Teach and mentor individuals or small groups on how to develop and manage sustainable enterprises, particularly women.
About the Program
Along with a local partner, we are initiating an empowerment program with the hope of helping Hamar communities to sustainably benefit from tourism and associated enterprises, as well as find enterprising solutions to serve the local market.
The monetary economy in Hamar is in its infancy, but growing for a number of reasons. The big goal of Hamar men is to accumulate large herds of livestock; goats and cows are mostly used for trade, marriage and status. Crop diversity is very low in Hamar communities, mostly comprising of small fields of sorghum, maize and black beans. As rainfall becomes increasingly difficult to predict, the need to generate household income to support a healthy diet and more stable life is becoming really important to the Hamar. Generating income is also a means to help Hamar communities create the financial ability to improve the quality of their cattle and potentially reduce herd sizes. This is also linked to the conservation of Mago National Park. A focus of our enterprise project is also with women’s empowerment.
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.
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.
You will be working from Monday to Friday including the following activities. You will be working in a different context, so we need creative and innovative volunteers to work in such a resource-contrained environment. You should enjoy discovering simple opportunities from limited financial capital and human resources. Through these projects you will be a real part of building the foundations for a self-sufficient Africa, reducing the need for hand-outs.
You will be working in a different context, so we need creative and innovative volunteers to work in such a resource-contrained environment. You should enjoy discovering simple opportunities from limited financial capital and human resources. Through these projects you will be a real part of building the foundations for a self-sufficient Africa, reducing the need for hand-outs.
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.
You’ll be escorted by one of the Big Beyond team from Kigali, across the border to your new home in Uganda. The journey is a combination of private vehicle and public transport. The journey takes about 5 hours door to door and goes past some beautiful scenery, so get a window seat and start getting excited!
Our cosy and rural retreat has bed space for ten people. Depending on how many volunteers are around, you may have your own room, although it’s more likely that you’ll be sharing. Some rooms have bunk beds, others singles and there’s a double bed for any resident couples. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. We harvest water from rain and heat it over a fire, so you'll be able to indulge in hot showers. There's also a cosy, communal living and dining area, both inside and out.
We will provide three vegetarian, nutritious and locally-sourced meals a day, sometimes traditionally Ugandan (chapatti, sweet potato and rice) and sometimes a little more international (pizza, homemade bread and lentil curry). There's not refrigeration and there's also not a wide range of food available here, as you may be used to, but we try to be creative at mealtimes.