INV Uganda

International Volunteers Network


International Volunteers Network, Inc offers many exciting volunteer and travel abroad experiences, mini-escapes and summer escapes, wildlife safaris, rural community insights and cultural immersion programs to international volunteers/travelers coming to the East African region. International Volunteers Network Inc programs provide an opportunity to do something so rewarding, that we guarantee you will never ever forget it.

Our unique and stimulating programs engage participants in breathtaking journeys to exotic land, Uganda – the Pearl of Africa. Join this extraordinary adventure and embark on the most meaningful experience of your lifetime



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Yes, I recommend this program

Greetings to all who are considering volunteering in Uganda...all I can say is that you will not be disappointed and the care and support you will receive from James (Jim) and Joyce are second to none... You will leave with a warm heart and a lifelong experience that will impact in such a positive life changing way, you will want to return time and time again.

I am a nurse and worked in Fort Portal however also assisted in the orphanage and loved every moment of my time. The Ugandan people are incredibly warm and friendly and give you much, even though they have little.

Jim and Joyce ensure that everything runs smoothly and that everyone is taken well care of. They both go well beyond the call of duty, both are incredible people.

Thank you Jim and Joyce and Uganda, for an amazing time... Look forward to coming back. With much love Heidi

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Yes, I recommend this program

It has been a year since my most amazing experience volunteering in Kampala, Uganda. I traveled there with my daughter, Pia, and her partner, Mitch. None of us had done anything like this before, so we were quite nervous, but felt well supported by IVHQ and IVN Uganda before we left Australia, so hopeful of a good experience.

A "good" experience was an understatement of the year! It was an unbelievably wonderful experience!

We were met at the Entebbe airport and driven to a motel for an overnight stay, as the road was cut to our accommodation. We were taken the next morning to our volunteer accommodation house for orientation with about 10 other volunteers. This was so useful and beautifully presented by Ugandan coordinator, James and his wife/secretary/treasurer Joyce, and other helpers. Some volunteers left for Fort Portal, while 7 of us stayed in Kampala. There were 3 doing orphanage work, 3 doing construction and myself doing nursing. We all became very close and worked well together. Both the orphanage and construction volunteers worked at an orphanage, walking distance from the house. I traveled daily into the city clinics and hospitals with a most amazingly supportive fellow worker, Florence. She was my guide, my safety support, my translator, my friend and my educator with a heart of gold. Thankyou so much Florence! James was also extremely supportive and helpful way beyond the call of duty, showing genuine caring and supportive help every day if required! He is an absolute gem!

As an unexpected and added bonus, I also had the pleasure and honour of assisting at the orphanage after hours and on the weekends if I so wished. The children were so delightful and thankful to have us there. We were all able to help in so many ways ... repairs, activities, education, administration, health care/records, clothing, mosquito net and water filter donations, fun and games, and of course, lots of love and cuddles. They will all remain in our hearts forever. It was a time of extreme emotions.

As a nurse, most of the illnesses encountered in Uganda are very uncommon or non-existent here in Australia. It was a steep and fascinating learning curve for me in that way, and I was able to impart my knowledge of other areas to fellow workers in Uganda. I was so thankful that we had raised some modest funds before our trip, which miraculously turned into a fortune in Uganda, so we were able to donate much needed basic equipment/supplies etc for the people and orphans of Uganda.

James and Joyce were also masters at organizing discounted, amazing, fun and safe experiences for the volunteers. White water rafting, bungee jumping on the Nile, safaris, etc. as well as supplying a vehicle and driver at no charge for a day looking around the city, just to name a few!

Uganda is a most beautiful country, with beautiful, friendly, helpful, caring, patient and gentle people who have very little, expect very little, and give very much. We are so fortunate, have much, want more, and are often thankless. We have much to learn from them. I would very much recommend anyone to volunteer in Uganda for a most amazing and unforgettable experience!

