Affordable Volunteer Programs in Uganda from $270
91% Rating
(31 Reviews)

Affordable Volunteer Programs in Uganda from $270

IVHQ offers a variety of highly affordable volunteer opportunities in Uganda. Join programs for anywhere between 1 week and 24 weeks. Based in the town of Mutungo, which is located 15 kilometers from the capital city of Kampala, volunteers can assist on a range of community-driven projects.Volunteers are accommodated alongside other international volunteers in a dormitory-style volunteer houses in the Kitende area, approximately 45 minutes outside of Kampala City.

IVHQ Volunteer Programs available in Thailand:

  • Teaching
  • Childcare
  • Medical
  • Special Education
  • Special Needs Care
  • HIV/AIDS Support
  • Women’s Education

Highlights

  • Programs available year-round, starting on the first and third Monday of each month
  • Program fees include airport pick-up, orientation, accommodation, meals and 24/7 in-country support
  • Highly affordable program fees from $270 for 1 week
  • Community-driven projects focused on supporting local needs and delivering sustainable positive impacts
  • Superior support services both pre-departure and while volunteering
  • Free online volunteer training for all IVHQ volunteers
  • Between 5 and 15 volunteers start in Uganda each month
  • Weekends are free to explore Uganda with fellow volunteers - go white water rafting, visit game safaris or one of the beautiful national parks.
Locations
Africa » Uganda » Kampala
Length
1-2 Weeks
2-4 Weeks
1-3 Months
3-6 Months
Language
English
Housing
Hostel
Starting Price
$270.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
Uganda Program Fee includes airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, accommodation and meals during volunteer program period, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
Other Locations
various locations

Questions & Answers

I originally googled 'volunteer trips in Africa' and IVHQ was by far the cheapest. It's around $150 per week which includes food, accommodation and transfers to placement.

Program Reviews

  • Impact
    86%
  • Support
    92%
  • Fun
    87%
  • Value
    90%
  • Safety
    92%

Program Reviews (31)

Default avatar
Elena
Female
19 years old
Germany
Other

Volunteering Uganda

10/10

Twenty weeks in Uganda were amazing. The placements are fun, staff in the volunteer house is very friendly, food is delicious. There are lots of things to do in and around Kampala, especially the boda boda tour is good to get a first impression of Kampala, get a good overview and see all the sights. Also there are nice clubs, bars and restaurants in Kampala. Traveling to other places in Uganda like Jinja, Sipi falls, and so on is mostly cheap, easy and pretty safe

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Elena, Thanks for sharing! We are stoked to hear that you had an amazing time on the program. It has been incredible to have you volunteer with us or 20 weeks and we thank you for recommending IVHQ!
Will - IVHQ Uganda Program Manager

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Tanja
Female
Switzerland
Other

The Pearl of Africa stole my heart

10/10

It has always been my dream to experience the real Africa. That's when I decided that a volunteer program would probably be the best way to do so.
I was welcomed by the most loving and giving people in Uganda. This country has so much more to offer than many people think. You'll never find yourself walking through the streets without hearing the sound of happy music from every corner. You'll never end a day at school without looking into 50 sparkly eyes and smiley faces. You'll find out that there are simply no problems that can't be solved. You'll be left breathless by the beautiful landscapes and realize that the country truly lives up to its name.
This summer has turned me into a much more relaxing and grateful person. I learned how to appreciate the simple things such as running water, a flushing toilet or a warm meal every day because there are way too many people living in Uganda that have to do without those privileges. I've also come to know that I just don't need all the things I own. One day, a starving kid offered me the only egg it had and probably the only food it would eat the same day. That's when I realized that there's ALWAYS something you can give and you should use every single opportunity to do so.
I have no words to describe how much I enjoyed the whole experience and how much I miss everything about Uganda. There’s not much I wouldn’t do to just be stuck again in the Kampala traffic for a little while..
See you soon Uganda!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Tanja, Thanks for sharing this awesome review! We love that you experienced kindness and beauty while in Uganda, and it is inspiring to hear that the program helped you become a more relaxed and grateful individual. Thanks again for sharing and we hope you will join us again in the future!
Will – IVHQ Uganda Program Manager

Aimee Leduc
Aimee
Female
25 years old
Northwest Territories, CANADA

IVHQ Uganda Medical Program

9/10

As my first time volunteering abroad I felt extremely supported through the application and preparation process. My emails were answered in a timely fashion and all of the staff were very pleasant to deal with. Upon arrival into Uganda, I was picked up at the airport and taken to the volunteer house where I was given a brief tour and settled to bed. Orientation covered everything needed and I was given every opportunity to ask questions.
My placement at the health center was amazing. It truly was such a rewarding experience and truly made me feel fulfilled. Interacting with the local people was at times difficult, because of the language barrier, but the language lessons provided by IVHQ were very helpful.

