We work in health prevention. Projects may include teaching preventative methods, running events or doing preliminary health research.
About the Program
Our health programs focus on basic prevention. This involves understanding the key challenges amongst the Hamar community and developing simple and sustainable solutions. Health topics will develop as we continue to listen to community needs. We are passionate about inspiring local people to take simple measures that prevent illness, mortality rates and medical bills, generally promoting happier and healthy lives. Big Beyond does not give out medicine or physically treat patients, so only those that are interested in health prevention should join this program.
The Hamar Tribe
This is a remarkable volunteering opportunity for adventurous and pioneering individuals to join us in remote southern Ethiopia. It is home to one of the last truly authentic tribes in Africa – the Hamar - a dream for many.
Through this program you will work directly with the Hamar Tribe, helping them look past today towards a more secure future, all within their own cultural boundaries. Far from any city, within Africa’s Great Rift Valley, you will live and work amongst the Hamar – an experience that few people ever get the opportunity to do.
Our volunteer programs in Ethiopia are entirely bespoke, matched to your individual skills, abilities and interests, yet always prioritizing long-term development and conservation goals. You’ll be part of a small and super passionate local and international team. If you join us you’ll be part of something new, unexplored and groundbreaking as we’re one of very few NGOs that has ever ventured this far south in Ethiopia. You’ll be offered a great level of autonomy throughout your project. In return, we ask for self-motivation, initiative, flexibility, enthusiasm and support for our capacity-building approach.
There are some great activities to do in your spare time, especially if you love being outdoors. You could take a walk along the dry riverbed of the local Kaskey River; go on bush walks; explore the distant mountains that are, as of yet, somewhat unexplored; take a trip to Mago National Park, or do some animal spotting a bit closer to home (countless birds and colobos monkeys are easy to spot); have a game of volleyball or badminton with the local Hamar guys; or take it easy back at camp with the magnificent views for company. You need to be more creative in the evenings for entertainment, but the vast African sky full of stars can mesmerise you for hours as you sit by the campfire.
Further afield, there are 14 other distinct tribes that you can visit. Even further than that, the rest of Ethiopia is just as unexplored as a tourist destination, but boasts great diversity - the mountainous North, the lush and tropical West and the dry and deserted, Muslim East. Not forgetting the capital, Addis Ababa, that has a great restaurant and bar scene and some fab museums. Activities are not included in the programme fee but we will help make arrangements for you in advance of your trip.
You will organise your transport from Addis Ababa airport to your hotel and to the domestic airport for your internal flight. Once you get to Arba Minch, one of our friendly Big Beyond team members will pick you up from the airport and take you to a hotel in the town centre. You will spend one night in this beautiful lakeside town and then embark on the stunning 6 hour bus journey through the Omo Valley, the following ay. You'll be accompanied at all times. Get a window seat, sit back and relax.
We have two site locations - one community-owned Hamar camp where you’ll have your own en-suite room, or you’ll be sharing, depending on availability. The other location is a campsite in a Hamar village where we have our own private area. You’ll be in a furnished tent (with mattress) and Big Beyond will provide mobile facilities for these occasions including tents, bedding, shower, toilet and cooking facilities. It's simpler that you might be used to, but we promise we'll make you feel at home!
You’ll be fully catered for with three meals a day, plus water, tea and coffee. We provide a menu with a mix of international dishes (curries, scrambled eggs or pasta) and some Ethiopian food (injera and rich vegetable or meat stews). Be prepared, we are remote, many ingredients are hard to source and there’s no refrigeration, so expect a less varied diet that’s mostly vegetarian, with protein coming from eggs and pulses.