Volunteering in Ethiopia and around the world can generally provide a good and life changing experience to participants. In Ethiopia, though the famine in the 80’s caused a lot of loss of life, it creates awareness on global problems such as famine, education, health and war and drew many organizations to the country. Volunteer opportunities abound in Ethiopia aimed at making a tangible difference in the Ethiopian people’s lives.
Common volunteer projects in Ethiopia include those involving work with children in orphanages, schools or medicals institutions. Some of the projects prefer to house participants with local families to provide a rich cultural experience to participants. These programs can provide much needed perspective to permanently broaden a volunteer’s outlook on life.
Majority of volunteers who visit Ethiopia are engaged in its expanding education sector. Due to government efforts, enrolment has risen in many of the countries schools since 2006/07 persistently to date. Volunteers in the education sector are employed at varying levels including teaching and teacher training, ultimately aimed to have an impact on the overall quality of education children receive.
Another good sector for volunteers is health. Ethiopia has several active volunteer programs within organizations targeting preventive, basic curative and rehabilitative services. Through these efforts, national health coverage has reached 63%, which is still considered very low. Volunteers in health are likely to be engaged in child and maternal health programs as the maternal and child mortality rates in Ethiopia are still among the highest globally. Health programs often run in partnership with the government Health Ministry and this may be a good location to begin investigating Ethiopia.