HELP International - Volunteer Projects in Uganda

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Working with children in Uganda is both challenging and rewarding!
Working with children in Uganda is both challenging and rewarding!

About

Join HELP International on a volunteer project in Uganda. The "Pearl of Africa" as it is known, the people of Uganda need volunteers to help them fight poverty and continue to develop in a sustainable fashion. HELP has been send volunteers to Uganda for six years and we now operate in two communities: Lugazi and Mbale. Projects in Uganda include: HIV/AIDS support group, business training, adobe stoves, square-foot gardening, public health campaigns, support for children with disabilities, eye camps, and more.

Thank you for your interest in volunteering in Uganda with HELP International.

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Questions & Answers

Reviews

95%
based on 6 reviews
  • Impact 7.5
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 9.3
Showing 1 - 6 of 6
Default avatar
Shanon
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

BEST EXPERIENCES OF MY LIFE

I have volunteered abroad with Help International three times now (Uganda, Nepal, and Peru). The organization’s mission to Empower People is successful, but it is only obtained and sustained when intelligent, driven, confident, and loving people volunteer. I have witnessed firsthand, on countless occasions, the success of their mission. My experiences with Help are all positive and have completely changed my life. But, going abroad, to countries that are underdeveloped because of war or the environment, or for whatever reason, is NOT EASY. It is actually extremely difficult, from living in conditions we are not used to in the United States, to eating food that could very well make us sick. Volunteering with Help tests you as a person. Nevertheless, the power of the experiences with the people you empower outweighs any of the difficulties. So a review criticizing the organization shows me the person should not have taken the trip in the first place and overestimated their own ability to commit to such a program. Volunteering with an organization like Help is for people who are strong already – not just physically, but mentally and emotionally. It is for people who are seeking the next level of their emotional maturity. Not for people who are developing a sense of self. It is for people who want to see what they can do for the world, not what the world can do for them. Help changed my life, and I am eternally grateful. I encourage anyone who believes they are ready to make their life about someone besides themselves – to join Help in empowering people.
Lastly, the criticism I have read seems “personal” and not a reflection of Help as a whole. The safety of the volunteers is paramount and with that, comes strict limitations. I know for a fact that volunteers are allowed to socialize with locals, but volunteers are not allowed to develop romantic or flirtatious relationships with locals. One focus of Help is that we do not place our American belief system upon others; that we respect the culture, and sometimes that means limiting exposure. But secondly, it is dangerous if you do not follow the rules and guidelines well established by the organization. Furthermore, Craig, felt that the organization was sexist. I submit that Craig has never actually experienced real sexism. As he sits in Uganda, where women are constantly raped and degraded for simply menstruating, he is pissed because he is surrounded by a bunch of females? Craig needed to get some perspective. I couldn’t agree with the director’s advice to Craig more, because it is what he will experience his whole life: DEAL WITH IT. There are times in life where we set aside our complaints and allow perspective make us a better person.

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

BEST EXPERIENCE EVER

I loved every minute of my time in Uganda. HELP International was a great program to go with and they were very easy to work with and to help. I am a Health Science major and so I worked mostly with health related projects over in Uganda. I personally planned and implemented an Eye and Dental camp where I met with local doctors and together we put on a free clinic for the people of Uganda to come and receive care for their eyes and teeth. Care that they would have otherwise been unable to afford. We saw over 400 people and all were treated successfully. We also had a local hospital and eye surgery center present to schedule those patients who required surgeries to be able to make an appointment to do so. While there I was also able to help volunteer at various clinics and help test and treat for various diseases. I spent 4 months in Uganda from May 2011 to August of 2011. I loved every minute of it and I grew so much as a person. My knowledge greatly increased also.

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

Help International

The way Help International works, is that you go into a country, take a needs analysis, and then create a project based on the needs of the community as well as your personal skills and interests. Self-motivation is a really important aspect of Help International. You're not going to be told what you need to work on every day- YOU are in charge, and need to have the ability to plan, organize, and problem solve the entire time you are there. The trip is only going to be worth it if you are willing to work hard. I pushed myself to give 100% to my experience, and it was probably the most rewarding and significant 6 weeks of my life. I highly recommend it to all those who want to make a difference!

Default avatar
Pondjumper711
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Lugazi, Uganda

I spent three months in Uganda with HELP International in the summer of 2010. I was very pleased by the quality of the program, especially the care that staff and board members have for the work. These are genuine idealists with real cares about people stuck living in poverty. I felt safe and comfortable while in country which allowed me to focus on projects I worked on. I would recommend this program to anyone, whether they are new to development work, or a seasoned veteran.

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africagirl21
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I loved my experience!

I served in 2009 in Lugazi, Uganda with Help International. I was there for 3 months. You are able to develop your own projects with the guidance and approval of your country directors and the Help office. I specifically worked with women's groups helping them create micro-enterprises and develop business skills as well as developing the largest HIV/AIDs awareness campaign that continued to be held the following years. Additionally we engaged in labor projects such as building mushroom huts which were extremely cost effective and were very productive for the village. I loved every second of my time in Uganda and fell in love with the people I worked with. I loved working with Help International and am looking into applying as a Country Director!

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adventurerescuefunteam
8/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Great learning experience, not so great development work

HELP International is a unique program, in that one of it's specific goals is to give volunteers the best experience possible. This means that they allow you to design and implement any project you can come up with.
You go out with two "country directors" who are usually college age, as well as all other college students.
Most people who decide to volunteer have little knowledge or understanding of development work. I saw many volunteer abroad programs doing very poor development work, and I saw a lot of failed projects. This organization is no exception. A bunch of college students, who have no idea what they are doing, and are in country for one to four months. This formula doesn't produce great sustainable development. While I think it is a great international and learning experience, I think the development work is very poor. I would probably say this about many organizations though.
If you are looking for an awesome experience in Africa and you aren't familiar with development work, this is awesome. If you really want to make an impact, do some research on development first, then research for good organizations, and that might be your best route.