Our partner, the International Centre for Arts & Music in Ouidah (CIAMO) is a vibrant center devoted to promoting arts education as a dynamic tool for growth in the developing world. Every week over 300 students pass through the doors, taking advantage of opportunities to thrive and grow in the arts. CIAMO also works with local area artists, helping them to gain expertise that permits them to become better artists and better teachers. CIAMO relies on a team of international and local artists to teach its students. We need your help!
As a Multi-media Teacher, you will have the unique opportunity to share with primary and secondary school students a new world of digital music, video, and art. You will help CIAMO’s students to find new and creative ways to express themselves using modern technology.
Examples of Activities
- Teach small classes of primary and secondary school students to plan, film, and edit videos
- Select and collaborate with excellent students to work on specific projects (create music videos, tv shows, etc)
- Work with local artists to make demo-recordings of their music using garage band, and simple recording materials
- Develop promotional material for the center
Intermediate French (Note: if you do not have the required level of French, contact us to learn about options for language learning before your placement or other opportunities which may be suited to your goals and skills).
Typical Volunteer Hours
Volunteers should consider teaching at CIAMO as a full-time activity. Whereas teaching might only be 5-10 hours a week, s/he will be spending plenty of one-on-one time with students helping them to learn the technology and technique of media.
Duration: 2 months +
When: Based on class schedules, it is preferable for the volunteer to start in January, April, July or October.
- Knowledge of basic videography
- Knowledge of Final Cut Express and Adobe Suite
- Strong leading and teaching abilities
- Self-starting individual who develops lessons plans and course materials without significant assistance.
Location: Ouidah, a small charming city with cobblestone streets. It was a previous centre for slave trading and is the voodoo capital of West Africa.
Accommodation: Self-catering apartment shared with other volunteers. Guesthouse is stocked with toiletries and food basics such as salt, sugar, tea, & coffee. A Beninoise meal will be cooked for you each week.
See & Do
-Visit the National parks of Pendjari (in the North West) and The ‘W’ National Park (in the North).
-Hang out at the beaches, Grand Popo and Ouidah.
-Browse local markets in Cotonou (the Dan Tokpa), as well as in Boukombe in the northwest of the country; in the latter market you will find extraordinary pieces made by the Somba people, who live in this region.
-Ganvie is a lake village 11miles northwest from Cotonou; many of the houses there were built on stilts. Be sure to check out the water-market.
-The Temple of the Sacred Python and an old Portuguese fort, both worth seeing, are located in the town of Ouidah.
-Trek Mount Sokbaro, the highest peak at 658 metres.
Population: 9 Million
Religion: 42% Christian, 24% Muslim, 17% Voodoun, 15.5% Other
Language: French is official language. FOn & Yoruba is spoken widely in the South, six major tribal languages in the North
Poverty Line: -37% of the country’s population lives below the poverty line
Interesting Tidbit: You can marvel at the nation’s most striking and best-known practice, one that has gained significant social and political power—Voodoo. On a visit to Pendjari park, see one of the last habitats of the Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus.
- Is a visa required?: Yes
- Allocation of Tourist Visa: At destination airport
- Duration of Tourist visa: Up to 3 years
- Cost of Tourist Visa: Varies, but you can expect to pay 100CAD
- Tourist Visa Extension: No
- Cost of Tourist Visa Extension: Not Applicable
- Passport validation: 6 months required before expiry
- Return/onward flight ticket: May be required
- Confirmation of Funds: May be required
- For more information visit the websites of Benin representation abroad:
You can compliment your volunteer experience with French classes. On days when you have class, you will spend half the day volunteering and the other half learning French.
Class setting: You will learn French in a small group setting (1-6 students). All teachers are university-trained French teachers. You will learn through reading & writing, the use of media, and field trips where you are guided in actively practicing your French
Standard French: Two Hours, Three times per Week
Intensive French: Two Hours, Five times per Week
You can add as many weeks of language learning as you like to your placement. View costs to determine how much your program will cost depending on how much French you would like to learn.
|Program Fees in CAD|
|Each Additional Week||100|
- Pre-departure support: You will have a staff member available to support you throughout your time preparing to go abroad. In addition, you will be provided with all the resources you need including your Pre-Departure Manual & Culture Matters Workbook. The pre-departure manual includes all information you need regarding your destination, as well as advice on blogging and fundraising. The Culture Matters Workbook is a self-study course focused on:
- Culture shock
- Issues power and race
- Managing politics, religion, and gender
- Working effectively in a cross-cultural setting
- Preparing to reintegrate as you return home
- Transportation to and from the airport
- Accommodation (single or double occupancy in self catering apartment).
- Laundry, cleaning, and one African meal provided weekly
- Organization placement
- Reference letter and/or compliance with your college or university for course credit (Upon request; 90CAD fee applies for students obtaining course credit)
What’s not Included
- Local transportation
- Pocket money
Add French Lessons to your Program
Standard: 2 hrs, 3x per week (cost 110 per week)
Intensive: 2 hrs, 5x per week (cost 170 per week)
Other Costs to Consider
|Cost in Fcfa||Cost in CAD|
|Meal at a Restaurant||1500 – 4000||3.00- 8.00|
|Groceries for a Month||40 000 – 50 000||80.00-100.00|
|Bottle of Beer||500 – 1000||1.00 -2.00|
|Minute of Cell Phone Usage||75||0.18|
|Unlimited Monthly Cell Phone Usage||15 000-25 000||30.00 -50.00|
|Half Hour at Cyber Café||150||0.35|
|Unlimited Monthly Internet Access||25 000||50.00|
|One way trip between Ouidah & Cotonou in local Transport||2 000||4.00|
|Taxi to anywhere within Ouidah||50-100||0.15-0.60|
Click here to see program fees for all programs with The Humanity Exchange.
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