Volunteer Abroad in Africa

When you decide to volunteer abroad in Africa you have a wide variety of locations to choose from.

Ethiopia is one example, in fact someone in my family volunteered to go and help the women and children in Ethiopia. She received a free grant to do research there and the grant paid for her airfare and expenses and everything.

When she got back from Africa she wrote a paper about the trip and her research, and then was paid a nice sum of money for the article by the same organization that gave her the grant. She made a lot of new friends and had a wonderful experience there that she will never forget.

The next year she volunteered in Africa for free again, this time going to Cameroon in central West Africa. She worked to help women’s issues and the environment. She spent five weeks there and had quite an adventure. For this trip she received a grant from her college, to do an unpaid volunteer summer internship with an organization in Cameroon that works to protect the environment and help with social issues.

That makes two different times she was able to volunteer abroad in Africa for free and if she can do it twice you can do it once. You just have to keep applying for those grants. Talk to college guidance counselors, talk to friends who have volunteered, put the word out that you want to get a grant for this purpose.

Other potential locations include the west coast of Africa where there are the beaches and palm trees of Ghana. In east Africa lies Kenya, renowned for safaris and anthropology sites. In South Africa there is Johannesburg and Cape Town. Other localities include Namibia, Angola, Cameroon, Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda, Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana, and the beautiful Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean off the coast of eastern Africa. You can make a meaningful contribution in any of these exotic locations.

You will work side-by-side with local people, which helps everyone share an increased understanding of cultures. Your travel and work provides you with the chance to explore a part of Africa while also lending a helping hand to others.

Some examples of opportunities to volunteer abroad in Africa include the following:

  • Teach English to school children
  • Volunteer at an English language newspaper
  • Work with animals at a game reserve
  • Teach basic computer skills
  • Help with tree planting and environmental conservation work
  • Work on marine conservation and protection of habitats
  • Coach kids in sports such as soccer
  • Assist with marine life conservation, protecting dolphins and turtles
  • Help build homes, (similar to what Habitat for Humanity does)
  • Assist with relief efforts of others who volunteer in Haiti

Some questions to ask yourself are…

How much time do you have available to volunteer?
What kind of work do you want to do?
What kind of work would you prefer to avoid?
What locations are you most interested in?
What skills and talents can you bring to the group?
Do you know any other languages?

What type of person enjoys being a volunteer? Some of the helpful personality traits include enthusiasm, a sense of adventure, respect for other peoples and cultures, the desire to do good and make a difference in the world, patience with new and different experiences, interest in learning new things, and a good sense of humor. All of these will come in handy to the person who wants to volunteer abroad in Africa or any other country.