The spirit that animates us is that of pure volunteering, in the name of collaboration and action in the name of a more just world!

Volunteering at the GMA Alem OdV in Naples is an expression of service, gratuitousness and solidarity.

There are different possibilities for collaboration, it is important that everyone can identify the one most relevant to their abilities and attitudes.

In Italy

You can make yourself useful here in Italy through active participation in the work at the headquarters, the promotion of ever-new adoptions and participation in all the events of the GMA Napoli OdV, so as to be able to help in the best way also from Italy.

In Africa

In Shashamane, in which, about three times a year, hard-working volunteers who are aware of not going on a vacation, but a wonderful experience of building and sharing their abilities for the sake of those who don’t, go at their own expense. has always had nothing.

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Do you want to leave for Africa with the GMA Napoli OdV? Read the decalogue of the volunteer below and write to us!

Decalogue of volunteers

1. Respect – doesn’t judge or disdain – the opinion and customs of others and always collaborates with the host and those who work with him (in a spirit of team work!).
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.


MONEY EXCHANGE IN ETHIOPIA1 € = 34 Birr (updated to 2018)
Remember that most of the population lives on less than $ 2 a day: DON’T WASTE.
For every purchase made, get the receipts!! And if the text of the receipts is only in Amharic, get the translation written!

The ABC to better enjoy the trip to Ethiopia

Take care of buying bottled water yourself (as an alternative to the boiled one) even for brushing teeth!

For any type of purchase, contact Abu, and ask him for advice on WHERE, HOW, WHAT and HOW MUCH to buy. If you venture to shop alone you will surely be treated as rich tourists, so it’s advisable to always be accompanied by trusted local people, without, however, showing us squanderers (remember that for them 100 birr – that’s 4 euros – is the weekly pay of a guardian!!)

We cannot always have single rooms, unless we commit ourselves to building them for the next volunteers (and for any our returns!)…be patient! It is however a beautiful adventure even for those who welcome us here! Provide for individual cleaning of single or group rooms and toilets.

Participate in community ceremonies with respect for local customs and traditions (whatever my religious orientation I must never forget that I’m a guest in a Catholic Mission).

We will eat as a 3-star restaurant in the Mission, but it’s also nice to try local food, when in a group you make stops or visits in the foster home. In Mission: set the table for each meal and keep the order and cleaning in the refectory after meals. Give an help in the kitchen especially in the evening.

It could be of great help to meet periodically to discuss constructively about the various problems or obstacles or difficulties encountered, seizing the opportunity to experience moments of fraternal, sensitive and joyful sharing. Avoid lively public discussions, stay calm!!!

The cost of the trip includes the flight ticket plus 400€ for food, lodging, visa and local transport, for a total amount ranging from € 1000 to € 1200 (it depends on the cost of the air ticket – low or high season).

  • wear cotton clothing; jackets or sweaters in the morning and evening (the temperature range between day and night is about 10 °);
  • bring comfortable and closed shoes (sandals or slippers must be reserved for “baths” in the warm waters or the Langano bathing lake, bring the costume and a hat – October/November is considered the dry season, therefore summer);
  • bring torches for when there is no light;
  • get bug and mosquito spray;
  • get wet tissues and commonly used medicines;
  • donate a can of olive oil, cured meat, chocolates (we spoil the missionaries!);
  • don’t bring linens (sheets, towels, etc…) because you will find it already there (there is a washing machine, but sometimes it is useful to wash the few things yourself);
  • personal hygiene products (soaps, toothpastes, etc…) can be found on site;
  • always keep documents and medicines for malaria (Lariam or MalarOne);
  • remember the yellow vaccination booklet;
  • make insurance against health risks for the period of stay.

We ask you for a weekly report (eg. logbook) with some photos, to send us and allow us to insert it on our blog: the purpose of these trips is not just to walk with them, but it is also raising awareness and witnessing the work of us “poor” Westerners abroad.

We should not be afraid of some flea or other inconveniences, it is a trip, even if different : let’s enjoy it!

It is prudent and advisable to leave a passport, air ticket, documents, money or other, at the Mission of Addis Abeba. You can use photocopies of documents that may be needed daily (eg. identity card). To do this, just ask who will pick you up at the airport (who can be Abu or even some local priest) to take you to the Addis Mission before heading to Shashamane.

We aren’t in “our world”: it’s prudent not to make hasty judgments or to demand that everything conform to the Western model!

To access the internet, borrow or buy a rechargeable key (rif. Abu o Abba Yisak) for a paltry price compared to Italy, use the office computer for the GMA Naples OdV. Purchase and recharge the key or the local phone card yourself: don’t send the boys because they often consider us rich and squandered when they see that the charging costs (Birr 100) are equal to a worker’s weekly salaries.

We fit into a routine of missionary work, of parish and daily commitments at the limit of individual fatigue, so to avoid causing problems to those who host us it’s important: to concern yourself in health, to go around always accompanied and to dress appropriately (we do not ask you to wear burka or tob, but shorts and tank tops are to be avoided for reasons of health and common sense).

Use local transport to get around Addis Ababa, or if some missionaries or the Mission driver takes you around, fill them with petrol and pay for him if you stop for lunch; this also applies when you are around Shashamane and its surroundings.

The Italian driving license is not valid in Ethiopia. To buy souvenirs or something else there is a cheap shop and don’t spend immediately in Shashamane.

If you take kids out of the foster home on a trip, take a fee for the shopping. Children love fruit, when you are invited to stay at the foster home, remember to buy oranges and bananas.
Avoid giving a bad example by inviting the boys of the oratory or foster home in bars or cafes; there will always be some excluded who will be hurt by being discriminated against.

Do not give gifts, “alms” or personalized visits: you can also be generous by following the advice of those who have lived for years in contact with local needs and realities. Before taking initiatives always ask the opinion of our local guests: they will know how to advise you the best!

Registrarsi all’Ambasciata indicando il periodo di permanenza, anche telefonicamente.

Signing in at the embassy showing how many days do you’ll stay. You could make it calling theme.

You should make silence between 1 and 2:30 p.m and after 10 p.m, to sleep as much as possibile.

We advise you :

• always travelling togheter

• do not booking trip alone, but always with the other volunteers.

Questo uno stralcio di testimonianza di un volontario che è stato in Missione con il GMA napoli per 3 anni, l’ultimo dei quali assieme al figlio: 

“Mio figlio è stato molto colpito dalla esperienza a Shashamane e ogni tanto ne ricorda alcuni aspetti che l’hanno particolamente colpito e manifesta l’intenzione di tornare. Questa esperienza è stata certamente positiva per lui , come lo è stato per me e per tutti perchè gli ha consentito di toccare con mano e vedere in prima persona quello che succede lontano dagli occhi e come vivono i suoi coetanei meno fortunati.
E’ un importante momento di crescita e chi ha la fortuna di farlo ne sarà per sempre segnato positivamente .
Grazie dunque a voi ed a padre silvio per avermi e avergli dato questa opportunità”.


Italian Embassy in Addis Ababa +251 11 1235717
GMA Napoli OdV office
in Licola (Na) 081 8043778

Area code from Italy 00251
Area code for Italy 0039


We recommend visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Ethiopia tab.

Recommended Centers

Napoli: Department of Traveler Medicine Center (ASL NA 1 District 44)
Via Chiatamone, 33 (II piano) – Tel. 081 2547088

Giugliano: Simple operating unit of Epidemiology n.3 
Via S. Francesco d’Assisi, 29
Tel. 081 8955301 Open on odd days from 9 to 12

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