What would you improve about this program?
There was a delay with the printing of the orientation booklets that we should have been given on arrival, but we did receive enough support where this was not a concerning problem.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Uganda in August of 2013 I didn't know what to expect as I'd never done this before even though I've wanted to for a very long time when I got to entebbe airport frank was there to meet all the volunteers I felt realy safe and very very welcome I was the oldest of our volunteer group as I'm 58 so they all called me mam which was nice we were taken to a hotel for the night then the next morning we met our co ordinator James Kange Nadiope and the amazing Joyce who is like James's left hand man so to speak James went through lots of information and we could ask anything we needed to we then were taken to our volunteer house it was big and so lovely the grounds were realy beautiful all the children along our road waved and shouted hello as did the grown ups everyone was so friendly it was amazing our journey every day to the orphanage was with our driver Eddie there was nothing he wouldn't do for us all he was great the children at the orphanage were so pleased to see us and they called us aunty and uncle they were so loving and realy appreciated what you did with them on a daily basis James kept in touch with us and anything we needed he sorted it out for us and if we needed to see him he was there always when we asked him to be he was our main source while we were in Uganda and there was nothing that he wouldn't do for any of us all of the programmes in Uganda are so interesting and affordable to do its so rewarding to see so many smiling faces I would say to anyone thinking about volunteering don't hesitate do it you will meet so many lovely people see lots of amazing things in any country that you volunteer in but most of all it will be the best thing that you have ever done in your life and the memories will stay with you forever I can't wait to go back to Uganda there are so many beautiful people young and old who's lives we can change by volunteering on a programme so don't put it off and let it pass you by volunteer today it will be the best decision of your life get in touch now please please become an international volunteer

What would you improve about this program?
I wouldn't change a thing James my co ordinator was always there when you needed anything Joyce as well I felt so safe in Uganda the people were amazing it is the best experience one can have the only critical comment I can say which I told James is can we have some mirrors in the house please anyone can contact me for loads of great information WENDY from Middlesbrough
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Yes, I recommend this program

We were senior volunteers and loved the experience.

Each day bought us the smiling faces of the children of St Andrews School Bwebajja; a class of 6 to 8 year old children who loved to learn.

Before leaving small art and writing books from a class at our local school in Eumundi Australia had been prepared to exchange with a class of a similar level from St Sndrews School Bwebajja. Both classes were very enthusiastic and enjoyed the project,

Our days in the classroom were busy, challenging and fun.Occassionally we would take some of the class to an empty block for some soccer prcatice while other times we had art mixed with English and spelling.

It was hard to say goodbye to these beautiful children but we have this special time to remember and many of our friends are still asking us about the Uganda experience.

What would you improve about this program?
This program was pretty much perfect..good support and plenty of information provided before leaving was important to us as we had no idea what it would involve. However full support was available at any time and the organisation, transport and all details attended to in detail during our period of volunteering. Thanks to all concerned.
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Yes, I recommend this program

I spent two weeks working as a volunteer teacher in Uganda. It was a wonderful experience. As a woman in my 50’s travelling alone to a foreign country I must admit I was a bit apprehensive before I arrived. I was afraid I wouldn't fit in with the young volunteers. This wasn't the case at all. Its true most volunteers were considerably younger than me but we worked well together and enjoyed each other’s company. The students at the secondary school where I volunteered were lovely to work with; always curious, polite and grateful. They truly were a delight. James Kange Nadiope, our program coordinator and Joyce our program administrator were amazing. Any potential volunteers or parents of volunteers that have concerns can rest assured their needs will be taken care of by their volunteer program in Uganda. The staff made sure our food was prepared in a very hygienic way and we were safe at all times. Our program coordinator went above and beyond his duties to keep us entertained and make every minute we spent in Uganda enjoyable. He helped us book safaris, gorilla trekking as well as recommend drivers that were safe and responsible. I volunteered in a rather remote area and the programs were very new. Our accommodations were basic but clean and comfortable. Everything about my experience was positive. I would strongly recommend volunteering in Uganda.

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been nice to have more details regarding my placement before I left home. This would have enabled me to pack appropriate supplies to use with the students at my work placement. I brought materials for small children and ended up working with older students. I loved it but the balloons and stickers might not have been my choice for these students.


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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with IVN?

