Aira Nursing School

Aira, Ethiopia

The Aira Midwifery and Nursing School is a rural nursing school of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church of Mekane Yesus. Located about 500 kilometers (311 miles) west of Addis Ababa, it equips nurses for medical service in remote, poverty-stricken, and underserved areas. Recently, the school shifted its primary focus to training midwives.

Opportunity type: 
Volunteer opportunities: 

Volunteers are needed to teach prenatal and maternal care, environmental health, tropical medicine, developmental pediatrics, infectious disease, biology, chemistry, genetics, human anatomy, physiology, etc., as well as practical nursing skills. It is essential that a volunteer has a specialty that will help and bring added value to the indigenous staff. In addition to specialized opportunities, there is a need for medical volunteers who can teach medical English. 

Up to five people may volunteer at a time; two to three volunteers at a time is ideal.


Volunteers stay in the Aira Hospital guesthouse.

Cost notes: 

Volunteers pay for food ($100 a week), round-trip airfare ($4,000), guesthouse accommodations ($30 a day), and in-country travel ($600).

Nearest airport: 

Addis Ababa

Packing suggestions: 

Average temperatures in Aira range from the upper 50s at night to 90 degrees during the day (14 to 32 degrees Celsius). March and April are the hottest months. Women should pack mostly long, conservative skirts. Loose-fitting pants are okay for women, but women generally wear skirts. While working in the hospital, scrubs are standard attire for practitioners. Comfortable walking, trail, or running shoes are needed as well.


A short-term visa is needed unless the volunteer will stay longer than 30 days, in which case she or he will need a long-term visa. All volunteers must comply with Evangelical Church of Mekane Yesus and Ethiopian government regulations for medical volunteers.

Contact information: 

For more information, contact the Short-Term Mission staff.

Contact Us

If you would like to learn more about the RCA's short-term mission opportunities for individuals and groups, please get in touch with us.

The best way to reach our team is to email or call (616) 698-7071. One of the members of our team will be able to connect with you right away.

Stephanie Soderstrom

Coordinator for Short-Term Mission

Molly Towne

Short-Term Mission Placement Specialist

Erika Spykman

Administrative Assistant

Cultivate is a program for 18- to 25-year-olds to partner with RCA missionaries for a summer or a full year and see how God is at work in another part of the globe.