The East African nation of Ethiopia was one of the first countries to invite Peace Corps to establish its program in 1962, just one year after the Peace Corps was founded. The primary focus of the program was on education, with the goal of training skilled workers and promoting economic development. In addition, Volunteers worked in agriculture, basic education, tourism, health, economic development and teaching English as a foreign language.
Peace Corps History
Main article: History of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia
Peace Corps/Ethiopia is one of the oldest Peace Corps programs. The first group of Peace Corps Volunteers arrived in Ethiopia (including present-day Eritrea) in September 1962, with 279 secondary school teachers. Volunteers worked in both secondary and vocational/technical schools, with others working in the health, small business, rural development, law, and agriculture sectors. From 1962 to 1977, Peace Corps/Ethiopia was one of the largest Peace Corps programs in the world. More than 3,000 Volunteers served in the country before Peace Corps terminated the program in 1977 due to the unstable political situation.
Living Conditions and Volunteer Lifestyle
Main article: Living conditions and volunteer lifestyles in Ethiopia
As a Volunteer, you will most likely live in a peri-urban or small town and have electricity and a water source at your house, although these services suffer frequent outages and shortages in Ethiopia. When it comes to your housing, you should not lose sight of the guiding goal of the Peace Corps. Maintain your focus on service to the people of Ethiopia and not on the level of your accommodations.
Main article: Training in Ethiopia
Pre-service training (PST) will be busy for everyone. Often you will work over eight hours a day before returning to your host family in the evening. Be prepared for a rigorous and full schedule. Training will be conducted by Ethiopian staff members and current Volunteers who will serve as valuable resources for dealing with the many questions that will arise. PST covers five major topics:
Health Care and Safety
Main article: Health care and safety in Ethiopia
The Peace Corps’ highest priority is maintaining the good health and safety of every Volunteer. Peace Corps medical programs emphasize the preventive, rather than the curative, approach to disease. The Peace Corps in Ethiopia maintains a clinic with a full-time medical officer, who takes care of Volunteers’ primary health care needs. Additional medical services, such as testing and basic treatment, are also available in Ethiopia at local hospitals. If you become seriously ill, you will be transported either to an American-standard medical facility in the region or to the United States.
Diversity and Cross-Cultural Issues
Main article: Diversity and cross-cultural issues in Ethiopia
The Peace Corps staff in Ethiopia recognizes the adjustment issues that come with diversity and will endeavor to provide support and guidance. During pre-service training, several sessions will be held to discuss diversity and coping mechanisms. We look forward to having male and female Volunteers from a variety of races, ethnic groups, ages, religions, and sexual orientations, and hope that you will become part of a diverse group of Americans who take pride in supporting one another and demonstrating the richness of American culture.
- Possible Issues for Female Volunteers
- Possible Issues for Volunteers of Color
- Possible Issues for Senior Volunteers
- Possible Issues for Gay, Lesbian, or Bisexual Volunteers
- Possible Religious Issues for Volunteers
- Possible Issues for Volunteers With Disabilities
Frequently Asked Questions
Main article: FAQs about Peace Corps in Ethiopia
- How much luggage am I allowed to bring to Ethiopia?
- What is the electric current in Ethiopia?
- How much money should I bring?
- When can I take vacation and have people visit me?
- Will my belongings be covered by insurance?
- Do I need an international driver’s license?
- What should I bring as gifts forEthiopian friends and my host family?
- Where will my site assignment be when I finish training and how isolated will I be?
- How can my family contact me in an emergency?
- Can I call home from Ethiopia?
- Should I bring a cellular phone with me?
- Will there be e-mail and Internet access? Should I bring my computer?
Main article: Packing List for Ethiopia
This list has been compiled by Volunteers serving in Ethiopia and is based on their experience. Use it as an informal guide in making your own list, bearing in mind that experience is individual. There is no perfect list! You obviously cannot bring everything on the list, so consider those items that make the most sense to you personally and professionally. You can always have things sent to you later. As you decide what to bring, keep in mind that you have an 80-pound weight limit on baggage. And remember, you can get almost everything you need in Ethiopia.
Peace Corps News
The following is automatic RSS feed of Peace Corps news for this country.
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PEACE CORPS JOURNALS
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Contributions to the Ethiopia Country Fund will support Volunteer and community projects that will take place in Ethiopia. These projects include water and sanitation, agricultural development, and youth programs.
Peace Corps Press Release