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                                   Ideal for students, mid-career and over 50. 

International Volunteering & Careers


International Volunteer Programs  

1: Microfinance & Small Business Development
2: Social Work & Psychology
3: Nursing, Midwifery, Medical, Public Health, OT, PT
4: Democracy Building, Human Rights, Law new!
5: Peace Making & Conflict Transformation
6: International Development
7: Agriculture & Animal Husbandry
8: Water & Sanitation, Appropriate Technology
9: Environmental
10: The Empowerment of Women
11: Education & Tutoring
12: Kids & Youth
13: Journalism, Media  & Writing
14: Businesss Brains Teach Organizations How to Make $

15: Tourism & Agri-Tourism
16: Learn French, Swahil or Arabic
For more information on how Volunteer Programs work
Check how and where your skills are needed.

Please see MENA page for more about Morocco.
MENA = Middle East & North Africa

Almost every site in Africa has something for everyone: from beginner to seasoned professional.
Email answered Questionnaire & together we can figure out the program that is best fit for you.
It is wise to apply 4 - 6 months ahead of going because you will need to get a visa & a series of immunizations.
A 2 hour Travel Consult is required for people volunteering in our Africa programs.

Micro-finance & Small Business Development

Half of Sub-Sahara Africa lives on less than $1/day; 75% of Africa lives on less than $2/day. 
In cities, people sell trinkets, pens or bananas to passers-by but earn little.
In the villages, farmers have land to grow food but they may not make money.

Microfinance has morphed  many ways as MFI's (micro-finace institutions) struggle to find
what works for women entrepreneurs and still leaves MFI solvent.

Thriving MFI welcomes many skills: Finance, business/ operations, IT, marketing.
Uganda:  Help innovative Congolese refugees with entrepreneurial skills.
Cameroon: Help bolster rural enterprises in villages & teach entrepreneurial skills.

Morocco: a corporate MFI. French fluency essential.
Sierra Leone: our most challenging MF placement but most welcoming.
Rwanda & Tanzania:
excellent, innovative program mentoring entrepreneurs.
Who is needed?
--Small business owners who can mentor          --Risk actuaries; Business & data analysts.
--Business & Finance majors                            --Social workers who can help bi;d strengths.
--Entrepreneurship                                          --IT/ MIS (Management Information  Systems)   
--Accountants & bookkeeprs who can teach women how to keep track of income & expenses
--Business savvy entrepreneurs who can help make "somethin' outa nothin'"
  and help people see business opportunities all around them.

"It is refreshing to find international volunteer programs that are real.....
                                                                not just voluntourism....but that tackle humanitarian challenges."  Sonya Ullrich

Social Work & Psychology

Kenya: great first experience counseling kids who have lost parent or alcoholic parent
Kenya: ground-breaking work with sexually abused young women
Uganda: help develop counseling program for women, men & kids of domestic violence
Cameroon: help teach positve (vs violent) interactions & set up crisis line
Ghana & Rwanda:
  work on hospital Psych unit
Gulu & Kenya:
  Drinking is rampant and unaddressed.
Sierra Leone:  find families for kids orphaned by Ebola epidemic of 2014.
Gulu: re-launch kids program for kids born during Joseph Kony's LRA days

Who is needed?
--Counselors,  social workers & psychologists - both students & seasoned professionals
--Youth workers, child protection, addiction,  crisis, psychiatric & DV experts
--Marriage & family therapists; group counselors & workshop trainers
--Program managers to help re-launch childrens' program in northern Uganda
--Drug & alcohol counselors to treat alcoholism and train staff

Health: Nursing, Midwifery, Medical, Dental, OT, & PT. Public Health

There is 1 doctor/ 10,000 people in most countries in Africa.
Hospital workers, barely or rarely paid, live by extorting money from dying patients.

Uganda x3, Rwanda & Cameroon:  public health promotion prevents diseses!
 Teach about communicable diseases, malaria, food & water borne disease, WASH.
Gulu, Uganda
: teach family planning so less  mouths to feed...a ticket out of poverty.
Gulu, Uganda: 2 clinics need nurses, midwives, nursing & medical students.
Sierra Leone: Need Nutritionists/ Dieticians that can assess & help malnourished kids.
Kenya & Rwanda request Nutritionists to help prevent diabetes
Ghana & Cameroon: Work in hospital or side-by-side with doctor in villages
   Need nurses, doctors, midwives, nutritionists, social workers, dentists,
   occupational therapy, physical therapy (physiotherapists) and students of all these.
Morocco: midwives & nurses to help with 40 births/day.

