Volunteer Projects in Uganda with Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation

Video and Photos


Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation is a registered tourism Non-Governmental Organization that strives for the conservation of biodiversity and development of rural Uganda communities in high tourism potential areas to supplement household incomes through a diverse and holistic, innovative, sustainable tourism practices as a tool to alleviate poverty, fight gender inequality, to empower local communities and in particular disadvantaged groups (women, children, youth, ethnic people), and to encourage the conservation of cultural and natural heritage.

Our Volunteer program runs all year round and offers many possibilities of volunteer service for men and women who wish to devote a few weeks or up to two years of their lives to international volunteer work. We provide an integrated development experience consisting of practical leadership opportunities, International Internships and participation in a global learning environment.

Related Programs

Questions & Answers


based on 9 reviews
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 9 of 9
Default avatar

Former ASTCF volunteer

This summer I went to Uganda to volunteer for ASTCF and would like to share my wonderful experience working in the local communities and helping out the locals there. During my stay there the days were put to great use building various thing in the local villages such as a water well and pit latrines. The place we were staying at was a very secure compound with all basic amneties and some very nice folks working as supervisers. ASTCF is a great place for a long term stay such as a few months since you are get to meet all the locals and are consistently checked up on by the kind hosts and some friendly volunteers. If you're looking for a chance to make a difference for people in local communities while at the same time learning about and exploring a new country, ASTCF is the way to go.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Ratner Family construction of water well and pit latrine

As a family of five, older kids ages 25,22, and 19 years old, we went to Uganda to make a positive difference and to have an adventure. Both were accomplished. Africa Sustainable tourism (AST)is the organization on the ground in Uganda that helped us before, during and after with planning and delivering the kind of experience we were looking for. We had many questions and AST always promptly and professionally answered our questions/concerns. We worked for two weeks on the construction of a water well and then traveled for 10 days. AST were responsible for us from the moment we came out of the airport until we reentered the airport for our departure. They did an excellent job. James, Joyce, Jamilla, Catherine, Abraham, Raymond were all excellent at their jobs. We were extremely well taken of. Great food (we are two vegetarians and one gluten free) very clean guest house, any unexpected needs of ours were dealt with.
The areas that were a bit difficult for us were the following: Getting used to African time. Things get done slowly and sometimes work isn't an entire day. So you need to take initiative to entertain yourself or to make yourself useful in a different way than what you intended to do there. We were a bit disappointed that we weren't successful in completing both construction of the water well and the pit latrine. We completed the water well. The pit latrine was being started at the end of our stay by local people.
We are healthy/relatively strong people that enjoy the outdoors: hiking etc... the people in Uganda are far stronger and in better shape than we were. So our requested hikes were much more difficult and beautiful than we expected. Very steep terrain. We are more accustomed to nature walks (in their interpretation).

Our 10 day tour was wonderful. We hiked a lot, white water rafted, saw a local pigmy community, canoed, visited the Jewish community of Abayudaya and saw many monkeys.

It was an unforgettable experience. We feel changed people from being touched by the lovely, hospitable, appreciative, needy people of Kahangi Parish. Doing the daily living tasks is a very worthwhile experience. It helps you understand and appreciate the hard work and strength the local people have. We loved our unplanned encounters with the school children and teachers across the road. We got to teach them songs, dances and how to do the limbo. We will visit Uganda again.

How can this program be improved?
Having a good working van
Being able to have the volunteers that work only half a day go to the "village" house and get involved with some other project or have them go to the school to help out.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Excellent experience in Uganda!

I spent 7 weeks in Kahangi Village working on the microfinance program. I taught personal finance classes to three separate village groups and we worked together on establishing a village bank account. The experience was incredible! You have the opportunity to make real, tangible social impact. More importantly, the skills and tools allow the community to become self-sustainable.

I had a great time getting to know the village members, and working with the staff at ASTCF. The food was fantastic, the company was great, and the location was gorgeous. You also experience real Ugandan culture from the food, the environment, the transportation, the night life, etc. In my time off I was able to visit Kampala and do hikes around the Fort Portal area. There is lots to see and do.

