Volunteer Program Ethiopia

MACHA is continuing and deepening the project in Ethiopia for physiotherapists. Next application for volunteers going to Ethiopia is due the fall 2019. The applications are this time open for graduated physiotherapists and last year students.

General information

As a volunteer, you will work at the pediatric rehabilitation centre Cheshire, in and outside of Addis Ababa. Your main work will be teaching Ethiopian physiotherapy aids to perform rehabilitation. The volunteer stay is 45 days. Most expenses related to the trip will be covered by the project.

About Cheshire

Cheshire is an NGO working with pediatric rehabilitation in Ethiopia, focusing on children that cannot afford private rehabilitation. The organisation has existed since the 1960s and is still developing its services. The patients are between the ages of 0 and 18 with disabilities such as amputations, clubfoot, cerebral palsy and spina bifida. The available services at the clinic are divided between direct rehabilitation by physiotherapists, orthopaedic engineering, social capacity training and public information. Cheshire runs five rehabilitation clinics and an outreach program to cover rural parts of the country. The clinics are located in Addis Ababa, just outside of Addis in Menagesha, Dire Dawa, Awassa and Harar.

Task and responsibilities

As a volunteer, you are expected to work at the Cheshire rehabilitation clinic in Menagesha, 20 km outside of Addis Ababa. You will work together with Ethiopian professionals, with the common goal to exchange knowledge and experiences. The main task for this trip is to continue the training of physiotherapy aids. There will also be a Swedish physiotherapist that is familiar with Cheshire in Menagesha, whom you will work closely together with. The patients are children from the age of 6 to 18 years.  You will work Monday to Friday and have Saturday and Sunday off.

Costs and Practicalities

Travel costs, accommodation and food at the rehabilitations centres, visa and vaccinations (if required) are covered by the program. Accommodation is in private rooms with a private bathroom and access to a common area. Food is covered at the centre at Menagesha.

Volunteer quotes

“The time spent in Menagesha was both instructive and challenging. Each day offers you a new adventure at the clinic, at the same time you have a safety net in your new colleagues and the children/patients at Menagesha, who soon help you to be a part of there community. There are fantastic opportunities at Menagesha but also a lot of challenges and work of progress to be made. With a somewhat of thick skin and an open mind, you will be able to give a lot and at the same time experience something truly life changing. “


“I never thought it was possible to switch between hope and despair that fast. That something could be really bad, but at the same time so great and fantastic. To get the opportunity to contribute with small measure and to see the children of all ages, be truly affected by our presence. It is great. In comparison to Sweden, Ethiopia has a lot of challenges one can argue, but to actually experience the difficulties, diagnoses and rehabilitation is a completely different thing. You earn knowledge, memories and experiences for the rest of your life. A new perspective on life.

My time in Ethiopia was absolutely fantastic. I got the opportunity to get to know and inspire people in new ways. I also got the opportunity to look into their reality. A reality that can terrify someone like me who is used to a well-functioning society, a reality that I will carry every day and hope share with others.

I truly recommend to take the chance of volunteering at Cheshire, you will carry that experience for the rest of your life.”



Applicants must hold either a physiotherapy degree or be last year students for this application.

It is considered a merit to have pediatric experience and experience of working/volunteering/traveling in low-income countries, and/or a documented interest in Global Health.

Application for 2019

Do you want to know more?

Visit: http://cheshireservicesethiopia.org.

For more information or for further questions please contact our Project Manager for Ethiopia, Daniel Bergman at ethiopia@macha.se.