VOLUNTEER IN UGANDA

VOLUNTEER IN UGANDA

Described as the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda is a marvel to behold.  It hosts the source of the River Nile, spectacular wildlife and beautiful lakes.

Uganda is not without its problems though.  In the far north, a civil war still simmers and many children are forced into becoming child soldiers or “wives” of the rebel army’s officers.

Being a destination untouched by mass tourism, you can sure experience an air of expectancy in the national parks teaming with wildlife and magic in the mountains. Uganda offers a rich, genuine, cultural experience that gives visitors a feel of the real Africa. This makes Uganda one of the most thrilling African safari destinations! Uganda is now a safe destination for any tourists who would wish to come and experience the amazing beauty that the country offers. Its past history was marred by corrupt leaders which saw the country suffer for years in political turmoil; however it has come a long way from the ugly past to become one of the politically stable countries in Africa. The country has seen development in trade and commerce and Sustainable Tourism has become a priority as the country views it as tool for development from the grass root levels much effort is on Eco tourism and sustainable tourism.

Our programs are based in the south, not far from Lake Victoria.  By volunteering with us, you’ll have a real and meaningful impact on the lives of many Ugandans.

THE CHALLENGE

Our Programs focuses on supporting the community in rural southwest Uganda. Here, over 90% of the population live on less than a dollar a day, fertility rates exceed 8 children per woman and there is a shortfall of qualified teachers, resulting in class sizes of up to 70 children.

poverty in uganda

OUR SOLUTION

By bringing skilled international volunteers and donations from around the world into the these rural community, Our programs are able to support the community in their efforts to rise out of poverty, through education and infrastructure development, health promotion and job creation.

BE A PART OF IT

Without the contribution of its amazing volunteers and funding from our incredibly generous supporters and donors, our programs would be nothing but a dream. If you’re reading this, ask yourself, “what can I give? How can I be a part of this?” It will be the best decision you make.

INTRODUCTION OF VOLUNTEERING IN UGANDA

Training

All volunteers receive thorough in-country orientation and induction as well as relevant training for your programme:

  • Local language lesson
  • Tour around the local town
  • Advice about life in Uganda
  • Placement training and support

Location

Our Accommodation is a beautiful place to stay while volunteering in Uganda, with fantastic views over Impenetrable Forest.

  • Hosts groups between 20-40 volunteers
  • Large central living and dining area
  • Local style ‘banda’ dormitories
  • Western style showers and toilets

Transport

From the moment you arrive in Uganda to the moment you leave, our fleet of program vans will transport you everywhere you need to go:

  • We employ experienced Ugandan drivers
  • All our vehicles are serviced regularly
  • All vans have open top roofs for Safaris

Excursions

At weekends volunteers have the opportunity to try out a variety of fantastic activities, such as:

During the weekends, volunteers have free time to relax or take the opportunity to explore other places in Uganda. Sunday is a religious day of rest. If you wish, you can accompany your hosts to their local church, as a Ugandan church service is a unique and special experience for many volunteers.

Volunteer free time in uganda

Uganda is a large and extremely diverse country in terms of both culture and nature. For three days you can undertake a safari that ushers you in the vast Bwindi Impenetrable National for Gorilla Trekking or the Murchison Falls National Park for Uganda Wildlife Tour or the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park for Uganda Bird Watching, or the Kibale National Park for Uganda Chimpanzee Trekking. We also offer a range of mountain climbing trips, from Mt Ruwenzori, to Mt Elgon, to Mt Mgahinga!  The adventures will provide you with a break from your project, a chance to see your host country from a different perspective, and time maybe live out a few dreams. We can organize these tour excursions for you prior to your arrival at the project site.

  • White Water Rafting & Bungee Jumping
  • Safari in Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Mountain Gorilla & Chimpanzee Tracking
  • Lake Bunyonyi weekend

Support

We are committed to making a real difference to people in an area where our NGO’s and charities we have worked in for over ten years.

