We cater to the unique traveler by offering an eco-friendly authentic village life experience – an experience of voluntouring. Discover the Sidama people and the natural beauty of the Region, visiting the attractions….bamboo plantations, coffee plantations, waterfalls, mountain treks, etc through visiting, volunteering and voluntouring at Common River, Ethiopia.

  • Stay in Sidama bamboo woven huts
  • Eat traditional Sidama cuisine made with organic vegetables from our garden and fresh milk from our cows
  • Assist with our development program activities: Elementary school, sports, female literacy, health education, microenterprise, sustainable gardening, nutrition, Senior Council
  • Enjoy our local community and culture while contributing your time, skills and energy to developing its future.

We have plenty of community service and voluntouring ideas to match your skills and level of commitment, such as:


  • We installed a new basketball court last summer and until now, the kids don’t know how to play.  If you would like to organize a basketball clinic for our students…we have a half court and lots of balls and pumps.
  • We have a volleyball court and balls.
  • No one need train our kids in soccer.  They are amazing players and make the Americans look like they have two left feet!
  • Our PE program is in need of some new training….the typical elementary school routines we did as kids….ask who is the PE teacher (one of our faculty) and train them in some new methods.


  • Our faculty is in need of training in progressive American education.  They teach the way they’ve been taught, which is old school, rote memorization and didactic.  If you would like to give them some pointers….small group work, discussion, facilitating students, asking questions, and teaching kids how to think, that would be a huge benefit.
  • We have a library with English books, which I’ve brought from my kids shelves over the years….READING STORIES to the kids is new for them!  And even being they don’t understand English, they love seeing the pictures.
  • Students attending summer school need extra tutoring.  You can help those who are failing.
  • Ask our female literacy students what they would like to learn and teach them!  You have a captive audience of 150 women every afternoon who are thirsty for knowledge.  It can be simple…. a session on hand-washing, simple accounting, geography, and of course my favorite theme and message I give every teachable moment….THE SMALL, HEALTHY FAMILY and family planning…they have access to all the methods at the health clinic, it’s just a matter of convincing them to utilize it…Ask husbands to come for a session and talk to them!  They are the one’s controlling the family size!  If we don’t convince the men, it won’t happen…


  • We have a library full of tables and chairs for any kind of arts and craft projects.
  • In the past volunteers have brought pipe cleaners and beads, legos, white baseball caps with paints to “paint your own  hat” and landyards…
  • Small group sessions on building with lego.
  • Crayons and markers are always needed.  I would like to see them do more creative drawing (they all draw the same picture of a hut, a coffee tree and the Ethiopian flag! .  Creativity is not encouraged.  I would ask them to draw a concept….like what do you think America looks like…draw it.  Draw a scary animal that you create in your mind….


  • Set up a small gift shop in the dining hut.  We would like to sell the kids baskets, our school house coffee, etc.  We can also go downtown Aleta Wondo and purchase items that our volunteers would like to buy at our place  (scarves, Sidama fabrics, sandals….)
  • Devise an inventory sheet, price list and display shelf.

Read more about ecotourism in Sidama: cr-in-sidama-guide-book

Please contact us for more information about visiting and voluntouring with us.