As an international development charity The Kindu Trust takes on a number of volunteers in Ethiopia every year.  These are a valuable asset, performing a variety of roles for the trust including researching and assessment, teaching, designing activities for the Youth Club, visiting families and even doing a bit of decorating if they have the time!

Volunteering presents a chance to work closely with the Ethiopian communities that the charity supports, and to share their knowledge with these communities. The flow of information is two way, with our families helping the volunteer to understand firsthand what life is like for poor people in Ethiopia

Being a part of a team that is fundamentally orientated to the welfare of others less fortunate has been a rewarding experiencePeter Keeling

“My experience in Ethiopia has been life changing” Jessica Hopf

Jessica at work on the new sign for the Kindu shop

Volunteering will change your perspective of the world and enable you to make a real difference, as well as teaching you a variety of new skills and providing a critical insight into how small charities function at home and overseas. Not only is this particularly valuable on a CV but it may open up new doors to any aspect of international development, from medical care to social work, logistics to sustainable technology.

Our volunteers with the Ethiopian team in Gondar

The Kindu trust relies on the valuable feedback that we get from our volunteers, enabling us to assess our impact on the ground, which is vital in the continued provision of services to the levels which are required.

“I believe that the information provided through our impact assessment will go some way to helping The Kindu Trust improve its services to beneficiariesPeter Keeling

Volunteering offers opportunities to all those involved

Time today is a precious commodity, valued by individuals and organisations alike, so when volunteers donate their time it makes a real impact on the lives of all those involved.

“At first it seemed like a daunting experience and yet when we started our program we realised that we were happy as it gave us the opportunity to get to know the children and to teach them what they asked to learn” Jessica Hopf


Income generating project- Jewellery

In addition to our sponsorship  scheme The Kindu Trust has been helping to support families in income generating projects. The core aims of these projects are

  • To provide skills for employment
  • Income generation
  • To provide financial security and independence
  • Sustainable development

Terefu Melesa at work rolling the magazines

The project we are currently running is a innovative jewellery making venture wherein the team in Ethiopia are employing two women, both of whom are relatives of our beneficiaries , to make beads out of recycled magazines.
These old magazines are cut into strips which then rolled up and varnished several times over the course of a week to create the intricate beads of various colours. The patterns visible on the beads are the result of the compressed pages,  they are are made into necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 

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Income generating projects pay a base rate to the employees and also commissions from the sales of the beads. This provides the women not only with financial security but also independence, enabling them to  provide for their families as well as themselves.
These pieces will soon be available to buy online, so watch this space!

Sending gifts to Ethiopia

If you are willing to put together and send a bag of gifts to your sponsored family, or to a family you don’t know but we could identify, this would give them a memorable day that they will enjoy reminiscing about for years to come. Here’s some advice for what to send and how to send it. Thank you.

Suggested gifts:

  • umbrella – an essential possession in the rainy season (June to September) that can be used as a parasol during the dry season
  • plastic containers – useful for food storage
  • clothes
  • soap, talc, towels
  • toothbrushes and toothpaste
  • nail-clippers
  • apron and tea-towels
  • picture posters and world map
  • wind-up torch
  • sweets and nuts

For a family:

  • school bag, toys cars, doll (dolls with long hair are particularly popular as girls love to plait the hair in the traditional Ethiopian styles), football, simple card games (Snap, Happy Families), picture books and simple story books in English, crayons, balloons, plastic animals, deodorant sticks

For a young adult in full-time training or education:

  • English dictionary and easy-to-read books, notebook, pen
  • for a young man: football magazines (the English Premier League is popular in Ethiopia), cap, pack of cards, deodorant stick
  • for a young woman: women’s magazine, hair accessories, headscarf, jewellery, sanitary pads, deodorant stick

For an elderly person:

  • woollen scarf or shawl, hat, bed-socks, blanket (it can be chilly at night in the Ethiopian Highlands

Protect delicate gifts with bubble-wrap and put them inside plastic containers. Place the gifts in a lightweight, plastic, zip-up shopping or storage bag (it will act as wrapping during transit as well as being useful to the recipient) and secure the end of the zip by tying or sewing it tightly with string or wool. Label the bag using adhesive labels and labels tied to the handles. (In the past donors have sent clothes and toys using zip-up bags and they have always arrived intact.) Without wrapping it in anything else, post the bag to Kate at the address below.

IMPORTANT! On the labels please indicate who this is for: your sponsored child’s name, or the category (FAMILY or YOUNG MAN orYOUNG WOMAN or ELDERLY PERSON). This is essential as Kate will not open the bag, but simply pass it on to the beneficiary.

  • Please do not send very expensive gifts.
  • Please do not put your name and address inside the bag, but do include sender’s details on the outside of the bag (or on the label attached to one handle of the bag) so that safe receipt of the bag can be acknowledged – these details will be removed from the bag before it is given to the beneficiary.

Please post your gifts direct to:

The Kindu Trust – Ethiopia

PO Box 1500



Thank you for giving some of the poorest people on Earth a day to remember.