Protect Hamar Culture

We aim to strengthen and document Hamar values that are at risk of being lost in a changing world, raise pride and celebrate Hamar culture.

About the Program

If you're interested in African culture or indigenous tribes, this is possibly the best place to visit and do research. Through project work you will be privileged to learn in-depth insights on the Hamar Tribe, which, until now, have been largely undocumented. We then hope to share these findings about the rich culture and history through creative methods. It is a place where the language and large parts of the history and culture is still unwritten, yet traditions remain extremely strong and there’s a fierce pride attached to being Hamar. The opportunities here are almost endless!

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.

Long-term goals

The long-term goal of our program here is to empower the Hamar community, helping them achieve their own ambitions, within respected cultural boundaries, and to work towards conserving the last remaining wildlife in Ethiopia's Mago National Park. We work at the grassroots level, listening closely to community needs and ambitions. We don't give handouts, we want to help the Hamar to help themselves through powerful, capacity raising activities.

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Suitable for


Typical day

You will be working from Monday to Friday including the following activities.

  • Interviewing local people to dig deep into the cultural and natural heritage of Hamar;
  • Helping to develop a cultural education centre for both tourists and local benefit;
  • Helping to design effective and engaging educational messages through all forms of The Arts;
  • Mentoring cultural performers to communicate their stories; or
  • Supporting craft makers or artisans in developing and diversifying their collections of high quality tourist souvenirs.

This is a hugely diverse program that doesn’t require qualifications or years of experience, just heaps of enthusiasm and a good bit of creativity. However, research tasks will benefit from excellent communicators with the ability to listen and be respectful. This project offers engaging and varied opportunities for people with a passion for drama, music, dance, arts and crafts, writing, history or anthropology, to bring their energy to this undocumented part of Ethiopia.

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
Required Documents
Pre-trip organisation questionnaire
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
For this project, all we ask for is heaps of enthusiasm and equal measure of creativity. If you have experience, great, it will be put to effective use, but creativity is the name of the game here.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at Big Beyond are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

You're well placed to explore one of the most beautiful regions of Africa! We can help organize incredible adventures, from cultural explorations to wildlife and wellness experiences. The local area is perfect for trail running, hiking, gentle strolls, bakiga dancing and learning new skills from the local people. Of course one thing you shouldn't miss when you come to this part of the world is gorilla trekking. You need a permit to track gorillas in Bwindi and only 12 permits are issued per day per gorilla group, in order to limit human to animal contact. We can help organize your permit. Day or weekend trips could also include climbing the Virunga Volcanoes, relaxing at Lakes Bunyoni or Mutanda, or perhaps safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park Activities are not included in the program, fee but we will help make arrangements for you in advance of your trip so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the excitement of what’s to come. If you’d prefer to decide once you’re out there - that’s no problem either, just speak to our expert team in Uganda and they’ll organize everything for you.



What's included?
A creative and totally unique high-impact volunteer programme - Your personal email and phone guru to help you prepare - Pre-departure destination handbook - Airport transfers: on arrival and departure - Detailed in-country orientation programme, including basic language and cultural immersion - Local project transport where necessary - Decent full-board accommodation in a shared volunteer house - Three organic veggie meals a day - Bottled drinking water, fresh hand-roasted coffee and tea available all day - Fresh local fruit available at all times - All housekeeping and laundry done for you - Local mobile phone SIM card (including pre-cut SIMs for unlocked Smart phones) - Free internet (unfortunately slow and unreliable in this part of the world, be warned!) - Big Beyond team T-shirt - Daily project support, guidance and translators when needed - 24/7 emergency support from professional in-country teams - Head office support with CRB checks and visa applications (HQ South Africa) - Optional and on-demand free time activity facilitation - Travel advice and bookings for any weekends away
Programme administration - Contribution to project costs - A life-long membership to the Big Beyond Tribe
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

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!

Bedroom (Single) Camping
Food & Beverages

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.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
Costs (Prices in USD)
3 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
8 weeks
10 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Turmi/Ethiopia between 3 weeks and 24 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Big Beyond will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Big Beyond during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Ethiopia

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Ethiopia. Please check the visa regulations for Ethiopia.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Ethiopia.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Arba Mintch (AMH) in Arba Mintch. We assist you to find cheap flights to Ethiopia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Ethiopia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Ethiopia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Ethiopia.
Turmi, Turmi, Ethiopia

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