Volunteer in Kampala, Uganda - Education, Community Dev

Volunteers needed for nursery and primary school levels (ages 4yrs-13yrs) to teach English and other subjects. Teaching experience is not required. You can begin working with some children, teaching English and basic math.

These are rural schools for the children of the community. The objective of this program is to contribute to the academic development of the school in order to provide the best opportunity for the orphans to receive quality education.
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Volunteers are needed for the on-going construction and water building projects in the community. Volunteers needed for manual labor jobs working along side skilled and unskilled local workers.

Some tasks include farming, pig rearing, construction of the volunteer center, expansion, water well building and renovation work. Volunteers do not need prior experience, but skilled workers are very welcome. This is a very hand on, hands dirty sort of program. Enthusiasm, a good sense of humor and helping spirit are required.

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Volunteers with medical experience are needed to work in a community health clinic outside of Kampala. Most clinics are very busy, understaffed; with limited medical supplies and equipment. There is a wide variety of cases but disease such as malaria, HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and syphilis, as well as childbirth/maternity needs are most common.

Medical volunteers; doctors, nurses, EMT, physical therapist participate in direct patient care such as diagnosing, injections, IV starts and lab work. Nursing and medical students are welcome and assist with tasks like dressing wounds, record and immunization chart keeping, helping dispense medications, helping to screen and organize patients and assisting with administrative needs or seminars.

*Medical volunteers must submit a copy of their credentials or nursing certificate.

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Volunteers work with a local organization that is providing HIV/AIDS prevention education and support to rural communities in the Wakiso district. This project focuses on providing culturally sensitive methods of awareness and education with the goal of preventing transmission of the disease and seeks to offer assistance and encouragement to those infected with the virus.

Some of the activities for volunteers include: Promoting safer sex through education, assisting with home-based care for victims with HIV/Aids, providing free blood testing for the disease, woman empowerment projects for surviving widows of the community, and most especially rural outreach programs to those in need with food distribution, assistance with activities of daily living and providing words of encouragement.

Experience in this field is not required. Volunteers with a strong interest in making a difference are welcome.

Program Info

Location: 
  • Uganda
Volunteer Types: 
Agriculture
Performing Arts
Sexual Health
Disabled Care
Elderly Care
Medical
Psychology
Childcare
Orphan Care
Street Children
Community Development
Conservation
Education
Computer Literacy
Service Learning
Teaching
Human Rights
Sports
Women's Rights
Program Length: 
1-2 weeks
2-4 weeks
1-3 months
Cost: 
$500 - $2,000 (USD)
$2,000 - $5,000 (USD)
See site for details.
See Additional Information
Age Group: 
14-18
18-22
22-35
50+
Cost Description: 

Pre-departure Orientation Guide. Includes detailed travel, safety & cultural information and many tips that will make your trip planning easier.
Detailed Fundraising Guide that will help you raise the funds needed to travel, as well as provide donations to the project.

Languages: 
English
Housing: 
Home-stay
Volunteer House
Application: 
Online Application
Statement of Purpose
Resume
Age Requirement
Language Requirement
Other

Videos

Program Reviews (5)

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  • Jenny
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    washington
    University of Washington
    We are so fortunate
    02/28/2014

    My favorite memory of this trip was being able to connect with the people I met in Uganda. It was very humbling to hear their stories and a pleasure to be in their presence. The most difficult thing I experienced is not knowing how I can effectively teach the children with limited resources. You don't need a lot of clothes. Regular T-shirts, pants, long skirts, and comfortable shoes are highly recommended. Avoid bringing anything white. Bring extra money to help students pay for uniforms, food, etc. The ABV staff responded to my questions/concerns right away. I was very well pleased with the support they provided me prior and after leaving the project. The local ABV Director was very informative. She checked up with me daily while in the foreign country to make sure I was doing well. There is nothing like volunteering overseas. It has allowed me to broaden my understanding towards different cultures and has given me a new perspective on life. It made me realize how fortunate I am to even have clean water and food on the table, everyday.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 5 Inspiring: 5
  • Gabrielle
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Rhode Island
    University of Rhode Island
    Volunteer Work in Volta Region, Ghana
    09/11/2013

