Volunteer in Ethiopia


Be a part of kick starting education for youngsters in Ethiopia, and instilling a new culture of active learning. Based in Addis Ababa, you’ll also spend time with the disadvantaged in a local feeding program and learn more about the wider family focus of this project to help communities reach their full potential.  

And so it began; our relationship with eight incredible boys. Eight boys who had experienced more in their seven to fourteen years than we had in twenty-eight and twenty-six. Each with an incredible story of living on the street and begging for food for their entire lives so far.

Emily | Ethiopia Volunteer


I still laugh at my initial nervousness and uncertainty about volunteering. It's been an amazing, eye-opening experience, and I'm so glad I know these eight beautiful, unique children who appreciate everything they have. While I was trying to make an impact on their lives, they've impacted mine more than they'll ever know.

Lori | Ethiopia Volunteer


Just Choose a Project and Apply!


You have a unique opportunity to learn a different way of living in a new culture, and to experience the traditional Ethiopian diet. Accommodation in a volunteer house on site has been selected to ensure volunteer well-being and comfort, to maintain safety and security, and to guarantee you get the most out of your time in Ethiopia.

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $495 per week (for the first four weeks of placement), and $200 per week after this. This includes accommodation, meals (as specified below), coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up and it is due at least 10 weeks prior to your arrival.

Education and Community Outreach

Education and Community Outreach

Do you get a kick out of helping children learn? Are you a natural communicator? In our Ethiopia program volunteers will be responsible for helping to teach children - with a focus on English and mathematics. With the aid of a local teacher who will help translate for you, you will plan and run lessons for knowledge-hungry children from severely disadvantaged backgrounds. The school provides a one-year intensive program for these children to prepare them for moving on to government run schools.

Twice a week, you'll also assist at a local feeding program to connect with a wider cross-section of Ethiopian communities facing various challenges.

If your placement coincides with school holidays, youíll be a part of the long-term relationship with past students, offering "refresher" lessons, life skills workshops and nutritious lunches.

This project requires volunteers who are self-starters, who can take part in a flexible schedule, and who can work with minimal supervision.Teaching experience is not required, but volunteers must be prepared to plan lessons and run classes for the children. Volunteers need to be fluent in English and have a passion for children and education.

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Ethiopia Application Form


Apply Now: Step 1 of 3



Why GVN?


Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

We are excited to get your placement under way where you will:

  • Be a part of GVN's efforts to inspire learning, innovation and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world. Work with exceptional grassroots projects in community development, conservation and wildlife, personal development, fundraising and physical challenges.
  • Have the 24/7 support of a non profit with 14 years experience in placing 20162 volunteers that will provide you with an affordable and rewarding placement.
  • Volunteer with a world-class organization which is recommended by Bill Gates and CNN.
  • Be a part of progressive non profit that has raised over $2 million to help women and children in need.
  • Have the comfort of knowing that GVN staff have collectively flown over 1 million miles to ensure you get a quality placement.
  • Make a long-term impact in your community of choice - it's not just a vacation.




How GVN works...


The first step is to fill out an application to see if we have a place for you. Then if your application is successful you will be accepted and we will then get to work organizing your placement.

GVN is a registered Charitable Trust, so volunteers finance themselves, or can fundraise online with our unique GVN platform, with US donors receiving tax receipts. The Program Package provides you with all that is listed below, along with personalized support from our expert staff and the knowledge that you'll be working with a reputable and registered charity with over 14 years experience in the field.

At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Ethiopia and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.

Program Package

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $495 per week (for the first four weeks of placement), and $200 per week after this. This includes accommodation, meals (as specified below), coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up and it is due at least 10 weeks prior to your arrival. due date.

The Program Package also includes a project donation, which supports the work the GVN Foundation does in addressing nutrition, education and healthcare needs, as well as supporting longer-term development approaches, including income generation activities and microfinance.

Your program package includes:


  • Personal support from your Program Specialist throughout the preparation process.
  • Your Program Guide, with all the details on Ethiopia and your placement.
  • Fundraising strategies and access to our crowd funding platform where you can raise up to 100% of the cost your trip, with tax receipts for your US based donors.
  • Access to Your Own Online Journal: which helps you to communicate effectively and easily with your family and friends back home.
  • Opportunities for Preferred Pricing and Personalized Service when booking Airfares: through our travel partner GYT Flight Centre who go the extra mile to support GVN volunteers.


  • Accommodation: Home stay or onsite at your project.
  • Meals: Breakfast and dinner.
  • Project Donation: Included.
  • Airport pickup: On arrival date.
  • Training: In-country orientation.
  • Supervision: In-country staff supervision.
  • Support: Pre-departure personal support from your Program Specialist, 24/7 in-country support from partner, and 24hr emergency e-mail.


