Volunteers are the heart of Youth Release and the running of our programs. They are an invaluable resource and a huge asset to the communities we work in. The volunteer program not only brings support to the people that we are working with but is also hugely important in raising awareness about the problems facing young people in the developing world.

A typical day for a Youth Release Volunteer is divided in two:
The morning consists of teaching; there are two groups of children, young children ranging from 3 up to 8 years old and an older group consisting of 8 to 16 years old. Each class has two teachers who work together to coordinate the class. They teach from 8am to 11.30am, with two small breaks. Basic subjects such as Maths, English, and Geography are taught along with Art and Music. Generally anywhere between fifty and a hundred kids will attend these classes. Volunteers do not need teaching experience.

In the afternoon volunteers are responsible for facilitating recreational activities for the children. These activities run from 2.30pm to 5pm. Activities involve, football, basketball, skipping and other games such as face painting and board games. Also, if you have any experience in art, drama, theatre etc there's a huge amount you can do with the kids.
Youth Release is open to any new ideas, and all volunteers are welcome to bring their ideas to the fore. Outside the working hours volunteers are free to explore the city, have some time to relax or volunteer some more.

Meet Our Volunteers
jonathan Jonathan Feiler (Volunteered 2010) 
Volunteering and working in Ethiopia was an experience that will stay with me forever. During my time in Dire Dawa I was responsible for teaching the older group of children along with another volunteer. We spent each day teaching them elementary studies in English, Mathematics, Geography, and many other areas, followed by exciting activities such as sports and arts. Spending time within this community and working and living with the children is such a gratifying experience, and although it can be hard work sometimes, the response from the community and ability to witness the changes that are being made on a daily basis makes it very rewarding. The opportunities that are being provided by Youth Release to this community in Ethiopia continually increase the populations' ability to improve the world around them, and experience the possibility of a better life. 

Deirdre O Sullivan Deirdre O Sullivan (Volunteered 2010) 
You'll never meet children as happy and loving as the street children in Dire Dawa - and these are children who have dealt with more hardships and difficulties in their short lives than most do in a lifetime. The weeks I spent volunteering with Youth Release were the most rewarding and fun filled of my life! Although at first it was difficult to deal with the extreme poverty of the region, I found that the positives of the trip soon helped with that, especially as the children were so upbeat and grateful for our time and attention. I realised that, even in my short time there I had the opportunity to make a difference to their education and give them lasting memories of a happy childhood. At the same time I knew my fundraising was being invested in their futures and the future generations. Youth Release is a fantastic group to volunteer with. No one knows Dire Dawa as well as they do, their vision for the region is inspiring and they were brilliant in helping us with all aspects of the trip - preparation, fundraising, travelling, volunteering and maintaining lasting relationships. Dire Dawa and Youth Release will always have a place in my heart and I can't wait to go back to see how the project and the children are progressing.

Who we are

Dire Dawa, Ethiopia Youth Release is an Irish organization that was established in 2007...
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What we do

Who we work with Youth Release is currently working with a local partner in Ethiopia with disadvantaged youths ...more >>