    I loved every single moment of my trip from meeting my host family and the children to being able to witness a funeral, learn the language and about the culture. I felt truly at home in Kpando and I hope to have a chance to go back in the future to visit. If I had a question I usually asked locals I became friends with. When packing skirts and dresses are advisable as well as items that cover your thighs and bra straps. Also items that dry quickly are easier to wash. Pretty much every moment of my trip was my favorite but overall being a part of the community and the best host family I could have asked for as well as participating in the lives of 31 of the most special children I have ever met.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 4
  • MiJueng
    Age: 19-24
    Female
    Wisconsin
    University of Wisconsin
    Nursery & Primary School Teaching
    09/09/2013

    Teaching at the Primary School, I would use phrases and words my students didn't know and after I would explain it to them, they would always say them everyday after that. They would also sing and dance for me, which I thoroughly enjoyed. They were so fun to teach and be around! The teachers at the nursery school hardly had any actual teaching materials, and they were all so grateful for the donations I gave them. I only wish I could have brought more. I was also surprised by how everyone is so friendly and happy to see you. Everyday, my students would be smiling and are happy that I'm just there. I would bring school supplies, teaching materials, or exercises if you plan to teach young ones. The teachers at Nursery School were pretty open with what you could do so if you want to teach younger children, I would bring activities for them to do. I would also bring as many donations as you can. Pack light for yourself and bring donations. My only regret is that I wish I brought more to give away. I'm really glad I went to Uganda. I'm also happy with where ABV placed me. It was fun to teach the younger aged kids (5-6 year olds) as well as the older ones in P5. The kids I taught were all extremely good students and hard workers that I feel they deserve much more than they have to get a good education. I was also not certain if going into education was what I wanted to do with my life. But being able to teach students firsthand has solidified my decision to want to go into education and work with children. I had such an amazing time working with all the kids and teachers that I really want to go back.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 5 Inspiring: 6
  • Adam
    Age: 31-50
    Male
    Chicago
    Chicago State University
    Teaching at a School Orphanage Uganda
    09/09/2013

    The kids. They're so great and so excited to have a guest teacher. Getting to know them over time and watching them learn was a great experience.
    Understanding what to worry about safety-wise. The quick answer is don't worry in Bulenga unless its been dark for a while and all the people have gone home. Of course there is no need to take unnecessary risks either, such as walking alone anytime at night or carrying lots of money or expensive things with you at night. Kampala and taxis are a little different and of course have pickpockets, but it's easy to avoid all that by just walking with your hands in your pockets when you're in Kampala, especially whenever it gets crowded. Kampala is a great experience that should be done via taxi at least once (but probably more), just don't take more than you need, try to be aware of pickpockets, and enjoy the sights, sounds, stares, and congestion.
    Everything will get dusty, but it all washes out. I was more comfortable at the school and around the village in travel pants and shoes rather than shorts and flip flops, but it seems you can wear whatever you're comfortable wearing. Bring ear plugs. There's a school next to the volunteer house and the kids sometimes play loudly early in the morning, but I found ear plugs made sleeping through it super easy. If you want fruit and vegetables they're easy to get, I ate a lot of them and had no problems at all. Weekend excursions or short safaris are also easy to arrange through tour companies if you're interested in that.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 5
  • Sarah Margaret
    Age: 31-50
    Female
    New Haven, CT
    University of Connecticut
    Surrounded by Love and Hope 24/7
    10/29/2012

    This program is perfect for motivated optimists of all ages with open hearts and open minds. I was able to teach several subjects to adorable and well behaved children aged 7-12 the Orphanage. The children were bright and engaged despite the somewhat desperate seeming surroundings, and the adults were professional and generous with their time and resources. I felt safe, appreciated, and challenged during my unforgettable week with A BroaderView.

    How could this program be improved?

    The lodging was a little rustic, but the host organization is building an awesome new solar community/volunteer center.

    Was this review...?
    Useful: 4 Inspiring: 5

Alumni Interviews

  • Melanie Tabakin

    Why did you decide to volunteer with A Broader View in Uganda?