  • An opportunity to debrief and provide feedback
  • Free access to GVN Changemakers program which alerts you to future internship/job opportunities at GVN.
  • A Letter of Completion in Volunteer Service.
  • The opportunity to stay connected with your project.
  • Global advocacy and fundraising campaigns to continue your part of the movement for social change with an international non-profit that has granted over $2 million to our partner organizations.

The program package does not include: Flights, insurance, visas, vaccinations, departure from the program.

We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $50 for your other expenses such as bottled water, lunch, personal items, beverages, and entertainment.




Tell me more about Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is an incredible country, rich in tradition, culture, and varied landscape. Ethiopia is not widely traveled by tourists and Ethiopians are very welcoming and friendly to visitors. Ethiopia offers high mountain ranges such as the Simien and the Bale Mountains, as well as the heat of the desert and one of the lowest places on earth: the Danakil Depression. The rock-hewn churches of Tigray and the astounding monoliths of Lalibela are just a few of the attractions Ethiopia has to offer. Additionally, Ethiopia has its own calendar system, thirteen months in total; each month has 30 days and the last month is one week long, hence the country slogan "Thirteen Months of Sunshine!" For more information we suggest you purchase the Bradt Travel Guide to Ethiopia.

Can you tell me more about your partner in Ethiopia?

Our partner is a Christian organization which was founded in 2004 by a group of concerned locals who saw the plight of street children in and around Addis Ababa. Currently they run a home for children ranging from 5 to 14 years old (the majority of whom are in the younger age bracket of 5 - 8 currently). They are completely dependent on volunteer support and donations to keep the organization running, and hope that in the near future they will be able to bring in ten more children.

What is the climate like in Ethiopia?

Located on the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia has a varied climate, but overall is quite temperate. In Addis Ababa, where the volunteer project is located, daytime temperatures range from 15-18 C (60-65 F), while in the evenings the temperatures can get down into 5-10 C (40-50 F) range. Around the country the climate can be dramatically different. In the Bale and Simien Mountains one can expect cold temperatures, even snow and frost, due to the altitude. If visiting the Danakil Depression, however, temperatures are often 50 C (120 F). The rainy season is generally between June and early October. Throughout the year many people carry umbrellas to shade them from the sun and to protect them from the rain.

What kind of volunteer work is available?

Volunteers should plan to help out in a variety of areas. This will include planning lessons for the children, teaching classes in English and Maths, organising games and fun activities, and working in a community feeding program.

Is there any time of the year when I can't volunteer?

You can volunteer at any time of the year in Ethiopia; the program starts on the 1st of each month.

Read More




About Ethiopia



Bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea, on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan, Ethiopia is a landlocked country.

The program is located in the suburb of Asko, about 9 kms north of the capital city of Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa, translating roughly into "New Flower," is the world's third highest capital city, at an altitude of 2400m. Almost dead center, Addis is a bustling city that can feel overwhelming at first, but has much to offer. The streets feel almost mellow compared to other African capitals and although there are around 2.3 million people in this city, it doesn't feel crowded.

Development in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest nations. Its somewhat unstable economy is due to two major and ongoing weaknesses: food uncertainty and an almost complete dependency on coffee exportation (US$335-million annually) for foreign-exchange income. As of 2006, Ethiopia's GDP per capita was US$800. Subsistence agriculture forms the backbone for the livelihood of around 85 percent of Ethiopians, and although much of the country is very fertile, erratic rain fall, pests, and severe soil erosion due to deforestation persistently keep agricultural yields unpredictable and low.

Tourism is thought to have great growth potential for Ethiopia's economy and foreign investment is now being encouraged. However, unfavorable reports by the media of the country's famines, ongoing strain with Eritrea, and the results from the last election have hindered growth in this area. Each year finds more tourists in Ethiopia discovering her potential for relaxing vacations, a birder's paradise, and a history buff's religious and archaeological dream.

Volunteer Impact

Volunteers provide assistance to disadvantaged children who have been rescued from a life on the street.

As a volunteer in Ethiopia you can provide love, affection, education and support to former street children.  Volunteers also serve at a local feeding center where meals are provided to the street community.  You will also provide education, inter-cultural exchange and understanding in Ethiopian communities.

What else can I do in Ethiopia?

Visitors to Ethiopia will have a moving experience.

Take an awe-inspiring trip to the ancient tombs and obelisks of Aksum, or the medieval stone churches in Lalibela.  Spiritualists will want to visit Lake Tana and it's centuries-old island monasteries.  Adventurists must see the Simien Mountains for some of Africa's best trekking, and enchanting glimpses of numerous types of animals from birds to baboons.


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