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Global Partners-Ethiopia teams work side-by-side with local health professionals in Ethiopia to deliver medical and surgical care, educational opportunities for health professionals and students, and care for vulnerable children.

Global Partners currently works in two areas of southern Ethiopia: in Hawassa with Ebenezer Children's Home and in Dilla with Dilla University and Dilla University Referral Hospital. Past partnerships include working in Yetebon with Project Mercy.

Our volunteer teams in the past have provided hospital-based services, dental care, training for hospital staff and youth physicals. Dilla University Referral Hospital offers opportunities to train health professional students. There is a significant need for equipment repair and maintenance training, which our teams also support.


Hospital partnerships

Global Partners-Ethiopia volunteers provide services to address the immediate needs and gaps in care, as well as training to hospital staff and health professional students to elevate their knowledge and skills in providing care. Current areas of focus include dental care, critical and emergency care, neonatology, microbiology/lab, behavioral health, equipment repair and surgery.

Why this matters: The risk of major infectious disease is high in Ethiopia, while the access to treatment for disease is low. There is currently only one physician for every 10,000 people in Ethiopia. In comparison, the U.S. has about 26 physicians for every 10,000 people.

Children's home support

Global Partners-Ethiopia supports non-governmental organizations that provide homes, education and care for disadvantaged youth. Volunteer teams provide physical exams, tutoring help, enrichment activities and training for children's home staff.

Why this matters: The need for homes, education and basic care is significant. Around 34% of school-age children are not in school. Less than 50% of those 15 years and older are literate, and only 54% of children make it past eighth grade. A UNICEF report also stated that there are roughly 4.5 million orphans in the country of 90 million people.


If you are interested in volunteering on a trip to Ethiopia, please fill out this volunteer form.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a trip to Ethiopia cost?
A trip typically costs between $2,000-2,500, which covers flights, lodging, in-country transportation, meals and other shared team expenses. Costs not included are pre-trip immunizations, passport costs, visa and paperwork expenses, and medications. Gundersen employees may apply for a Global Partners grant to cover up to $500 in trip costs.

Do volunteers need to have a medical background?
No, volunteers do not need to have a medical background; volunteers from a variety of backgrounds are needed. Please complete the volunteer form and describe your interest, and a member of the Global Partners team will follow up with you to discuss opportunities.

Does Gundersen provide time off for my trip?
You may choose to take PTO or unpaid time off – you will need to make arrangements with your manager. Gundersen medical staff may also use CME time, but not CME money, to participate.

For more information on specific trip details, please refer to our Ethiopia Volunteer Info sheet.

To inquire about specific trip dates and initiatives, contact the Global Partners office at or call (608) 775-9883.

what to expect

We've taken steps at all our locations to keep you and our staff healthy and safe. Here's what to expect when you visit us.

Stay safe