Traveling to the Academy as a Volunteer (updated January 2016)
Many people have expressed interest in visiting Fresh and Green Academy, and volunteers are always welcome. The school is located in the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We travel there approximately every three months with a group of volunteers to transport large bags of donated clothing, books, toys, soaps and more. We spend time playing with the children and talking with the parents and staff. Volunteers may choose to interact with the children by teaching English, dancing, drawing or other activities. We also implement hands-on projects to improve the conditions and facilities at the academy. A day trip away from the city is also an option. The average trip is a week long, and volunteers can stay for as short as one day or continue their travels in Ethiopia or throughout Africa for a longer period of time.
Many answers to your questions can be found in the attached volunteer guide FFG Volunteer Hand Book
We do ask that you inform us of your intentions to enable us to better plan the trip. We can only accommodate 7-8 volunteers per trip, so please feel free to contact us at any time for information on the next available trip.
Immunizations and Health Information for Ethiopia
Before visiting Ethiopia, you may need to get specific vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases found throughout Ethiopia and Africa. Use this site to get the most up-to-date vaccination information from the Centers for Disease Control. You should plan to start your immunizations about two months before your trip, and we advise that you contact a travel medicine clinic in order to get the best advice possible about which immunizations are best for you. Friends of Fresh and Green does not reimburse volunteers and visitors for immunization costs.
Flights (non-airline employees)
Travel from the United States can be done on Ethiopian Airlines (a Star Alliance carrier) to Addis Ababa (ADD) from Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) and Los Angeles International (LAX) or through Europe with an airline change. Ethiopian Airlines also flies directly to ADD from Pearson International Airport in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Flight information can be found on various travel sites through http://friendsoffreshandgreen.penniesatatime.com
Flights (airline employees)
Many of our volunteers come from the airline industry. Airline employees can travel to Addis Ababa (ADD) on other airlines with ZED fare tickets. Each volunteer is free to choose his/her preferred route and date for travel back to the States. ZED fare tickets from ADD to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris etc.) are valid on ET, LH, AF, TK or KL and can be purchased for about $80. Volunteers are responsible for purchasing their own tickets. Back-up tickets are recommended.
A single entry tourist visa must be obtained upon arrival in ADD for $50.
The group usually stays at a guest house located 10 minutes from the Airport. We make the reservation according to the number of volunteers and their preferences. $65 a night includes breakfast daily, and other meals and laundry are available. Details will be provided if you express interest in visiting.
Breakfast is available at the guest house and is included in the daily rate. There are numerous coffee shops and restaurants within 4 blocks of the guest houuse. During the day, volunteers can grab a snack and a soda near the academy. Volunteers are also encouraged to bring their own snacks with them. At night, the group usually gets together for dinner in the downtown area of Addis (Bole).
The estimated cost of accommodations, ground transportation and meals is $700 – $900 for the week. Day trips and projects are extra. This amount does not include the air fare and immunizations. Friends of Fresh and Green does not provide travelers’ insurance for volunteers.
ATMs are scarce, do not always work with North American banks and few businesses accept credit cards. Therefore, please make sure to bring enough cash for your stay. Exchange is available at the airport and the guest house.
Registering with your Embassy
The Department of State encourages all U.S. citizens traveling or residing abroad to register via the State Department’s travel registration website or at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and will enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.
Health and Travel Release Form
(Required when volunteering and traveling with Friends of Fresh and Green)
If you are traveling to Ethiopia as a volunteer with Friends of Fresh and Green Academy, you will need to read and sign the medical and travel release form located in the back of the Volunteer Handbook in advance of your departure. Please submit this form to your team leader at least one week prior to departure.