I decided to volunteer abroad when the company I was working for closed and I found myself temporarily out of work. It was the perfect opportunity to fulfill a dream of traveling to Africa and work with the local people.

Two of my aunts were nuns and lived and worked in various countries in Africa and my dream of visiting and volunteering goes back to my childhood when I listened to their stories.

I researched various volunteer organizations and, in the end, chose IVN via IVHQ because of the positive reviews and easy access to staff who answered all my questions quickly and professionally. I was a 55-year-old woman about to travel to a continent alone to volunteer in a community with which I was unfamiliar.

I wasn’t prepared to leave Canada unless I felt comfortable with the organization that would be handling my needs. Once I felt assured I would be safe and taken care of (not pampered of course but kept in a safe healthy environment) I was able to commit to the project. I soon learned that in addition to volunteering I could enjoy some leisure activities before, during and after my time in Uganda.

I went on a safari, visited the source of the Nile and went Gorilla trekking. These were amazing opportunities that were affordable and easy to coordinate with the help of my project leader in Uganda.

What was the best moment of trip?

When I left Canada at the end of November my son told me he prefers I didn’t buy him any Christmas gifts but instead, purchase a goat and give it to a family in the Ugandan village that needed one.

Once I arrived in Engari it was plain to see every family could easily use a goat and I wondered how I would ever decide on who would be the recipient of my son’s gift.

One morning I had climbed what we affectionately called Internet Hill where I could receive a signal to send an email home. Before long a local farmer came up to me and asked if I could help save his goat that had been attacked by wild dogs during the night.

I think he may have mistaken me for one of the volunteers with medical experience. It was obvious the goat couldn’t be saved and was about to die. This is a huge investment for the farmer and he was distraught that his goat would die.

It didn’t take long to realize this would be the perfect opportunity to give him a new goat and fulfill my son’s wish. I told him he could slaughter the injured goat, feed his family and friends and I would replace it with a new goat. He couldn’t believe what I was saying.

When I returned to the village I learned of a teacher who raised a goat and was eager to sell it so he could afford to return to his village for Christmas. This young man supports his mother and sisters with his wages. I told him I was interested in buying the goat from him and giving it to the farmer on the mountain. He was thrilled. We put the goat on a tether and walked up the hill to deliver it to the farmer. It was a win-win situation and it left me feeling rewarded and content.

Is there anything you wish you would have done differently?

If I go back to Uganda I would like to spend more time there to really dig into a project and see it completed. The local people are eager to learn and happy to help. I would also spend more time getting to know the people of the community and understand their feelings, dreams, frustrations and concerns. The people I worked with always put on a happy face and appeared positive but I think there is a layer to peel away to really understand the people and their history.

Tell us about one person you met.

I was lucky to have the opportunity to meet many wonderful people during this adventure. I met volunteers from all over the world, local business people, young children, and local teenagers. Each person left an impression with me but one person in particular inspired me and continues to do so a year later. His name is Owen and he is a teacher at the secondary school in the small village of Engari.

Owen is the most caring person I’ve ever met. He is a wonderful role model for his students. Owen and I communicate regularly and he keeps me up to date regarding the needs of his community. Together we have coordinated assistance to sponsor students so they can attend school. He is hardworking, trustworthy and motivated. I value his friendship.

Do you feel like you made an impact on the local community? Why or why not?

I definitely feel I made an impact on the community of Engari. Before I left Canada I appealed to my family and friends to donate funds to help the people in the community I was going to visit. Because of their generosity, I was able to raise $2,000.00.

After I arrived and settled in it was obvious one of the biggest needs the students at the school I was volunteering at needed a source of clean water. The kids were taking stagnant water from a dirty pond to use for drinking, cooking, bathing, and laundry. Most of the children had parasites from the water.

After some research, I learned that I could use the money I raised to have a water tank built beside the school. This project employed several local people during its construction and will provide clean drinking water for years to come.

The project wasn’t completed until I had returned home but another volunteer assisted with the project and sent me pictures during its development and completion. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing the children are drinking clean water because of the generosity of my family and friends.