Go Volunteer Africa works with indigenous and marginalized communities to promote sustainable development through our Benin volunteer program. In addition, we collaborate with our direct local development partners to support grassroots development in a given community.

Our Benin Volunteer program is a low-cost program through which we seek to connect willing volunteers with worthwhile projects and communities, creating a win-win situation for all. We strive to provide volunteers a rewarding and memorable experience in which your talents will be used for real benefit.

Every year, we send volunteer groups and solo travelers to Benin to make a difference in communities. In Benin, we only offer tailored volunteer programs that are perfect for high school students, families, middle-aged couples and seniors – anyone that wants travel with a purpose off-the-beaten path.

Benin, a French-speaking West African nation, is a birthplace of the vodun (or “voodoo”) religion and home to the former Dahomey Kingdom from circa 1600–1900. In Abomey, Dahomey’s former capital, the Historical Museum occupies two royal palaces with bas-reliefs recounting the kingdom’s past and a throne mounted on human skulls. To the north, Pendjari National Park offers safaris with elephants, hippos and lions.

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

We take pride in all of our volunteering opportunities and wish to ensure that our volunteers will benefit the community in a favorable way while on their once in a life time journey in west Africa. The main objective our Benin volunteer program is to help more people gain the life changing, life affirming experiences that volunteering and responsible tourism can give.

Benin Wildlife Safaris
Benin Wildlife Safaris

Why Volunteer in Benin?

Benin, a country of 9.4 million people and 113,000 square miles, is known to be one of the most stable and inclusive democracies in Africa. The country has seen consistent GDP growth over the past two decades, between 4 and 5 percent annually, with even higher rates in 2013 (7.7 percent) and 2014 (6.4 percent). However, political stability and economic growth have not lessened the poverty rate in Benin. Instead, the country’s poverty rate has been rising.

Twenty-five percent of Benin’s GDP is based on agricultural production. Environmental factors, like drought and severe weather conditions, affect the economy’s predictability and stability. Additionally, production tools are outdated, infrastructure is inadequate, and financing is absent.

Benin’s economy is largely dependent on informal re-export and transit trade with Nigeria, which makes up about 20 percent of the country’s GDP. Informal labor employs over 90 percent of the country’s labor force and makes up roughly 65 percent of the overall GDP. According to the World Bank, “events in Nigeria can have considerable impact on Benin and create uncertainty in its fiscal space.”

With reliance on Nigeria and agriculture, Benin has the opportunity to improve its business environment from within, becoming more attractive to domestic and foreign investors. Increasing access to credit and infrastructure, such as electricity, will also be key in generating and sustaining business development.

***Working with very willing disadvantaged communities also forms part of the make-up of these incredible life enhancing Benin volunteer projects. Go where very few get to go and join one of our overland tours and breathtaking safaris in Benin.***

EXTRAS AND SUPPORT

ABOUT BENIN

Benin, a French-speaking West African nation, is a birthplace of the vodun (or “voodoo”) religion and home to the former Dahomey Kingdom from circa 1600–1900. In Abomey, Dahomey's former capital, the Historical Museum occupies two royal palaces with bas-reliefs recounting the kingdom’s past and a throne mounted on human skulls. To the north, Pendjari National Park offers safaris with elephants, hippos and lions.

 

Benin, officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east, and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. The majority of its population lives on the small southern coastline of the Bight of Benin, part of the Gulf of Guinea in the northernmost tropical portion of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

The capital of Benin is Porto-Novo, but the seat of government is in Cotonou, the country's largest city and economic capital. Benin is a tropical nation, highly dependent on agriculture, and is a large exporter of cotton and palm oil. Substantial employment and income arise from subsistence farming.

 

Porto-Novo is a port city and the capital of Benin, in West Africa. It’s known for colonial buildings like the Brazilian-style Great Mosque, formerly a church. The Ethnographic Museum displays ceremonial masks, musical instruments and costumes. The Musée da Silva recounts Benin’s history and celebrates Afro-Brazilian culture. Just east, the Honmé Museum was King Toffa’s 19th-century royal palace.

 

The official language of Benin is French. However, indigenous languages such as Fon and Dendi are commonly spoken. The largest religious group in Benin is Roman Catholicism, followed closely by Islam, Vodun and Protestantism. Benin is a member of the United Nations, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the South Atlantic Peace and Cooperation Zone, La Francophonie, the Community of Sahel-Saharan States, the African Petroleum Producers Association and the Niger Basin Authority.

 

Capital: Porto-Novo (Population: 564,320) Seat of government is in: Cotonou

Currency: West African CFA franc (XOF) $1 = 589 XOF / £1 = 759 XOF (2019)

Population: 12,200,000 (approx)

Official languages: French (official

Area: 114,763 sq km

International Calling Code: + 229

PROJECT LOCATIONS & QUICK FACTS

Go Volunteer Africa offers a wide range of volunteering and travel opportunities in Benin from teaching, childcare, construction, conservation or healthcare projects. If you are looking for somewhere to volunteer and get immersed in the culture, Benin is an ideal destination. Programs are perfect if you want to go off the beaten path and would like to see more than the average tourist and truly start to understand this distinctive culture. 

