Affordable volunteer abroad programs in Uganda

The Real Uganda

About

Why volunteer with The Real Uganda?

• Immerse yourself in the beauty and complexity of Ugandan life.
• Build relationships with ordinary Ugandans working hard to improve our society.
• Learn what Uganda has to offer its people, and look for ways to improve access to it.

The communities we work with want to learn from international volunteers. They also want to show off their own knowledge and traditions. Ideas and cultures are exchanged and appreciated in true collaboration.

Volunteers offer their time, and learn about our way of life, through:
• Teaching in primary schools
• Assisting in rural public health initiatives
• Maintaining organic farms
• Supporting women's empowerment groups

We have volunteers arriving and departing on a rolling basis. Our placements begin on the 1st and 15th of every month and last 2 to 12 weeks.

Please read about our programs here, or click the links get to know more about us!

Founded
2005
Headquarters

P.O. Box 637
Mukono
Uganda

Reviews

Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

On arrival in Uganda I was very open minded and prepared for what anyone would assume to be an life altering experience. Leslie form the real Uganda had been in communication with me for some months, answered numerous questions along the way and had provided me with such detailed information prior to arriving. This really helped set the scene and although I didn't know what exactly to expect there were no surprises along the way. During my placement Leslie was so supportive and really went out of her way to help me get out of my comfort zone and think differently. Her support, knowledge and straight up enthusiasm for what she dose is what really uplifted the entire experience.

I volunteered for 2 weeks with the Balamu Outreach program located just outside of Mukono. I had the privileged to be housed locally with my host Moses. In the two weeks not one day was the same. Balamu offers a range of different programs which you contribute to, including but not limited to; working in a local AIDS clinic/Maternity ward, supporting the Balamu football academy for rural kids, involvement in the local communities building sustainable stoves/wells and working in the local school. I loved the fact that every single day was different and the variety of involvement you can have. Every person I had the privilege to work with was so welcoming, friendly and just a great human. Balamu is super focused on sustainability and long term outcomes. I learnt so much about collaborative leadership and just getting your hands dirty during my time with Moses. The biggest difference I found with the real Uganda is the cultural exchange element. Other programs do not immerse you into the "real" life of Uganda's like this one does. In two short weeks I learnt so much about Ugandan life, the real version and it challenged me in so many ways I wouldn't have predicted. My only regret is not staying longer, it took about a week and a half to start to build relationships and get a rhythm and by that time I was about to leave. If your thinking about doing it, take the leap and book with the real Uganda. You wont find anyone else more passionate and dedicated then Leslie and the program leaders she works with.

What would you improve about this program?
Absolutely nothing! the communication was brilliant, it was well organised and set up. The people were patient, curious and willing to teach me anything I wanted to know.
Default avatar
Candace
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The Real Uganda not only provide community outreach but the people involved become an extended family. Having never volunteered abroad and travelling alone, I had expected a degree of uncertainty but everything seemed to fall in place. Leslie and her team make the transition and the entire trip run as smoothly as possible. She sends the most detailed emails, her instructions on what to do prior, what to bring, what to do upon arrival are amazing. She is the "Siri" of Uganda. Not only does she want you be apart of a volunteer exchange but she wants you to be apart of the community and see all there is to see in Uganda. She encourages and helps to arrange tours and makes sure you are comfortable in your settings at all time.
I had the opportunity to spend much of my time at Kabembe Parents School...the staff and students are absolutely beautiful. The Ugandan culture loves to welcome people. Even with what supplies they have they make it work and look for ways to develop in their community. The teachers do what they can to brighten the classrooms and encourage volunteers to dive right in! They love to sing and dance and love learning new songs! The children love the attention of volunteers. Prepare yourself to smile everyday and fall in love with the Ugandan children and the Ugandan culture. You will be planning your next trip before you even arrive home :)

Default avatar
Arianna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was in Uganda for only 1 week. I am in my early 30s and was a bit scared of going for such an experience. It is definitely something that can be easier when you are 20 but I didn't regret it for a moment.
Leslie and the Robert (Lugacraft, The Real Uganda partner) were there for anything we might need, we have felt always safe. Leslie is the best bridge you want to take between western life and Uganda: she shared all "basic info" on day 1 over a coffee and a delicious pineapple and it all came in super handy during our week of volunteering. She prepares you to take the experience the best way.
Besides the people from the organization, the ladies we have got to work with are the most beautiful people you can imagine. Smiles, dances, singing, delicious food .. a whole other world. A beautiful world. A world they are very happy to share with you.
If you have never experience the country (or east Africa in general) there are obviously challanges: bucket showers and pit latrine toilets to mention a couple. Sometimes is tougher than you expected, but then you jump on the boda-boda (motorbikes, common way of transportation) and travel 30 mins to reach a village, and you see all those colours and those smiles. It's then when you think "this is why I am here" adn nothing else matters.
The Real Uganda is definitely the most authentic way I could imagine to embrace this experience and I am very thankful for that.

Food you can't miss: matoke (plantain based dish) and rolex (some sort of rolled dough with different filling)

What would you improve about this program?
Despite having received plenty of information before the trip, I would have liked to know a bit more about the actual activities in the village. For example, my friend and I gave a couple of short classes (english and business) and we would have loved to have some material with us to share with the ladies for them to keep. We were thinking that we could have brought a couple of books or prepared some material for them to go through.
Default avatar
Abby
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Volunteering at Kabembe Parents' School was an incredibly eye-opening experience. Having been a teacher in the U.S. for six years, I was very interested in observing the schooling in Uganda. I was able to dedicate 10 weeks to volunteering, and during this time I created positive relationships with the children and the school staff. I taught my own lessons, assisted the local teachers, and set up pen-pals between Kabembe Parents' and my school in the U.S. The students are genuinely happy to have visitors in their school, as it helps them take pride in their school, their learning, and their community. There were many instances, such as the school not having the needed chalk/pens/erasers, that really humbled my opinion on the schooling system. The teachers and staff are very innovative and creative when it comes to creating a positive learning environment for the children.

Throughout the duration of my volunteering, I was able to explore nearly every corner of Uganda. Leslie was very helpful in assisting me with organizing weekend getaways, from wildlife safaris, to rafting down the Nile, to exploring the beautiful waterfalls in Sipi Falls.

Being immersed into a culture vastly different from my own is something I will never forget, and has inspired me to pursue a career in international teaching. Thank you to The Real Uganda for providing me with a life-changing experience!

Default avatar
Doreen
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I've recently returned from almost two months volunteering on the Real Uganda programme. I found the experience to be completely stimulating and out of the ordinary. I loved taking a short break from work and being immersed in a completely new culture. You'll love seeing the colours, meeting people from all walks of life, playing with children, building relationships with people in the village communities and healthcare centres. I got so much out of this experience and I'd really recommend it. I travelled alone and yet, with the support of Leslie and her team of directors, I felt like I had a new group of friends. The food, culture, weather and cultural experience you have will stretch your brain like you never imagined .Go for it!

Programs

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3