Be a volunteer
The spirit animating us...is that of pure volunteering: collaboration and action for a BETTER world in family-style environment
Volunteering at the GMA Alem OdV is an expression of service, gratuity and solidarity. Any traveling and boarding expenses abroad shall be supported by volunteers themselves.
There are different possibilities for collaboration, it is important that everyone can identify the one most relevant to their abilities and attitudes.
You can make yourself useful here in Italy through active participation in on-site work, promoting new project and activities.
With Gma you'll have a wonderful experience in helping and sharing your skills for improving children's lives, training teachers and women in need.
Decalogue of volunteers
1. Respect – doesn’t judge or disdain – the opinion and customs of others and always collaborate with the host and those who work with him (in a spirit of teamwork!).
2. Don’t waste resources, be it food or time. It doesn’t waste money and utilities (water, electricity, telephone, etc…). He makes a cash fund for common expenses with the other volunteers and keeps them in mind.
3. He is honest, patient, he doesn’t show himself or his personal possessions (electronic items or gadgets) and he does his work professionally.
4. He doesn’t promise or delude, following the emotions of the moment.
5. Kindly, he refuses invitations to local houses and doesn’t surround himself with adulators who then disappear from the mission when he leaves.
6. He is sober in dressing, at times and in requests (transport, sightseeing, etc…).
7. He pays attention to his health: sleeping in the appropriate hours, eating carefully out of the mission (always cooked foods), using boiled or bottled water (also for brushing his teeth), not using drugs (imported or local, even when offers) or abusing alcohol.
8. He takes part joyously in activities, to the ceremonies, to the initiatives of the mission and of the group, respecting others and local customs and traditions.
9. Check his work periodically (with a sort of examination of conscience and group comparison) accepting the opinion of others.
10. The volunteer always keeps in mind the motivation that led him to others, in the spirit of a beautiful adventure that enriches it. Solidarity, knowledge, walking together.
Open letter to those asking to come to Africa with us
We see that you’ve been following us during our trip to Ethiopia. We’re happy about that. We’re here also for you, to show you a complex world, seemingly remote, which is surely in your hearts and thoughts, as supporters of our child sponsorship program. You ask us when the next trip will take place and you would like to join us. We’ll explain a little about what’s involved.
Ethiopia is a country which is both large and poor. From a territoriale perspective, it is 4 ½ times the size of Italy, with double the population. The distances here, between the various communities that we support, are enormous. The roads are in bad condition with rare opportunities to make a stop. Temperature fluctuations of about 15 degrees daily, poor hygiene, outages in the supply of water and electricity – these are all things that require a strong willingness to adapt. We’re in Africa, with all its beauty and fragility! Enthusiasm and good will are not enough. We don’t want to discourage you; instead, we’re writing to you to provide you and all our supporters asking us to undertake this demanding and wonderful adventure with necessary information.
In an environment so poor and overburdened by acts of nature and those of human beings, it’s really frustrating not to be able to respond to all the requests for help that come to us from everywhere. We are certain that whoever asks us to undertake this kind of experience, so beautiful and profound, has already visited our web site in the “Become a Volunteer” section [https://www.gmanapoli.org/diventa-volontario] where essentially we summarize our “mission statement”. Here we are not and do not want to be “humanitarian voyeurs”, moved to tears in the moment and then not follow-up on our emotions with concrete actions. We come here to perform amazing work which materializes in “walking together” with women and children in need through various projects in schools, communities, foster homes, and Women’s Promotion Centers. We observe, we listem, we share, we celebrate, we report, we think, we act. We try to not look through the lens of western values which accompany us in our lives in Italy and we accept what we find here: the beauty of this ancient culture but also the extreme need, the poverty and the misery, the hunger which takes your breath away. And we ask ourselves: poverty has always existed, but how is it still possible to die from hunger in the third millenium? And what can I do that is concrete and practical? It’s not enough to send photos, selfies, and stories often just for self-glorification. We need to rock the spirit of those who follow us and who are dear to us.
So, looking back on our association’s history, we note that almost one hundred volunteers, friends and associates have passed through these areas with GMAnapoli. With regret, we ask ourselves loudly: how many of them have been able to transform their emotions into concrete actions ? Just a few have allowed GMAnapoli to do so much in these past decades.