Who is needed?
All of the above in Emergency, Surgery, Maternity, Gynogology & AIDS units & more!
--Nrusing, MIdwifery & Public Health students...if you can rise to the challenges.

c. David Zimmerly


  The Anguish of AIDS & malaria

--AIDS continues to ravage Africa as unfaithful husbands
infect their wives, and then these widows infect their brother -in-law who "inherits" & becomes a sexual partner.

One woman told me:
"It is a rare family that has not been affected by AIDS.
Of my 7 siblings only one has not died of AIDS."

Africans count how many times they have had malaria. Sometimes they are lucky and the medicine cures them. Other times cerebral malaria takes them out in a day.
Most people can not afford a mosquito bed net for $5.

Democracy Building, Human Rights & Legal

Uganda: is very corrupt. Their president, Museveni, has violated rights & term limits to stay
  in office.  Work in dynamic human rights organization & make a difference!
Cameroon, Uganda, Morocco: women in Africa are considered property of their husband.
  Teach women their rights & help shift attitudes.
that were tortured or jailed under Moi have spear-headed the push for a new
  constittution that devolves power from Nairobi & President & puts local & citizen needs at
  center stage. Kenyans are trained abstractly in Political Sceince not Public Administration.
Kenya: work with brillaint gadfly who aims to keep politicains honest.   Both Kenya on hold
Tanzania: work with fascinating legal aid org that also is doing ground-breaking work on
  challenging economic polcies that create poverty.
Morocco: work with refugee rights, women's rights or human rights orgs that educate
  in one of the nations that did not press for Arab Spring.
Ghana: is becoming a model for democracy.  Work with local government to teach civic      
  education; encourage women to participate in politics; & advance girl child education.

Who is needed?
--Human rights activists & organizers        --Public Administration & Political Science
--Political analysts & speakers                  --Writers & people to interface with media
--Law students & attorneys to work in legal aid services to help poor who can pay for lawyer
--Instructors or professors to teach Human Rights; Gender & Law; Economis or Leadership

Peace Making, Reconciliation  & Conflict Resolution

Burundi  experienced a genocide much like Rwanda's.                         On hold
Their aim is to build, at the grassroots level, citizen's skill in peace-making & conflict prevention
thus creating a community culture that disallows the birth of such violence.

Who is needed? 
--Students or professionals with skills in Peace-Making, Conflict Prevention & Resolution
--People with a background in International Relations, Political Science or Human Rights
--People that interested in this field who may not have any training


Rwanda: A People-Centered Government

When someone says "Rwanda" what do yu think? Genocide?
An increasing number of people think, "What a miracle!"

For people thinking of volunteering in Rwanda,  you need to know
 1. that Rwanda does not want people to come to do what  
    Rwandans can do for themselves;
2. that they have a very stringent volunteer visa so that the govt
    can steer Rwanda's direction rather than foreign NGO's.
3. Thinking in terms of Hutu & Tutsi is passe;
    people think of themselves as Rwandans.
4. Rwandans, I think, are sick of people poking at the  wounds of
    the genocide and are much more interested in people that can
    help with health care, education, and new housing by the govt.

Rwanda is orderly without being oppressive.
It is the only place  in Africa that cares enough to require motorcycle taximen  and their passengers to wear helmets.
The countryside bustles with bicycles loaded with produce.
There is zero tolerance for corruption...which is refreshing!

This is why people ask to volunteer in Rwanda:
they want to witness this miracle; this major turn-around.
But this is also why it is so hard to arrange a volunteer visa!

Entering International Development

These are designed  to help with that first step into international humanitarian work. Talk to Ann if you are interested because you must be qualified for these.

