How to Volunteer in Nigeria
Usually voluntary organisations are understaffed and underfunded with no external help. Although Nigeria has one of the strongest economies on the continent and a huge population of over 163 million people, the largest in the whole of Africa and many live in poverty especially in rural areas.
Location of Projects
There are volunteer programs in the capital city Abuja and other more remote regions operated by international charities, governmental organisations and local NGO's. People with specific skills are really welcomed to apply and your experience will be put to good use on the ground. We highly recommending checking out the coastal towns and cities - this is a very relaxed destination. You might also like to view our volunteer programs in Cameroon - this is a neighboring country and a safer destination.
Community Development Programs
Poverty is a big problem in Nigeria and the average life expectancy is only 52 years. In rural areas healthcare facilities are lacking, either people have to travel miles to get treatment or the facilities are poor. Hospitals are often under-staffed but there are clinics and community centres run by charities which help local people.
You might want to help with HIV and AIDS awareness and prevention programs, this country has the second highest number of people infected with HIV and AIDS in the world and more needs to be done to help. There are approximately 3 million Nigerian nationals infected with the disease and there are projects working to help treat people and also stop further spread. You might get to work in a team raising awareness within communities about the importance of safe sex - this will leave a lasting legacy.
There are also educational programs available in Nigeria, you could teach and help in classrooms or even work in a management role to train local staff to improve their qualifications. Without international volunteers a lot of projects wouldn't exist. It is down to the donations and time thousands of volunteers spend every year that projects are able to help and improve education for local children.
By joining a project, you will not only provide services to others, but you'll also gain from a cultural experience in a unique destination. Visit our Africa volunteer page for more information.
How to Apply
You can enter and volunteer in Nigeria on a tourist visa, on arrival you might be required to show a valid passport, return plane tickets and proof of funds. Most placements do not require any previous experience but some organisations specifically place skilled professionals in certain roles. Nigeria is a safe destination which has got a bad reputation in the media, be sure to check latest safety information before booking though. The language barrier might be an issue in this destination, there are hundreds of local languages and its a good ideas to take a phrase book. The in-country staff will be able to speak English though. This is an experience which will stay with you forever!