ASTCF is well-structured and organized. The staff is with you every step of the way and they are happy to support you in every way they can. This was a fantastic experience and I highly recommend this as an option to conventional tourism.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Amazing People Make the Difference!

The volunteer experience my partner Jenny and I had with ASTCF was everything we hoped it would be. If you are looking for a genuine, meaningful volunteer experience in Uganda, you should consider ASTCF.

From our initial application through to the time we had to say our goodbyes, our hosts, James, Joyce, and Jamilah, were nothing short of amazing, and we will always be grateful for their hospitality and friendship.

ASTCF was very thorough during the application process, ensuring an appropriate fit with their programs. Communication during this process was excellent. Dr. Isa, the program director, and all-around incredible person, was careful to answer all our questions and always responded in a timely manner. They went over-and-above by helping us organize weekend safaris and trekking adventures, and made sure we had the African experience of our dreams.

Now I should mention that I was a novice traveler before arriving in Uganda and had never been to a developing country, so I can tell you how relieved I was to see our hosts' smiling faces upon landing in Uganda! James and Joyce went out of their way to make sure my partner and I felt welcome, and took great care to ensure we were safe. They made our transition into the country much easier. We are so grateful they were with us every step of the way.

Uganda is a beautiful country, with beautiful people and amazing natural beauty. During my time with ASTCF (about 3 weeks), I had the pleasure of staying at the volunteer house in Kahangi Parish, which borders the protected area of Kibale National Park, about thirty minutes from Fort Portal. Instantly I saw why Uganda is referred to as the “Pearl of Africa”, as we were surounded by lush green hills, tropical forest, with frequent visits by several species of birds and monkeys! I would highly recommend spending the extra money on a weekend safari to Murchison Falls National Park – this was an experience I will never forget.

It's true that the volunteer house has no running water, but this doesn't mean you won't have everything you need. Jamilah, the hospitality manager, made sure my partner and I had plenty of hot water for showers and laundry. Fresh, filtered water from the ASTCF community well is not only refreshing, but perfectly safe to drink. Despite this, I would still recommend bringing plenty of bottled drinking water.

ASTCF offers a real 'African experience'. This means, hand washing laundry and dishes, bathing with a basin, preparing meals over the fire (we also used propane stoves), fresh garden vegetables, frequent power outages, using a latrine, and most importantly, meaningful human interactions. Some of this can take some getting used to if you've never been to a developing country, but I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

ASTCF Volunteer Programs are flexible enough to allow you to apply your strengths and skills to whatever projects are happening during your stay. Projects are based on the immediate needs of the community, but emphasize sustainable economic development and empowerment. ASTCF is making a real difference in the community, and I saw this work first hand during my time at Kahangi. Their Youth and Women's empowerment projects are particularly inspiring, and offer plenty of opportunity for volunteers of all experience levels. I felt privileged to contribute to the Environmental Conservation program, and was grateful to James for matching my skills to their community needs.

Overall, the volunteer program at ASTCF offers exceptional value. The meals alone are worth the price. Joyce and Jamila are fantastic cooks, and always made sure we had plenty of delicious food to eat. I especially recommend the chapati!

I will never forget my time in Kahangi, nor will I forget the amazing people I met there. The world would be a much better place if everyone were like James, Joyce, Jamilah, and Dr. Isa. I thank them all from the bottom of my heart for the opportunity to be part of such an amazing team. If you are looking for a meaningful volunteer experience, I would highly recommend ASTCF.

