Volunteering Niger! Go Volunteer Africa, the leading and largest volunteer travel organization welcomes you to Niger. Niger is one of the largest inland countries in West Africa and is historically a gateway between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
VOLUNTEERING IN NIGER
Go Volunteer Africa supports projects in rural water development, education, healthcare and sustainable agriculture. Go Volunteer Africa is looking for volunteers wish to get involved in our Community Development Initiatives through our volunteering Niger program.
As a participant, you will have the opportunity to try different roles and projects, dependent on your interests and skills. Go Volunteer Africa’s volunteer work in Niger does not require specialized skills (although these would be an advantage), and volunteers are accepted on a short-term basis all the year round.
The first few days of your placement will be orientation and adjusting to Nigerien life. After this initial period, your placement work will begin. The type of work you are involved with will be dependent on your interests, abilities, level of experience as well as your comfort levels.
Please note: Our volunteer opportunities in Niger have been put on hold because of travel restrictions. Hopefully will will open up soon. In the meantime, check out our other volunteering opportunities in Western Africa.
NIGER FAST FACTS
Niger, officially the Republic of the Niger is a landlocked country in West Africa named after the Niger River. Niger is a unitary state bordered by Libya to the northeast, Chad to the east, Nigeria to the south, Benin and Burkina Faso to the southwest, Mali to the west, and Algeria to the northwest.
Niger covers a land area of almost 1,270,000 km2 (490,000 sq mi), making it the second-largest landlocked country in West Africa, after Chad. Over 80% of its land area lies in the Sahara Desert. The country’s predominantly Muslim population of about 24 million live mostly in clusters in the far south and west of the country. The capital and largest city is Niamey, located in Niger’s southwest corner.
Niger is one of the least developed countries in the world. It consistently ranks near the bottom in the United Nations’ Human Development Index (HDI); it was ranked 187th of 188 countries for 2015 and 189th out of 189 countries in the 2018 and 2019 reports. Many of the non-desert portions of the country are threatened by periodic drought and desertification.
The economy is concentrated around subsistence agriculture, with some export agriculture in the more fertile south, and export of raw materials, especially uranium ore. Niger faces serious challenges to development due to its landlocked position, desert terrain, inefficient agriculture, high fertility rates without birth control and resulting overpopulation, the poor educational level and poverty of its people, lack of infrastructure, poor healthcare, and environmental degradation.
Since independence, Nigeriens have lived under five constitutions and three periods of military rule. After the military coup in 2010, Niger became a democratic, multi-party state. A majority of the population lives in rural areas and has little access to advanced education.
- OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of the Niger
- CAPITAL: Niamey
- POPULATION: 24,005,475 (approx)
- LANGUAGE: French
- COUNTRY SIZE: 1,270,000 sq km
- MONEY: West African CFA franc
- DAILING CODE: +227
PEOPLE & CULTURE
The culture of Niger is marked by variation, evidence of the cultural crossroads which French colonialism formed into a unified state from the beginning of the 20th century. What is now Niger was created from four distinct cultural areas in the pre-colonial era: the Djerma dominated Niger River valley in the southwest; the northern periphery of Hausaland, made mostly of those states which had resisted the Sokoto Caliphate, and ranged along the long southern border with Nigeria; the Lake Chad basin and Kaouar in the far east, populated by Kanuri farmers and Toubou pastoralists who had once been part of the Kanem-Bornu Empire; and the Tuareg nomads of the Aïr Mountains and Saharan desert in the vast north.
Each of these communities, along with smaller ethnic groups like the pastoral Wodaabe Fula, brought their own cultural traditions to the new state of Niger. In religion, Islam, spread from North Africa beginning in the 10th century, has greatly shaped the mores of the people of Niger. Since Independence, greater interest has been in the country’s cultural heritage, particularly with respect to traditional architecture, hand crafts, dances and music.
GEOGRAPHY & NATURE
With two-thirds of the country lying within the Sahara Desert, it is one of the hottest countries in the world. Niger is mostly a vast plateau, with an average elevation of 500m, with low local relief. In the Sahelian zone of the country, the climate becomes semiarid and the vegetation cover increases.
The central part of Niger is dominated by an extensive pastoral zone — mostly steppes or short grass savannas with shrubs and sparsely scattered trees. Most of the people derive their income from agriculture and stock raising and are highly vulnerable to periodic droughts and desertification.
Moreover, land potential for agriculture is very unevenly distributed among Niger’s regions, with the southern regions providing nearly 98 percent of the arable land. The Niger River, for which the country is named, nourishes a ribbon of life as it flows about 550 km through western Niger. The river is the main source of freshwater and an important part of the economy through transportation and irrigation. Niger is a leading producer of uranium and is rich in many other minerals.
ARRIVAL & AIRPORT PICKUP
After you have applied, booked and confirmed your placement, please book your flights to arrive at Diori Hamani International Airport. This is the main international airport in Niger. A member of staff from our local partner organization will meet you on arrival at Airport.
Visitors to Niger must obtain a visa from one of the Nigerien diplomatic missions unless they come from one of the visa exempt countries. Holders of a pre-approved confirmation from the National Police may obtain a visa on arrival (flyer visa) upon arrival at Niamey. The passport will be compounded for 1 working day and the traveler is required to appear at the Director General of Immigration the next working day to register and collect their passport
HOW TO APPLY
As of 2022, volunteer programs in Niger are closed. If you have any questions about Niger volunteering, simply Make an inquiry here