    Melanie: When I was looking to return to Uganda a few years ago, I was looking for a reputable non-profit agency that would be willing to send me solo to Uganda since my husband wouldn't be going with me. I was impressed after talking with Sarah, one of the founders of ABV, and she was organized, thorough, and quick to respond to my questions. I loved the flexibility of the volunteer experience as it allowed me to jump in headfirst and help out wherever needed. ABV is an excellent organization for a self-starter who doesn't need much motivation or management. It can get lonely on the field if you are the only volunteer there at a given time, but Ugandans are some of the friendliest people I've met around the world! The staff at the compound were wonderful, helping answer any questions I had, give suggestions for places to go and things to do in free time, and in communication with the home office often. ABV was supportive every step of the way but did not micromanage my time or trip details. If you choose ABV, I encourage you to thoroughly read the material they send you, talk to previous volunteers, remind yourself to be flexible in all circumstances, be sensitive to cultural differences, and make sure you are going for the right reasons.

    What made this experience unique and special?

    Ugandan children playing
    Ugandan children playing

    Melanie: Volunteering with ABV is so much more than having a chance to see the world; it is not self-seeking but rather it's an about being an agent of change and giving to others. It is life-changing as you work side by side with nationals who are making a difference in their own communities, learning from them and serving alongside them. I know my work there was appreciated and valued, and the lessons I learned from the field were just as appreciated and were life-altering.

    How has this experience impacted your future?

    Melanie: Uganda is going to forever be a part of my life. Once that beautiful red dirt gets in your bloodstream, it's with you for life... The children have a place in my heart and I continue to fundraise on their behalf here in the States. Since returning, people have generously donated money for a new latrine, roofing materials, school fees for some of the children, and money for projects. I think my love for Ugandans is evident to those I talk with and while others may not be able or willing to go themselves, they want to make a difference in other peoples' lives and are doing so by supporting people and projects from thousands of miles away. Derrick (volunteer coordinator) and James (headmaster) give progress reports on what the funds were used for and send pictures. There is accountability and it is great to continue to partner with them to help their ministries in Uganda. Just because I returned home doesn't mean that I can't keep helping any way possible to make a positive difference in the lives of others! My experience in Uganda has changed my world-view. Volunteering in Uganda isn't for everyone, but if you go, you will have an authentic and life-changing experience.


    Melanie working on crafts with a Ugandan girl
    Melanie working on crafts with a Ugandan girl

    Morning: Adjusting to daily life in Uganda was easy. I'd wake up cocooned in a mosquito net, on my bunk bed, to the roosters crowing behind the compound. Rooms were simply furnished with bunk beds, mattresses, mosquito nets, and a small desk with a chair. While there is running water at the KACCAD compound, it ran out on my last two trips to Bulenga, so the morning ritual consisted of a cold bucket shower that felt really refreshing, given the humidity.

    KACCAD is in the process of completing a new volunteer center, but the current one had a few small dormitory-style rooms with a shared bathroom in the back room. The toilet is a hole in the ground, and your shower (if the water is running), is right above the hole. There are also pit latrines in the back of the compound to use when there is no running water. After dressing conservatively (long skirt/pants and a tank top or t-shirt) for the work day at Good Hope Orphanage, I would prepare my backpack for the day: purified water, some snacks, teaching materials, lesson/game plan ideas, sweets for the kids, etc. and then go sit out on the front step until breakfast was served. Both Sarah and Rebecca are amazing cooks and prepared the meals for the volunteers the past two times I was in Uganda.

    Breakfast was usually coffee and/or tea and a healthy portion of fried eggs on two pieces of thick bread with the occasional small banana. Delicious! I would then gather my things and walk to Good Hope, leaving the compound by 8-8:30. Derrick and/or James shows you the way the first few times, and there are usually children that come to the compound door and walk with you to the orphanage - after a few walks, it's not hard to find. It's important to bring good walking sandals/sneakers as the walk is uneven, steep, and can be muddy during the rainy season. Good Hope is less than two miles each way from the compound. Once at the orphanage, I would either teach lesson plans for the morning in a classroom or games/activities to the children; it depended if school was in session or if there was a holiday.

