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

Volunteering at the GMA 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, 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 holiday, but a wonderful experience of building and sharing their abilities for the sake of those who don’t have them, go at their own expense for the good of those who have 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!

Volunteer decalogue

1. Respect – doesn’t judge or disdain – the opinions and customs of others and always collaborates with the host and those who work with him/her (in a spirit of team work!).
2. Doesn’t waste resources, be it food or time. Doesn’t waste money and utilities (water, electricity, telephone, etc…). He/she makes a cash fund for common expenses with the other volunteers and keeps them in mind.
3. He/she is honest, patient, and doesn’t show himself/herself or their personal possessions (electronic items or gadgets) and he/she does his work professionally.
4. Doesn’t promise or delude, following the emotions of the moment.
5. Kindly, he/she refuses invitations to local houses and doesn’t surround himself/herself with those who then disappear from the mission when he/she leaves.
6. He/she is modest in dressing, at times and in requests (transport, sightseeing, etc…)
7. He/she pays attention to his/her health: sleeping in the appropriate hours, eating carefully out of the mission (always cooked foods), using boiled or bottled water (also for brushing his/her teeth), not using drugs (imported or local, even when offered) or abusing alcohol.
8. He/she takes part joyously in activities, the ceremonies, the initiatives of the mission and of the group, respecting others and local customs and traditions.
9. Check his/her 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/her 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 may be treated as rich tourists, so it’s advisable to always be accompanied by trusted local people, without, however, showing us as squanderers (remember that for them 100 birr – is 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 everything in order and clean in the refectory after meals. Give help in the kitchen especially in the evening.

It could be of great help to meet periodically to constructively discuss the various problems or obstacles or difficulties encountered, seizing the opportunity to experience moments of teamwork 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 (this 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 a costume and a hat – October/November is considered the dry season, therefore summer);
  • bring torches for when there is no light;
  • bring bug and mosquito spray;
  • bring wet wipes 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 it is already there (there is a washing machine, but sometimes it is useful to wash a 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;
  • have insurance for health risks during the period of stay.

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

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

It is advisable to leave your 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 picks you up at the airport (who could be Abu or even a 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 that conforms to the Western model!

To access the internet, borrow or buy a rechargeable key (rif. Abu o Abba Yisak) for a very small price compared to Italy, use the office computer for GMA Napoli OdV. Purchase and recharge the key or the local phone card yourself: don’t send the boys because they often consider us rich and wasteful 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, so to avoid causing problems to those who host us, it’s important: to concern yourself in health, to always go around accompanied and to dress appropriately (we do not ask you to wear burka or other, 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 vehicles 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, but also 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, so 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 into 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!

Register at the Embassy, indicating the period of stay. This can even be done by telephone.

Silence is recommended from 1pm to 2:30 p.m and after 10 pm, to be able to rest better, be less tired and be more available.

We advise you to:

• always travel together

• do not book trips alone, but always with the other volunteers.

This is an excerpt from a 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. 

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 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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