Ethiopia – School Building and Renovation

Please Note: This program is temporarily unavailable. Check out our alternative programs in Africa or schedule a one-on-one call with one of our expert volunteer advisors.


Assist in a community aid program through constructing and renovating a local school in Bahir Dar that caters to underprivileged children. Gain experience in tasks related to construction, masonry and painting.

Program Highlights:

  • Gain hands-on skills in construction, masonry or painting
  • Beautify and/or renovate a school that provides education to the children of poorer families
  • Live and volunteer near the shore of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile
  • Engage in positive, cultural exchange with local community members
  • You can enhance your Ethiopian experience by adding our “Ethiopian Culture Week” for an additional cost. If you book together with this program, you will receive a 50% discount off the culture week’s full price! *Discount will be applied to your final balance.


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum one-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Ginbot Haya Airport (BJR). You will be picked up by the local team and transferred to your accommodations to meet fellow volunteers and settle in.

Day 1, Monday: The week will begin with an introduction day. Volunteers will receive an introduction to Ethiopian history and culture, take part in an Amharic‌ ‌language lesson and a visit to the local market, lake, church and town. The evening brings a traditional dance show.

Days 2-5, Tuesday-Friday: The local coordinator will assign tasks each morning. Tasks may include painting and beautifying classrooms, renovating old classrooms and helping to build new classrooms or sports fields.

Days 6-7, Saturday-Sunday: Volunteers staying only one week will depart on Saturday. The weekend is free for volunteers who are extending to spend how they wish.

Remaining Weeks: Remaining weeks will follow the pattern of volunteering Monday-Friday and having weekends free. Departures are on a Saturday.


Location icon Location of the Project: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Project length Project length: Min 1 week – Max 8 weeks

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Ginbot Haya Airport (BJR)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Construction, renovation

Age Age:  18-60. (This project may accept volunteers who are younger than 18 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian, and those above 60 with doctor approval.)

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 14 international volunteers



What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Shared, dorm-style rooms

Food Food: Three meals during the week, two meals on weekends

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Airport pickup is provided upon arrival

Orientation Orientation: A full introduction is provided upon arrival.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, lunches on weekends, personal expenses.

Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa (the northeastern part). It is populous, with more than 100 million people.

Bahir Dar is the third-largest city in the nation and is bustling with hum and excitement. It is located just a block away from the beautiful shore of Lake Tana. Bahir Dar is currently serving as the capital of the Amhara Regional State in Ethiopia. Palm trees lay alongside the wide streets and shimmering, blue water. There are beautiful churches, museums, markets, and more located alongside the water. The Blue Nile River is located just slightly southeast of the city and faces the towering cliffs at the Blue Nile Falls.


Volunteer tasks may vary day-to-day. In general, volunteers can expect to plaster, lay bricks, paint classrooms, repair old desks, landscape or build a sports field. Volunteers who extend their stay will be able to see the difference that their time and effort has made. The local schoolchildren greatly appreciate receiving an education in a school that is being renovated and becoming a warmer, more beautiful place to learn.

Internet icon Internet: WiFi is available in public areas.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry facilities are available for use at an additional fee.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared, single-gender, dorm-style rooms in a house in a community that is four kilometers from the schools. Bathrooms are shared and Western-style toilets are available. There will be two volunteers per room. Fans and mosquito protection nets are provided.

Food icon Food: During the week, breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. The meals will be Ethiopian style, and vegetarian five days out of the week. On weekends, two meals (breakfast and dinner) will be provided. There is plenty of clean drinking water and other beverages available.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Basic level of English
  • Police clearance
  • Decent level of physical fitness
  • Immunizations (please consult your doctor)

Bahir Dar is a bustling city with plenty to do and is also located near many tourist attractions. Recommended travel destinations include:

  • Lake Tana, a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve
  • Blue Nile Falls
  • The historic city of Gondar
  • Simien Mountains National Park
  • Tana Kirkos


Volunteers can also add the Ethiopian Culture Week to the beginning or end of their volunteer week, to enhance the experience! Participants in the Culture week visit Lake Tana, Blue Nile Falls and enjoy the many cultural activities throughout the week.

Volunteer Experiences

Want to join this program?