Work and Travel in Niger
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN NIGER FOR TRAVELLERS
Niger is a little-known country in Africa. Rarely visited by backpackers, it’s one of the least visited countries on the planet by Westerners. It’s why you might think that travel in Niger is something that should feature as part of your future.
But with so little information on work and travel in Niger, you might be wondering where to turn. That’s why our travel guide to Niger is here to make sure that you’re equipped for your next trip (https://www.lonelyplanet.com/niger).
1. Teach English in Niger
The primary language of Niger is French, but there’s a growing number of people who want to learn English. Teach English in Niger and you’ll be able to make a big difference to the people living there. They’ll have the skills they need to brighten their futures.
Ideally, you’ll already possess a TEFL qualification, or something equivalent. But if you’re a native English speaker without any qualifications you shouldn’t find it too difficult to secure one of these volunteer opportunities in Niger.
2. Improve Literacy in Niger
The lack of education in Niger remains a problem. There’s a high level of poverty in the country, and it’s up to international organizations to make a difference.
Unfortunately, a huge number of people don’t have the ability to read. You can provide the young and old with the joys of reading.
You’ll be making a difference to their lives, which will endure for the rest of their lives. There’s no better way to work in Niger and leave an impression that lasts forever.
3. Help with Construction Work in Niger
As you would expect from a poor country, Niger doesn’t have a high level of infrastructure. All urban areas have significant slum areas, where the people have little to no access to basic services.
Rural villages haven’t changed in decades, and still don’t have what they need for a high quality of life. That’s why foreigners who want to travel in Niger have the opportunity to support construction projects across the country.
You could be building or renovating school buildings, orphanages, and people’s homes.
Make sure you have some manual skills and you’re willing to work long hours because these projects require a strong work ethic.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR NIGER
Niger suffers from the same problems as most countries in West Africa. If you want to work and travel in Niger you’ll need to obtain a visa(https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Niger.html). The only country outside of Africa that’s entitled to visa-free entry is Hong Kong.
So you need to make sure that you get a visa in advance (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Country_Specific/niger_passport.html). There’s the option of obtaining a pre-approved confirmation to enter the country. This is a visa-on-arrival for all intents and purposes.
To get this you’ll still need to visit an embassy, but the process is much faster. The terms of this type of visa for travel in Niger is that you can only fly into Niamey and your passport will be taken for one working day. The next day you’ll need to visit the Director General of Immigration to collect your passport.
Travellers are generally divided on the best option. We think that unless you need to leave soon you should opt for the conventional visa to save the hassle (http://www.nigerconsulateuk.org/).
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN NIGER
Understand that Niger is one of the hottest countries on the planet, especially in the northern areas, where the Sahara covers much of the land.
Spring time is one of the worst times of year to visit because of the high humidity. We recommend anything that keeps you inside. Stick to the capital, where you can find volunteering opportunities in Niger involving education and training people on how to use computers.
Community outreach projects in urban areas are another option. These vary heavily based on your skills, but you’re sure to find the right position for you.
The summer season is another difficult time to work in Niger because this is the main rainy season. Niger gets the majority of its rain in July and August, which vastly increases the humidity.
We recommend you refer back to the ‘Spring’ section for more information on the projects available in summer.
The autumn is the shoulder season and is an ideal time to come to the country. The temperatures begin to drop and it’s rare to find rain, particularly in the north.
There are so many projects at this time of year. Construction projects are always popular options. You can also involve yourself with charities that install brand new farming technology and water pumps in more remote areas of Niger.
There are also new projects aimed at those people who were either deported on the main refugee trail or those who turned back. Understand that a huge number of African refugees either come from Niger or go through Niger on their way to the coast.
Charities are dedicated to helping these returnees return to normal life. There are always spaces for volunteers in these types of volunteer opportunities in Niger.
Winter is the main dry season. It’s not as hot as you might think. In fact, temperatures tend to hit their lowest in winter.
Again, we recommend choosing outdoor projects. Refer back to the previous section for more information on the options you have.
You might even decide to opt for a homestay, so you can find out about the local culture and people.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN NIGER
Niger receives almost no foreign backpackers. Charities are appreciated here because they’re providing skills and resources not available in the country.
Volunteerism is a common occurrence here, so you’re not going to experience any problems as you work in Niger. We also recommend that you learn some French because you’ll be an object of great curiosity to the locals, particularly if you’re in a more remote area.
There’s no denying that Niger will be a challenge for even veteran travellers, though.
So do you have what it takes to work and travel in Niger?
- Edited on Mar 12 2019 by Mercury