Uganda: Monitoring & Evaluation
Uganda: Congolese refugees. Get experience actually building programs.
Uganda: Human Rights & Democracy Building
Tanzania: Water & Sanitation in refugee camps.Get experience helping run org.
Rwanda:  Great place to get experience because this multi-sectoal org operates like
  most international NGO''s. Get leadership experience and/or work in health
  campaigns, income generation, M&E, rural development or social programs.
Rwanda: Public Health with Congolese Refugees           

Sierra Leone: Project management; M&E, grant writing

Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, & Rural Development

Cameroon & Ghana: teach organic, sustainable farming & rain water harvesting.
Cameroon: Teach bee-keeping, animal husbandry (goats, chickens, rabbits), cattle breeding
Cameroon: Teach how to diversify & generate agricultural income all year long

Rwanda: as a nation, Rwandans decided that Hutus & Tutsis must work together
on cooperatives to heal the wounds of the genocide. 
Needed: people experienced in management of cooperatives.
Sierra Leone: 
teach what crops to grow to reduce high child malnutrition

Who is needed?
--Agronomists, & agriculturalists. Farmers & gardeners
--Those that do organic farming or animal husbandry avocationally or for a living
--Nutritionists & Dieticians - both students & seasoned professionals

.Water & Sanitation, Appropriate Technology & Sustainable Energy

Kenya: stellar water & sanitation (WASH) or watsan) org needs people that can train
     Kenyans how to measure and detect water pathogens
Uganda:  help set up water systems & teach Ugandans how to maintain them
Ghana & Kenya: raise awareness of the importance of clean water & sanitation.
Ghana: chemical & mechanical engineers develop alternative fuels & also purify water
Tanzania: help with water & sanitation in refugee camps

 Whos is needed?
--Students & seasoneed engineers with expertise in sustainable energy
--Environmental engineers & sanitation engineers for clean water
--Public Health students & professionals to educate the importance of water & sanitation.

Environmental Preservation: Uganda & Ghana                                           
Africa has has always been rich in resources. What is new about that?
African orgs are standing up to those that wish to have their resources ensure that their environments will not be desicrated
and that the wealth from those resources will not go to the elites but will enrich the African people.

Who is needed?
--Environmental activists with a head for stratagies, campaigns & mobilization.
--People with a background in Environmental Law and policies.
--Or those interested in environmental preservation and regulation.

Environment & Wildlife : Ethiopia               

This premier wildlife conservation organization is working to preserve Ethiopia's endangered species by protecting habitats & supporting legislation to protect environmental resources.

They would like help with:

--Environmental Education presentations
--Coordinate their Ecosystem Partnership Fund
--Build & maintain membership & help with Communications legislation to   
  protect environmental resources.

The Empowerment of Women

Uganda/Rwanda: Innovative approaches to decrease Domestic Violence
Uganda & Morocco: Fiery feminists wanted to change attitudes
     i.e that women are just the property of their husband
Cameroon & Uganda: Across Africa, women have been excluded from education.
    "Why should I pay your school fees if you are only going to become a wife?"
     Girl child education & getting women to universities is still radical & subversive.
Both the UN & World Bank believe that educating females has a positive
     ripple effect & helps uplift socierty.
One of the biggest legal issues for women is inheritance rights.
    When her husband dies, the land is given to the husband's brother;
    thus the woman looses the land that feeds her and her children.
    Help women learn & demand their legal rights.
Jinja & Gulu, Uganda: Family planning is #1 priority for many African women.
Morocco: Women's rights & teach women literacy who have been denied education

Who is needed?
--Men who are feminists i.e. believe in equlity & empowerment of women
--Women that can include men in the solution to DV & GBV
--Both women & men who challenge archaic attitudes about women.
--Community organizers who can map community strengths & empower families.
--You don't need fancy background to teach literacy....just lots of patience & laughter

c.Wintry Whitt-Smith
Education & Tutoring

  From Hell to Healing, Uganda: Joseph Kony & the Lord's Resistence Army
wrecked havoc as youth were abducted & forced to be child soldiers & sex slaves.
Most of the kids at this school grew up in the IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps.

Why Uganda especially needs help with schools: The government siphons off money and
   does not pay teachers so few teachers show up to teach at government schools.
   ~"Teachers pretend to teach & the government pretends to pay them."

Who is needed?
--Tutors & teachers that can help these youth have a brighter future
  by helping these youth pass the national exam & get a university scholarship
--Tutors in Math, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, English Literature & Grammar
   You don't need to be a rocekt scientist; patience & laughter matter more.

Kenya: Our excellent children's home now has a primary school build in!

