either within our Link Ethiopia compound or in nearby independent accommodation, sometimes sharing with another volunteer. See our gallery for a selection of photo’s of typical accommodation.

What qualifications do I need?

We don’t require our volunteers to have any official qualifications (unless you are applying as a qualified teacher) to participate in our Share your skills volunteering programmes. However you will need to be able to demonstrate an interest or experience in the skill you are delivering.

Costs

Unlike many other volunteer organisations, Link Ethiopia is run entirely on a non-profit basis and, as a result, provides a highly accessible and affordable experience. The total cost of the scheme, shown below, includes a minimum fundraising element to help fund projects in the community that you will be living and working in. This means that our scheme is not only less expensive than most others out there, but also you know that over half the money you pay will be reinvested back into projects within the local community you’ll be working alongside. There are many fun and easy ways you can raise this fundraising money. For example, our previous volunteers have run charity cake and jumble sales, or partaken in sponsored runs and sporting events. The core placement cost covers your accommodation, airport pickups, pre-departure help and advice, teaching ideas and materials, the organisation of your placement, support and guidance from our full-time Ethiopian staff, and support and guidance from our UK team. This only leaves you to meet the cost of your flights, food and leisure activities while in Ethiopia. In country costs are relatively low.

Volunteer placement Core cost Minimum fundraising Total
1 month £335 £335 £670
2 months £415 £415 £830
3 months £495 £495 £990
4 months £595 £595 £1190
5 months £695 £695 £1390
6 months £795 £795 £1590

The length of time you spend volunteering in Ethiopia is totally up to you. Over the years the vast majority of our volunteers have opted for three-month programmes, which give long enough to get immersed in the local culture. We can be very flexible with volunteering arrangements, so do get in contact if you have any particular questions.

Can I apply as a resident Ethiopian?

Absolutely you can. Link Ethiopia will happily take applications from resident Ethiopians also looking to participate in our volunteering opportunities.

Hear from past volunteers

All our pupils gained massively in their personal confidence, benefiting from the more interactive learning.

Ben

Too much for words to describe

Amy

The Link staff were excellent. Extremely helpful and easily contactable. A credit to the human race!

Sam

I now find it much easier to talk to new people and have also gained good experience about the world around me.

Kitty

Apply or get in touch

If you would like to register you interest in volunteering or have any questions then please fill out the form below. Or you can email us at [email protected]