    It is helpful to have activities/lessons in mind ahead of time and to bring supplemental materials (like markers, paper, sports equipment, etc.) as there are limited materials at the school. Opportunities are endless! The kids love learning American games and dancing, about American music and culture. One of my favorite memories was dancing outside one of the classrooms with a group of the children as they tried teaching me traditional Ugandan dances, and then I tried teaching them an American dance in return. The children crave love and it isn't uncommon to have a handful of children latched onto your hands and arms throughout the day. Best advice for your daily interactions at Good Hope? Be flexible, laugh often, and give love freely.

    Children Melanie worked with in Uganda
    Children Melanie worked with in Uganda

    Afternoon: Most days I would be at Good Hope until mid-afternoon. I would bring multiple water bottles with me (I boiled my water or bought bottled water) each day. On many days, I wouldn't eat lunch until 3PM or later, whenever I got back to the compound. Lunch was the largest meal served and would be matoke (banana) with peanut sauce, cabbage/sauce/pasta, beans and rice, etc. It always tasted incredible and was very filling! After lunch, I may have gone back to Good Hope for home visits, go on home health visits with Derrick or Sam from KACCAD, or make bracelets for the children at Good Hope and plan for the next day's activities.

    Evening: Evenings were beautiful and usually spent at the compound with my Ugandan friends who lived in the area and who worked at KACCAD. Nights were spent talking and playing music on the guitar, listening to music on the portable speaker system I brought, and just talking about life together as we sat in the concrete courtyard under the stars. There was a curfew of sunset when I was last there, and by the time I returned from Good Hope, I was usually pretty tired. Some days I would walk down the street to buy a soda or water and talk to some of the people of Bulenga, other days I would walk the main road of Bulenga to visit friends and buy papayas or mangos, or hand out sweets (American candy) to the kids I met on the road. I would head back to the compound by sunset and often watch the sun set from the front step outside my room. Dinner would be served soon after; this was a starchy meal of potatoes and sauce, pasta and sauce, etc. (I ate LOTS of starchy foods, so if you want to bring other snacks from home to supplement your meal staples, feel free.) I would head to bed by 9PM.

    Highlights: The highlight of volunteering in Uganda was making a difference in the lives of the people there and helping with sustainability. My community back home from church and my neighborhood had blown me away with their generosity, donating over 500 pairs of shoes as well as school and medical supplies, and they also were incredibly generous with financial contributions for the improvement of conditions at KACCAD and Good Hope Orphanage. As this was my third time returning to Uganda, the overall highlight of my experience was reuniting with those whom I love in Uganda, from the children at Good Hope to the staff at KACCAD and the orphanage, to friends in the Bulenga area. Many had become like family to me, and it was amazing to continue to foster those relationships in person instead of an ocean away.

  • Why did you decide to volunteer with A Broader View in Uganda?

    Sarah: I decided to volunteer with A Broader View, because they provided me with the flexibility and the support I sought from a volunteer experience. Sarah Ehlers at ABV was incredibly helpful in making our trip even more productive and life altering than I had hoped. ABV is professional, well staffed, and reasonably priced with well-vetted staff on the ground in Uganda. At no point did we feel adrift or concerned that we were not prepared. We are huge fans of ABV now! In fact, our experience with ABV was so wonderful that upon our return I was able to advocate for and then facilitate a $20,000 grant to ABV to help the Ugandan organization to complete part of their Solar Community/Volunteer Center. I have now found additional funding from another grant source and hope to steer friends and family through ABV to experience their own life changing volunteer experiences!

    Sarah Baird Volunteering in Uganda
    Sarah Baird Volunteering in Uganda

    What made this experience unique and special?

    Sarah: This volunteer experience was unique and special because we were given the flexibility and support uncommon in many other volunteer programs. We were able to structure the program around our own schedules and were provided with explicit directions, program expectations, orientation materials, and contact numbers. In Uganda we clearly were foreign tourists, but we felt integrated into the community in which we were placed and knew beforehand how we would be expected to contribute to the ongoing community development efforts. We were told very clearly by ABV that our expectations would be challenged and that we needed to approach this experience as a process not as a quantifiable product. I appreciated ABV's honesty and directness about our role as volunteers, and I loved that we were not insulated from the community but lived within it. Remaining flexible and upbeat with an open heart and an understanding of entrenched poverty was crucial to my ability to relax into this amazing experience.

    How has this experience impacted your future?