Who is needed?
Primary school teachers to boeth teach & help design curriculum, librarians & Tutors

--Student nurses who can do health check-ups
--People to bring laptops & books & help with enrichment programs

Uganda:  Congolese Refugees: Primary & Secondary School + Vocational Training

Seemingly never-ending conflict in the eastern Congo, results in a seemingly never ending stream of refugees to Uganda.
Launced by a very dedicated director 10 years, they started with a primary school. They have expanded to a secondary school.
Most unusual is their vision for vocational training for their youth. "We want them to be self sufficient."

Who is needed?
--People that can teach the trades: carpentry, furniture & cabinet making, masonry, plumbing, electrical/ solar
--People that can help make art generate income: drawing, portraits, cartoons, ceramics, carving
--People that teach culinary, restaurant, hotel/ hospitality....teach chef/ cooking that will appeal to tourists
--People that can teach farming/ agriculture, animal husbandry, permaculture, irrigation/ rain water harvesting
--People that can teach hair cutting, cosmetology, beautician, nails...and how to make such a business prosper
--Teach computers, data entry, keybord, bookkeeping, coding,  data analytics, secretarial skills & office management

Kids, Kids, Kids  & Youth: Ghana, Kenya & Uganda
What is Africa going to look like in 10 or 20 years?
An entire generation is growing up without parents; with parents lost to AIDS, civil war, drugs & alcohol, or abandoned because their parents could not afford to feed them.
Abandoned kids are prey for prostitution rings, traffickers & child labor.  

Who is needed?
--People that love kids!    from students to grandparents.    

--Tutors, tutors and more tutors.           
--Vocational trainers:                                                       
      Carpenters, masons, computers, blacksmiths, music & the arts
      sewing, basketry, beadwork, soap making, catering, animal husbandry
--Musicians & dancers; audio & video production for new sound lab!

--Soccer, basketball, tennis, copoeira, swim coaches.
--Youth counselors, social workers, psychologists, counselors
--Counselors: family reunification, parenting, grief counseling, alcoholism
--Program Managers to help re-launch kids program in northern Uganda
--Story tellers & oral history for northern Uganda
--Nursing & Public Health students to teach about hygiene, sex ed (vs teen pregnancies)


Journalism, Media & Writing

Journalism has always been important to democracy building; it goes hand in hand with building engaged citizens.
Stifling state run
ewspapers are what makes the press seem so boring in Africa.
Criticizing the government may cost you your life so we encourage fire brands to think before they speak.

Morocco: Internationally esteemed press corps will very selectively take experienced journalists & compelling writers.
Kenya: Newspaper with strong emphasis on social issues welcomes writers.
Women: Print & radio gives voice to women's concerns & has increased women's civic involvement.
   In Africa, radio is important because it is a means by which people who can not read can hear news.
Gulu, Uganda: Oral history & book writing project of women who were abducted by LRA/ Joseph Kony.

Environmental: One of the biggest news stories in Africa? How is Africa igoing to handle new found natural resources?
Will the elites horde the profits like Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea? Or help lift millions of people out of poverty?
The goal of this media org is to make this story more known all over the world.

Who is needed?
--Compelling writers (but fiery muckrakers may be endangered.)


"Business Brains":  Making Money to Fund Organizations  & Families

Across Africa  organizations run on zero budget and sheer commitment & dedication
so understandably requested fund raisers & grant writers.
I encouraged these orgs to develop an enterprise that sustains their organization.
e.g. One org had it figured out! 3,000 hens will lay enough eggs to sustain DV org.

Across Africa, we talked about  teaching a person to fish vs giving them a fish:
"Money doen't grow on trees. It is more important to learn how to make it than to have it."
I promised that I would send people who could teach them how to make money;
that would give a hand up rather than a hand out.

At a indiividual level, help people dream up & carry out "income generation" "projects
that can perhaps even move people from tettering informal incomes to formal economy.

Who is needed?
--"Business brains" that  can teach & mentor a business way to think &  help dream up  
   ways  to sustain organizations, families & individuals
--Fund raisers, grant writers, organizational development & strategic planning.
--Teach Accounting, Auditing, Economics & Entrepreneurship at vocational college
--People that can teach crafts or cottage industries that take few resources
   but have high profit margins:  e.g. tying flies, tailoring, making shoes....
--People with strong craft skills - beading, batik, quilting, knitting - to teach to raise money
--Community tourism experts to transform Ugandan dancing into income generation


Tourism & AgriTourism

Tanzania: Preparing people to work in the Serengeti & on Mt Kilimanjaro

These natural wonders are a source of income for Tanzanians.