How can this program be improved?
I think we would have appreciated more detailed information about our roles / responsibilities as volunteers beforehand, specifically as it pertained to our volunteer programs. I only mention this because my partner and I felt a little under-prepared once we began our work. I feel we could have made a greater impact had we been better informed.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Volunteering on Women Empowerment Programme

I had a wonderful stay in Kahangi Village working with ASTCF, and would absolutely recommend the experience to anyone looking for a meaningful, positive, community focused volunteering trip. The women I worked with were so friendly and welcoming, and I really enjoyed teaching English classes with them, which they were very keen for; they were extremely receptive and encouraging to me. James, Joyce and Isa were brilliant hosts, and such lovely people - they definitely have made, and continue to make, a lot of difference to the village community, and I was honoured to be able to work with them as well as the women of Kahangi. Overall, my time in Uganda was an amazing experience and I have such lovely memories. However, the trip wouldn't be suited to someone looking to be part of a big team of volunteers, or someone who is not confident to be independent and self-sufficient in their work - while ASTCF offer many options and opportunities for volunteers to get involved with their community and environmental projects, there is no set programme or itinerary. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as it allows volunteers to tailor their activities to their own skills and interests, which hopefully then has a bigger, more positive impact on the community - I certainly found this with the English lessons, and was so glad I could make my contribution in this way, it just requires you to have a bit more self-sufficiency than other organisations may do. You would have the option to live in the town, about 30km away, if you wanted to be based in a more social environment, however, I felt that living in the volunteer house in the village worked much better for what I was doing, as I was in Kahangi and could spend more time with the community in this way. The project was very affordable, accommodation was good (no running water but this was really not an issue!) and I thought the food was lovely. Try and go for a decent amount of time too, as I spent a month with ASTCF and it wasn't long enough! Kahangi is a beautiful place and I would love to go back one day.

How can this program be improved?
Perhaps some more organisation and structure, but this really depends on the type of person who wants to volunteer, and what they're looking for!
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Make an impact and experience an extremely hospitable and beautiful country!

I can only join company with the former reviewers and absolutely recommend this program! Your experience will be unique for the following reasons:

1.) You will make an impact: you will work in whatever field you chose (in my case Micro-Finance) at a small village close to Fort Portal. You will immediately realize that you can structure your project in the way you want and that you are granted huge responsibility in working with the locals. This is great as it is YOU who people will listen to! At the same time, you can always talk to ASTCF representatives if there are any questions (they have a lot of very helpful experience)
2.) People actually want to learn from you: This should not be taken for granted. Especially at the beginning, people were very sceptical of anyone coming into the village. By promoting the living conditions of people, ASTCF has made sure that people will welcome you with open arms, listen to you and try to learn as much as possible. They will ask critical questions, but that only shows that they really listen to you!
3.) Extremely structured program and great people: ASTCF representatives are extremely well structured, on time and always happy to help you with whatever issue there may be. Apart from that, you can have great conversations about any topic (culture, religion, beliefs, etc.) with them! You will laugh a lot with them!!! In general, it is extremely pleasant to stay with them (they give you time to relax, but talk to you any time you want) and they are incredibly hospitable. I believe that this is a huge advantage of this program as you really don't have to worry about anything at any time!
4.) You can use the weekends to explore Uganda and its sights: There is a lot of nature to see! You can take the time to visit any place - this may not be very cheap, but definitely worth it.

By now, it should be obvious that I really enjoyed my time in Uganda. I strongly believe that I really got to know the country and made an impact at Kahangi Village - thanks to ASTCF!

Of course, it is still important to keep some things in the back of your mind.
1.) Accommodation is (for European standards) obviously simple, but you will have water and electricity MOST of the time! The rooms are extremely clean and you will not have to worry about insects, dangerous animals or whatsoever.
2.) People in the village may seem to disrespect you initially since they are not on time, very slow and may seem not to focus at times. This is something, which was - at the beginning - very frustrating to me! After three weeks, however, I could ask them questions and realized they have understood and listened to me most of the time! Not all of them, but the vast majority! People are really thankful for your time and will eventually do whatever you recommend (if only you convince them)!
3.) Finally, be open to this experience! What I think is great is that you have the whole day to experience Uganda and help a rural community! At night, you can backtrack, process your experiences, just have some time for yourself, go out or do whatever you want!