This letter attempts to be an invitation to self-awareness, and is definitely not a reprimand! Thank you, Anna, for encouraging us with your request and giving us the opportunity to talk about our work and the many difficulties and challenges we face. We see first-hand the cruelty of fate and the inevitability of events. You find yourself fondly stroking a four-year-old child in a small school and you realize that’s he’s blind. For the other 98 classmates in this school without water and little else, this is normal. And despite having so little, these children easily welcome diversity. Thank God we think about the Bruh Alem Foster Home – in honor of Bianca d’Aponte – which we support and where young girls, in the prime of their youth and health, show us that with a few drops of water they have ignited a positive reaction, bringing joy to their community. Not only do they study and co-manage the foster home, but in the near future they will produce hand-made items and BREAD for self-sustainment. What a great achievement, like those in the female prison of Shashamane and in the schools supported via Child Sponsorship and more!
Whoever wants to come here as a volunteer of GMAnapoli must arm themselves with a wealth of knowledge, with humility, be a promoter of plans and projects, adapt themselves to the customs of these communities based on strong family values, ethnic food and dances and music; but also lack of water, a variety of insects, colorful birds and breathtaking sunsets. We work as a TEAM, all for the benefit of those who have nothing! And, not least, we ask that you be in good psychophysical condition. From this journey you will return a different person, attentive to what’s essential, rich in experience, beauty and with the awareness that the “self” becomes “WE”, as individuality turns into communion.
We hope that we haven’t dampened your enthusiasm or that of those who would like to join us as volunteers, but rather we hope to have enriched it and directed it toward greater self-awareness. Thank you for having followed us and supported us thus far, in the sincere hope that you will continue to do so with still greater conviction in the future!
Nunzia and the volunteer team of November 2022
This is an excerpt from testimony by a volunteer who was in Ethiopia:
"My son and I were very impressed by the experience in Shashamane and he gratefully remembers some aspects that particularly affected him and often shows his intention to return. This experience was certainly positive for him, as was it for me and for everyone because it allowed him to see first-hand what happens out of sight and how his less fortunate peers live. I suggest that everyone should share this opportunity.
It is an important moment of growth and those lucky enough to do so will always be positively marked. Thanks to you and to Father Silvio for having me and giving him this opportunity".
Italian Embassy in Addis Abeba +251 11 1235717
Sede GMA Alem OdV di Napoli in Licola (Napoli) 081 8043778
Prefisso dall’Italia 00251
Prefisso per l’Italia 0039
We recommend visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs www.viaggiaresicuri.it in the Ethiopia file.
“Summer School 2023” in Ethiopia
Duration and reference period: The project in Ethiopia will last approximately 3 weeks and will take place during the period covering the last week of July 2023 and the first two weeks of August 2023.
Recipients of the project: approximately 100 children (boys and girls) in ages ranging from 6 to 14, from our foster homes in Hosanna and Shashamane and who attend schools in Shashamane, with the need for additional support in some subjects (level of academic performance in the 2022/2023 school year below 70%)
Aim of the project: guarantee participants educational sessions divided in Patrol with criteria based on age, language, and educational needs guided by a local tutor (in possession of a university degree or attending university) and recreational activities with animation techniques and/or scouts.
Description of the activities: The summer school project provides for daily sessions of 6 hours duration, divided as follows: 2 hours of review in subjects where student is lacking, 3 hours of play in which tournaments will be organized, and 1 free hour in which a snack will be provided to the participants.
The activities will be provided for a total of five mornings at Hosanna and for 10 mornings at Shashamane.
Monitoring of activites on-site: Via self-presentation in the “here I am” format, the participants will prepare a letter in which they describe themselves in Amharic and/or English. The letters will be used by the volunteers on-site to analyze the family and social situation in which the children live, to highlight eventual issues related to abuse, harassment, child labor, school dropout, and other difficulties or concerns.
Selection of volunteers applying as animators: Candidates can submit their applications through 20 May 2023.
The selected candidates must, by 10 June 2023, pay the mission fee of € 1200.00 which covers travel expenses, visa expenses, internal transfers in Ethiopia, as well as room and board in Mission.
The selected candidates will be provided with all informational material and support during the Mission, preparatory meetings in support of the Mission itself, and for those requiring it, targeted study of the English language in order to better communicate on-site.
The coordination of the Mission will be assigned to one of our volunteers with previous experience and knowledge of our projects and ethic.
During the Mission, visits to urban and rural areas are foreseen in order to better express and experience the objective of our mission, for the study, exploration and culture of this ancient civilization which in previous historical cycles enjoyed an important place in history.
Our motto is “walk together” with the Ethiopian communities. (see guide and info on our web site)