Who is needed at this Vocational School? People that have backgrounds in:
--English, French, Italian, Spanish, or German so that teach tour guides or hotel staff    
  to communicate with guests.  Patience more important than teaching experience.
--Bar tending or culinary skills
--Tourism and Hospitality 
--Hotel management ....& can teach people how to work within this industry
--Hygiene & food handling
--Interior Design: teach how to make a room or a resort appealing
--Plumbing, carpentry and building maintenance
--Wildlife Conservation, guiding  and recognition of all the animals

Kenya is great at farming & tourism. A brilliant Kenyan would like to combine these & launch Agri-Tourism in western Kenya.

Who is needed? People with backgrounds in:
--Tourism, lodging, airbnb, bed & breakfasts
--Advertising, branding, marketing, writers, communications, social media
--Anthropology to collect oral histories, harness the strengths of the villages
--Cooks & chefs to create cusine that attracts tourist from those flocking to Italiy to eat!
--Architects, builders, interior decorators to develop each site & lodging
--Videographers, film, photographers, web site developers, graphic artists, "creatives"

As Wangari Maathai said, "Come to Kenya to meet the people, not see the animals!"

Learning Languages: French, Swahili & Arabic

Language instruction either by itself or accompanied with volunteering so you are more immersed.
Learning Swahili in Tanzania...or French is Cameroon or Morocco...or Arabic in Morocco.

                 "Committed to their mission, "To harness humanity's talent to solve humanity's challenges",
                 NGOabroad matched my political organizing skills to a cutting edge democracy building program.
                 Volunteering enriched my life in totally unpredictable ways. There is no organization like NGOabroad."
                                                                                                                                C. Fitchett  

Many of our programs need volunteers with practical skills; skills that can help get a job or generate income:
teach sewing, crafts; carpentry or boat building; bicycle, motorcycle or auto repair; farming/gardening; bookkeeping.

If your skills, goals or desired destinations do not fit in these Volunteer Programs, ask for a Roadmap of Resources.  

How the International Volunteer Programs work:

Looking for a Volunteer Vacation or to Volunteer Abroad? We offer more real & challenging. More affordable.

Affordable:  1/4th the price of most programs.
     See fees & how to apply.

harness your skills to tackle real & important challenges.

Real Deal:
other programs offer group experiences & send a chaperone.  We are for volunteers - students & older - who want the real deal: willing to do both the grunt work & the glamorous; able to live humbly & make a real contribution.

Personalized: rather than one-size-fits-all approach,  we believe that if you are really going to make a contribution, we must match your skills to where they are truly needed.

Flexible Schedule:
You can go at any time of year though school schedules may create constraints. Duration of your stay can be determined by you in conjunction with the Host Director. Your schedule can usually be accommodated.

Home Stays
keep the cost down & deepen your understanding of daily life: fetching water, no electricity. Or you can stay at a guesthouse.

We believe that you can immerse in other cultures if you are well prepared:  Travel & Cultural Consults maximize health & safety.

Transportation: Some people wonder who pays airfare. 97% of the time: the volunteer. Your host organization cannot afford to pay your airfare. 50%
of humanity earns <$2/day.

A 2 hour Travel Consult is required for people volunteering in Africa.
Almost everyone asks before "Why do I have to do this?"
and exclaims after "That was amazing!"

"Mary Ellen Waller is an encyclopedia. She boils down what would have taken me days to research. All the information provided was tailored
to my specific travel needs. My consult was invaluable, and I definitely intend to call upon her again for any overseas travel I do in the future."



Refugees: Rebuilding Lives                                      On hold
In the 1990's, there were 7 million too many refugees on the African continent.
We have intentionally built our program in a refugee community out of harms way
but where you can really make a difference. We need you:

--Teach children & adult literacy.

--Teach computers. Math & Accounting. Vocational skills. English.
--Musicians. Drama. Sports. Photography. Web design. eCommerce.
--Writers & journalists
to teach writing.  Human rights trainers.
--Teaching practical skills to help people make a living:
hair cutting, auto mechanics, carpentry, crafts. Marketing to sell crafts.
--Appropriate technology. Water & sanitation engineers. Construction.