It is not blindly pushing your own agenda that will enrich the world. It is your ability and willingness to understand, appreciate, anticipate, address, serve and support the lives of others that will.
— Rasheed Ogunlaru
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Practicing compassion. Opening your heart and mind. Challenging yourself. Learning something new. Forging friendships. Transcending boundaries. Exploring unknown cultures and lands. Sharing experiences and knowledge. Experiencing kindness…there are myriad reasons why international service-learning trips are meaningful and often life-changing to those who chose to embark on such adventures.

At Visions, we emphasize not just the “service,” but also the “learning.” These are the 2 critical components that define the type of experience you will have if you decide to join us abroad. While we each have ideas, knowledge, experience, etc. to share with our friends abroad, we also have the opportunity and the responsibility to learn from our peers as they share their culture, their work, their experiences, and their lives with us. Our service-learning trips are driven by the idea that we are all equal and that we can help achieve development objectives best when we work together as allies & partners.

Since 2003, Visions has had 245 volunteers join us abroad from countries all over the world – including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, Switzerland, Zambia, Singapore, Qatar, Russia, Uganda and India – to participate in service-learning experiences that are both meaningful and impactful to both the volunteer and the community(-ies) with which they work. These international volunteers have been joined locally by more than 200 volunteers from the host countries where we work – Sri Lanka, India, Ethiopia and Nicaragua – and have carried out all sorts of service activities and work over the years.


Visions Service-Learning Trip Opportunities 2019

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For the 8th straight year, we are heading back to Ethiopia to work with our local counterparts in helping to support our ongoing efforts to educate and uplift the Deaf community in Bahir Dar! With new Deaf preschools opening in Addis Ababa and Awassa with Visions’ support, we plan to engage with these new students and the Deaf communities at-large in each of these cities on this trip as well.

Visions has also recently taken a few initial steps to support visually impaired / blind students in Bahir Dar, and we are eager to ramp up these efforts too. If you have a particular interest or professional background in working with visually impaired / blind students, we would love to have you join us at this critical juncture!

Our summer service trips are open to anyone and everyone regardless of your professional background, nationality, age, linguistic proficiencies, abilities/disabilities, and so on. While these trips tend to be quite focused on the service work, we still find plenty of time to have fun and explore! Especially as we will be visiting a new city — Awassa — we will definitely plan to do some sightseeing and exploration there.


August 12th - Arrival in Addis Ababa

August 13th - Service activities with Deaf preschool in Addis Ababa

August 14th - Domestic flight to Bahir Dar; commence service activities with Deaf and blind students

August 15th - 19th - Continuation of service activities with Deaf and blind students in Bahir Dar

August 20th - Domestic flight to Awassa; commence service activities with Deaf preschool

August 21st - 22nd - Service activities with Deaf preschool & sightseeing in Awassa

August 23rd - Return to Addis Ababa; departure for home


Your trip program fee of $1700/person includes all of the following:

  • e-Visa (tourist visa valid for 30 days, single entry)

  • Double room / shared accommodation for 11 nights at mid-range hotels

  • All meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and bottled water for the duration of the trip itinerary (12 days)

  • Basic emergency medical evacuation insurance (through UHC SafeTrip)

  • All scheduled cultural activities and related entry & guide fees

  • Two domestic airfare bookings (Addis Ababa —> Bahir Dar; Bahir Dar —> Addis Ababa)

  • Local transportation (through a privately hired vehicle & driver) for the duration of the trip itinerary (12 days)

  • Essential tips for hotel and restaurant staff, drivers, guides, etc.

  • Shared expenses related to having 2 professional Interpreters and 1 Visions Trip Lead with the group throughout our stay


To apply, simply fill out the “2019 Visions Volunteer Application & Release” form (link below) and mail us your application along with a $250 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Visions” to:

Visions Global Empowerment

1621 Barry Avenue #PH1

Los Angeles, CA 90025

We look forward to having you join us in Ethiopia this summer!!

Please email us at visionseducation@gmail.com or call us at 714.660.3054 if you are interested in joining us this summer. Space is limited!