  • VU has 15 full-time Ugandan staff
  • Over 10 years experience in the area
  • Strong links with the community

Safety

The safety of our volunteers is paramount. We take numerous precautions to ensure volunteers safety throughout their trip:

  • Resident British staff and camp manager
  • Safe provided to lock up valuables
  • The camp is enclosed with duty watchmen
  • Emergency First Aid & Malaria treatment
  • Mosquito nets provided for all volunteers

MORE INFORMATION ON VOLUNTEERING IN UGANDA

  • What is the climate like in the Uganda?
    The temperature ranges from 21 to 25°C (70 to 77°F).  Some of the mountainous areas are noticeably cooler.  There is heavy rain between March and May and between October and November.

    The humidity ranges between 75 and 80%

    The most common medical complaint of volunteers is dehydration, so be sure to drink lots of water.

    Thunderstorms are common but usually only last for a short time.
     

  • Where is the Uganda program based?
    The Uganda program is the Sironko area of Eastern Uganda.
     
  • What vaccinations are required?
    We recommend you visit CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), for the latest information before your departure.  We also recommend that you contact a registered medical doctor.  We are volunteer placement organization and do not give medical advice.

    Note: Many specialist travel doctors offer discounts to volunteers, so be sure to ask!
     

  • What about malaria?
    Malaria is very prevalent in Uganda.  So much so, that the local word for “sick” is the same as malaria.  It is recommended that you talk to your doctor about the best ways to avoid getting malaria.  A treated mosquito net and DEET insect repellent go a long way towards avoiding malaria.

    Note: Some high quality, cheap mosquito nets are available in Uganda.
     

  • Do I need a visa?
    Yes. These are available upon entry into Uganda at the airport.  Note that it is best to say that you are there are a tourist and not as a volunteer.  “Volunteer” is a confusing term.  Are you working or not?  The local airport staff might consider that volunteering is working and you will therefore require work visa which is much harder to get.  

    You will need $US50 upon arrival to get your visa.  The will automatically give you a two month visa, but if you ask extra nicely they will give you three months.
     

  • Where will I be accommodated?
    You will stay at a dormitory in Sironko.
     
  • What is the electricity situation like?
    Electricity in Uganda is usually on for one day, and then off for the next.  This can be a constant source of frustration.  It is especially odd considering that Uganda is actually a net power exporter!

    It is recommended that you bring a surge protector for any sensitive electronic equipment you might have. 
     

  • Is the tap water safe to drink?
    No.  You will need to buy bottled water,
     
  • When do I need to arrive in Uganda?
    You need to arrive in the Uganda on the 1st of the month.

    While other arrangements are possible, it is much easier if we can collect out volunteers at about the same time.

    If you intend to arrive earlier, then let us know beforehand. We can assist you with finding a place to stay. Any fees you may incur are at your own expense. 
     

  • Are there more expenses once I arrive?
    Your fees cover your accommodation and three meals a day, and transport to the dormitory,

    Any day-today travel expenses will be covered by you.

    We recommend that you budget an additional $US25 a week for miscellaneous expenses. 
     

  • How is the Uganda food?
    Food in the villages is very simple and usually consist of carbohydrate rich food such as cassava and sweet potato.  Children are often seen munching on sugarcane and – remarkably! – still have shiny white teeth!

    There are many rolex stands scattered around Uganda. A rolex is a flat bread that is rolled into a cylinder and filled with vegetables.

    When the rainy season comes, Uganda is invaded by grasshoppers.  The locals fry the grasshoppers, add salt to them and then sell them on the street.  They taste a lot like popcorn!

    There are many restaurants in the capital city of Kampala containing both African and Western style food.

    At the guest house, you can expect to eat the following types of food:

    • Madote
      Madote 
      is green banana that has been mashed and boiled.  It is one of the staple foods in Uganda.

       
    • Posho
      Posho
       is flour that has been mixed with water and boiled.

       
    • Greens
      Greens are what the locals call green leafs that have been cut finely and boiled.
       
    • Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes and cassava
       
    • Peanut sauces
       
    • Fresh fruit
      The mangoes are especially good!
       
    • Bread and omelettes for breakfast
       
    • Note: Meat is very expensive in the area and there is typically one meat meal a week. This is usually pork, beef or goat.
       

       

  • Can special dietary arrangements be catered for in this program?
    Yes. Vegetarian meals are available on request. If you have any other dietary requirements, then let us know before arrival. Some – such as a Vegan diet – are just not practical and are not offered.

volunteering in uganda

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