 

VOLUNTEERING IN BENIN QUICK FACTS

  • The program is open all year-round
  • Very flexible start and end dates (arrive any day of the month)
  • Over 8 oustanding sustainable project options
  • Projects are based across the country with major locations being Porto-Novo and Cotonou
  • Accommodation available at volunteer house & host families
  • Program fees include pre-departure support, airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • We are the most affordable organization in Africa, because we are the locals!

You will get to integrate into local society, sample the tasty food, experience the vibrant culture and also make a difference. Programs are available all year round and they will give you an opportunity were you can help people and the environment. Volunteering in Benin and helping people in need is a highly rewarding experience and there are also lots of cultural and sightseing activities you will get to do in your spare time.

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

VOLUNTEER REQUIREMENTS

Volunteers need to be 18 years or over to participate, unless volunteering with a parent or guardian. All volunteers are required to have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to Go Volunteer Africa's local Coordinators on arrival in the country.

 

SAFARIS & TOURS

Safaris, day and cultural tours can be organized over the weekends for volunteers. This is a fantastic opportunity to see the famous  Benin wildlife. There is a lot to see and do in Benin.

 

SUPPORT

BEFORE YOU GO

IN-COUNTRY

§  Pre-departure support & documentation

§  Travel & medical advice & documentation

§  Advice on visas & equipment advice

 

 

 

§  Project orientation

§  Accommodation

§  3 meals a day

§  Airport pickup

§  In-country emergency support

§  24-hour HQ backup

§  Free GVA t-shirt

 

 

BENIN VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

 

  • Immerse yourself in rural, slum, semi-urban & engaging community
  • Promote sustainable community livelihoods
  • Improve the living standards of local people
  • Make friends for life

 

Transport:

Airport pickup

Accommodation:

Volunteer Guest house/ Host Family

ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP

After you have booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Cadjehoun International Airport in Cotonou. A member of staff from our local partner organization in Benin will meet you on arrival at the airport and take you to the volunteer guest house or host family which will be your base for volunteering.

 

Orientation and Placement will be done the next day. This airport services numerous international carriers. Benin has good connections to destinations throughout Europe, the Asia- Pacific region, USA and Africa.

ACCOMMODATION & LIVING IN BENIN

Participants in our programs and tours in Benin are provided accommodation in a nice well organized guesthouse or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday - Sunday. Life at the accommodation facility is simple, unsophisticated and fun, perfect for unwinding from a busy day!

 

The accommodation is neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteer tourists on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed. The facility has western style toilet and shower facilities are shared between 4 or 10 people.

 

The accommodation is very close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 - 30 minutes from the accommodation.  Its equipped with a lounge, TV, Kitchen, hand washing facilities and spare electricity sockets. 

 

Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Benin has to offer. We arrange city day tours and long-weekend safaris. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!

 

Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example - Volunteers working in orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers. 

PROGRAM COSTS

Item

Cost (USD$)

Inclusion

1 week

$360

  • Project orientation
  • Accommodation
  • Three meals a day
  • Airport pickup
  • In-country emergency support

 

Exclusions:

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Airport Drop off (Can be arranged upon request)

2 weeks

$460

3 weeks

$560

4 weeks

$660

5 weeks

$760

6 weeks

$860

7 weeks

$960

8 weeks

$1060

9 weeks

$ 1160

10 weeks

$1260

Extra week

+ $100

 

PLACEMENT BOOKING FEE:

After application process and acceptance into the program, you will be required to pay a placement booking and confirmation administration fee of USD$180 (solo traveler), USD$150 (2-5 participants p/p), USD$125 (6+ participants  p/p). This is charged above the program fee quoted which is paid in cash upon arrival to your host country.

 

The fee covers: Administration Costs, Placement Booking & Confirmation, Pre-departure support & documentation, 24-hour international HQ back-up

 

Visas: Visitors to Benin must obtain a visa from one of the Beninese diplomatic missions or apply for an e-Visa, unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries. Nationals of countries that require a visa can obtain an electronic visa. Electronic visas are available for stays up to 30 days (single and multiple) and 90 days (multiple). Citizens of all African countries and territories can visit Benin without a visa for up to 90 days

 

Insurance: You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the program. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave your home to the day you return.

APPLICATION & BOOKING

To participate in this program, you have to fill an online application form, and submit it for consideration. After application process and acceptance into the program, you will be required to pay 50% of the program fee within 14 days of your acceptance. Failure to make the placement booking and confirmation payment will lead to cancelation of your program.

Get Started

Fill Volunteer Application Form here or Make an inquiry here