I can only thank everyone at ASTCF for giving me the opportunity to make an impact and being so hospitable at all times! If you have any questions or if there are any uncertainties regarding this program, you can also contact me any time. I was obviously also concerned about some things before coming to Uganda, but it turned out that I did not have to worry about anything!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Life Changing Experience

This is an experience that will for ever be apart of my life. Through this organization i was able to complete one of my life goals of bring fresh water to those in need. The freedom, flexibility and support the organization is first class. For such a small and young organization, there is so much determination to do good and better the lives of others. I was able construct, hire, plan and help build a well, bring fresh water to those that have no access to it. James and Joyce the directors of the organization were so helpful and kind. I felt safe and at home at all times with them by my side the entire project. The food and house is top notch. I can't not express my gratitude for making my dream come true. Thank you and will see you in two years when i return!

How can this program be improved?
This is a young program that is learning its ways, but has the potential achieve great things and it is on its way to do so.
Response from Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation

Hi Zach,
It's great to hear from you! We are so glad that you had such a memorable experience. It sounds like our local team was a great support to you which is exactly what they are there for. Thanks for being choosing to volunteer with ASTCT here in Uganda. We will always treasure your contributions and the positive impact which you created upon the Kahangi village. You indeed made such a huge impact!!! We hope to see you back on another ASCTF program again in the future.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Sean Car

As someone who has volunteered extensively throughout East Africa, I can safely recommend volunteering with ASTCF over just about any other project I've participated in. The area ASTCF works in is breathtaking, located in the national parks and never ending tea plantations of Southern Uganda. The communities who reside in the villages of Kahangi near Fort Portal are friendly, caring and very welcoming and the cohesion and mutual understanding between ASTCF and the local community is incredibly strong. This is what makes ASTCF's work in the region so satisfying - that it helps to facilitate sustainable development by working directly with the community to help fulfil its wishes and not its own. The unique thing about ASTCF is that it is run by a group of dedicated Ugandan professionals who specialise in a range of fields including development practice, environment and sustainability and medicine just to name a few. Thus, its well researched and innovate projects are the subject of a combination of years of experience and, through its relationship with the community, care. All projects promote sustainable tourism and economic development through teaching local people about the importance of preserving its local environment and wildlife. The team is very friendly and professional and the accommodation is excellent. I cannot recommend anything more!

Response from Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation

Hi Sean,
It sounds like you really had an incredible experience volunteering with Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation here in Fort Portal- Uganda. Indeed you were such a blessing to us and we are so blessing to have you as our international development partners. Thanks for sharing and we hope to see you back on another ASTCF program again at some point in the future. Thanks for choosing to volunteer with ASTCF!!!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Air Home

The experience with ASTCF was the best ever! Since the first day I felt safe, happy, involved in all the program although my skills could not improve it.
The staff was a second family and I left a part of me there.

The country is just amazing. The people must visit that place at least one time in life. The Uganda's people are lovely and make the strangers fell home.

I lived for two months in a rural village, Kahangi. I still miss that beautiful place and the people.
I worked with the Kahangi's women papers and beads, doing wonderful and unbelievable stuff.
Then I played with the children of the village, that are so lovely.
I never felt unsafe... I really I wish everyone the chance to live at least one day of what I could live in Kahangi.

Response from Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation

It's great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing a little from your experience volunteering in Uganda with Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation. We are so glad that you felt comfortable when in Uganda and were supported by our local team throughout your stay. It sounds like you had an incredible time in your free time as well which is what travel abroad is all about. The women in Kahangi village and the community at large will always treasure our positive contribution to the community. We will always miss hear in Kahangi village. Thanks for so much for choosing to volunteer with Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation and we hope to see you next summer. Blessings to you.

Yes, I recommend this program

About Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation

Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation (ASTCF) is a registered (Non-Governmental Organization in Uganda offering many possibilities of volunteer service for men and women who wish to devote a few weeks or up to two years of their lives to...