    Sarah: This experience has impacted my future in several ways. I now know more fully about how important it is for a successful grass-roots project to engage a wide range of stakeholders. I also know that I want to work closely with development projects abroad and that I have skills that I can offer, including fundraising, editing and teaching skills. I have remained in close touch with two of the principles at the project site in Uganda and expect to return in the near future for another volunteer visit.


    Morning: At about 4:30am, the rooster living in our compound began his morning greetings. Initially we thought that the rooster had a faulty internal clock, because 4:30am could not possibly be morning, and in fact the sun was still an hour away from rising. At the same time that we heard the first cock-a-doodle-doos, we also became aware of the sounds of Sarah, the maid for our little cement compound, sweeping the small concrete landing outside of our triple locked metal door. Her efforts were futile but greatly appreciated, as she attempted to sweep away the perpetually accumulating red clay dust that covered everything in Bulenga. Thankfully, our wake-up time was not until several hours later. After having a quick wash with the cold water from the tap in our interior bathroom (a luxury in the area) we were served some matoke (a cooked green and not at all sweet banana mash) with a small sweet banana and sometimes a hard boiled egg at about 7:30am. Soon afterwards we left for the fifteen minute walk to Faith Orphanage, where we spent our days teaching math and English to some of the 150 AIDS orphans. The children range in age from 3-12yrs and are divided into age appropriate classrooms. Mid-morning we had a snack of sweet tea and a bit of grilled cassava.

    Sarah in a classroom in Uganda
    Sarah in a classroom in Uganda

    Afternoon: A typical afternoon began with lunch of more matoke served from a large metal vat in the main classroom to the children and teachers. By about 3pm we were done teaching and walked back to the compound, where our host, Derrick Luwaga, met us each afternoon and took us on walking tours of the area to meet other people engaged in local community development. Since we were the only non-Africans in the area, children and adults frequently came out of their homes to laugh and wave at us. At first it was a little unnerving but quickly became something of a game, as we responded to their cries of "muzungu!!!" (colored person) with our own waves and "hello, friends!" We visited piggeries, milk cow enterprises, AIDS widows jewelry projects, Health Centers, spring-fed wells, the children's dormitories, another orphanage, and agricultural projects.

    Sarah with the AIDS Widows Cooperation in Uganda
    Sarah with the AIDS Widows Cooperation in Uganda

    Evening: A typical evening was quiet and short, because the electricity was often out, and we quickly grew tired after our long days. We read by flashlight and went to sleep by 9pm. We were only volunteering with this particular group for one week, so we did not venture out in search of excitement. Also, we were told that it was not particularly safe for women to be out after dark alone in the area we were staying. In the new Solar Community/Volunteer Center being completed by KACCAD, there should be ample and reliable electricity for the volunteers.

    Highlights: The highlight of volunteering in Uganda was traveling with my 18 year-old daughter to one of the most beautiful but complicated places we have every visited and learning about our own inner strength and resiliency - and that of the many strangers we met along the way. Arriving at the orphanage every morning to the excited cheers from the children was immensely gratifying and fun. Immediately upon entering the classroom, my daughter and I were enveloped in hugs and welcoming cheers. The well-behaved and delightful children wore tattered clothing, the floors were thick with mud, chickens wandered through the classrooms, and a two-year-old baby often toddled into my classroom and asked to be held, while I taught long division. Each classroom had piece of slate propped against the wall as a chalkboard, and several classrooms shared a piece of cloth that we used as an eraser. Despite all the challenges, my daughter and I couldn't stop smiling and felt luckier than we have ever felt before.

    The highlight of my overall experience was working with some incredibly talented and hardworking people on the ground, who are implementing much of what I have been learning about over the years as a student of humanitarian crises and development studies at the University of Connecticut. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with KACCAD, an organization staffed by people driven by a mission, all of whom have a passion to help others and to improve their community.

About the provider

A Broader View Volunteers was founded by Sarah and Oliver Ehlers, after a trip to Chile, South America. While there, they saw the overwhelming need of the children and incredible difference volunteers made in helping a local orphanage.

After returning home to the USA and researching different service organizations, they were stunned at how costly and restrictive many volunteering programs are. They decided to create an affordable, safe and worthy program so that anyone who wished to travel and volunteer - could easily afford to do so.