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Volunteerism is the practice of providing time and skills for the benefit of other people and causes rather than for financial benefit.

In Ethiopia, the practice of volunteerism is a core value in social relation. As seen in day to day experience of the family, friends and other social groups in the country, including traditional associations like Edir, Debo, Ekub, Sunday school youths, Zeka at Mosque & other faith-based voluntary services, the society has a deep-rooted culture of supporting each other. Even though some volunteer services have existed throughout Ethiopian culture, modern voluntary services involving professionals and the public has become a common practice.

To improve medicolegal & ethical knowledge, and to promote patient safety and the right to health in the country, it is mandatory for the MESE to design a protocol to coordinate and promote sustainable, need based and efficient volunteerism services.


Volunteering can provide a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. You are doing good for others and the community, which provides a natural sense of accomplishment. Your role as a volunteer can also give you a sense of pride and identity.

Volunteer Durations

Recommendation for Duration of Volunteer Roles

1. Short Term  


  • From 1 hour per day to 3 months long

  • Generally, does not require volunteers to have specific educational or professional qualification.

  • It may participate under 18 year’s old volunteers

2. Medium Term 


  • From 3 months to 6 months long

  • May require skill based or service based volunteers who provide capacity building services

  • May require specific skill set or qualifications


3. Long Term Voluntary Services


  • 6 months + 

  • Requires volunteers to have specific educational or professional qualifications.

  • Usually involves the transfer of required skills and knowledge to individuals and groups over a longer time period e.g. six months or more

Shared Values

1.   A belief in collective action

2.  Social justice and making a positive difference to people’s lives

3.  Taking a holistic approach to people’s needs

4.  Empowering people and making voices heard

5.  Building social capital and reinvesting financial surpluses for community need.


Types of Volunteerism 

1.  Skills-based volunteering: is where professionals use their skills, experiences and resources to strengthen the capabilities of the MESE. The MESE may not have access to resources or expertise to manage extensive functions yet; these functions are instrumental in helping the MESE to operate more efficiently and effectively.

2.  Events-Based Volunteering: one-time activities such as international holydays, occasions celebrated at national level, fundraising events, online and physical events such as meetings, media program and campaign are examples of events-based volunteering.

3.  Service-Based Volunteering: provides workforce resources to complement the practitioners.

Volunteer engagement type

1.   Individual based

2.  Group based

3.  Organizational based

Thematic areas of Volunteering

Identified thematic areas for volunteer service in the MESE:

1.   Improve products and services related to Medical Law 

2.  Improve products and services related to Legal Medicine

3.  Improve products and services related to Medical Ethics

4.  Improve products and services related to Patient Safety

5.  Improve products and services related to the Right to Health

6.  Media and other events

7.  Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

8.  Improve our organizational capability 

9.  Improve networking, both local and international

10. Support Human resource 

11.  Auditing 

Voluntary Services Guideline

(Under development, Pdf. file will be shared)


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