Mekele is the principal city of Tigray, the nation’s most northerly region. Both the Vincentian Fathers and the Daughters of Charity are based in Mekele and have over ten projects between them. Typically, VLM volunteers have assisted in the following projects:
St. Vincent’s Community Centre and Youth Club is administered by the Vincentian Fathers and hosts a variety of youth groups and activities for children and teens in a disadvantaged neighbourhood in Mekele. A feature of the centre is the recent addition of the library which gives children a quiet space where they can complete their homework and study.
Volunteers are needed with experience in primary or secondary teaching; art, music, drama or English language teaching; youth work or community work. Placements run during the summer months, June to August and focus on facilitating a summer project for the children of the neighbourhood.
Amongst the Daughters of Charity projects are St. Joseph’s kindergarten and the Street Children’s Project, based in the same neighbourhood as St. Vincent’s Community Centre, serving the needs of the families there. The Street Children’s project provides food, shelter, education and confidence building activities for over 300 street children and teens in Mekele. Volunteers are needed to teach English and lead English based activities in the Street Children’s Project, ideally volunteers will have secondary teaching qualifications or experience of teaching English to older children or teenagers. Placements are available year-round for a minimum of six weeks.
The Daughters of Charity also have a women’s development and training centre teaching courses in catering and hospitality, soap-making, embroidery and dress-making. Volunteers are needed here to teach English as a foreign language (mainly to the students of the hospitality and catering course) for a minimum of 2 months during term-time (September to May).