I felt very supported throughout my time in Uganda. IVHQ arranged everything, making transport to and from placement easy. We volunteered until about 2pm every day so I felt that I had a good amount of free time to explore the country and town. IVHQ also gave us the opportunity to arrange tours on the weekend if we wanted to view other places in Uganda. At the end of my placement, one of the staff members even drove me to the airport. Working with IVHQ was extremely easy and I can't wait to plan another trip with them sometime soon. I never wanted to leave Uganda!! It was so amazing and so rewarding and the people were absolutely lovely!

How can this program be improved?

The only improvement I can say would be to inform medical volunteers to bring Scissors, tape, and a penlight!!! Also, remember to bring gloves for yourself, pens, alcohol swabs, and cotton balls. I was always looking for pens and scissors!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Aimee, Thank you for your great review! We are thrilled to hear that you had an amazing and rewarding time in Uganda, as we were so happy to have you join us on the Medical project. Thank you for making the most of your time on the program by pushing through the language barrier at your placement and exploring Uganda in your spare time. Thanks also for the practical tips for future medical volunteers. We would love to have you join us again in the future.
Will – IVHQ Uganda Program Manager

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Meredith
Female
41 years old
Coral Springs FL
Boston University

Life changing experience

9/10

My time in Uganda was impactful and life changing. As a psychologist I have worked with many "down and out" people, but I challenged myself to volunteer in the HIV support community. The story that sticks out the most was arriving at placement to see a little boy sitting on the floor crying because his foot was cut and getting infected. Mama was not aware of educated on how serious that was and didn't clean it or take him to hospital. I took an antibacterial wipe and cleaned it and wrapped a string around his little foot and then walked with them to local hospital. He needed a tetanus shot and the wound was too infected for stitches but the nurse cleaned it thoroughly and bandaged it and gave antibiotics. She said had we not brought him he could have eventually lost his leg. I paid the $20,000 shillings (about $6 USD) and bought him a lollipop as he was young and scared and in pain. He wil be ok and I will never ever forget them.

How can this program be improved?

Only improvement would be to shorten orientation day to have more time at the placement as information doesn't not really require an entire days worth of time.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Meredith, Thank you for sharing this amazing story from your time on the program in Uganda. It has been a pleasure to have you on the program and we would love to have you volunteer with us again.
Will – IVHQ Uganda Program Manager

Christian
Male
19 years old
Auckland, New Zealand

Best 6 Weeks of my Life

10/10

Adventure. Impacting. Rewarding. Fun. All these words sum up my time in Uganda.
I was on the Sports Education Project in Uganda for 6 weeks as part of my gap year. All I can say is the kids are even better to work with than you can imagine. I was teaching kids around the ages of 9-14, and for me it was the perfect age as we could talk proficiently, play sports at a good level and have mad banter!
Aside from the volunteering aspect, Uganda is a fun country. It felt like I was on a big adventure 24/7, I went on safaris, rafted/bungeed on the Nile and met a ton of people from all over the world. I'd highly recommend volunteering at some point in your life and I found the IVHQ program affordable, genuine, and I felt I had actually made a difference during my time.
The staff at V2U (local Ugandan organisation who IVHQ partners with) were amazing, always going out of their way for the volunteers. The food is good, they provide 3 meals a day and the house you stay in is superb-one big place for all the volunteers, so you get to make a lot of close friends.
Highly recommend this program, and I'm sure I'll be back in the future.

How can this program be improved?

Honestly nothing, I couldn't have asked for a better 6 weeks.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Christian, Thanks for your recommendation! We are so glad that you found the accommodation superb, the food good, and made close friends while on the program in Uganda. More importantly, we are thrilled that you also found the program impacting, rewarding and fun! These are words we love to hear. Thanks for being a great volunteer and can’t wait to have you back!

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Tom
Male
23 years old
Bedford
Nottingham Trent University

The staff!

10/10

I couldn't put a story down on paper without mentioning how fantastic and kind the staff of V2U are! They are so warm, generous, kind-hearted and friendly, they quickly became my Ugandan family and I could not have felt more welcomed and looked after. I would strongly recommend this programme and place to anyone thinking a bkjt volunteering with V2U - I will definitely be coming back!! Thank you for everything!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thanks Tom! It is awesome to hear that you found your Ugandan family warm, generous, kind-hearted and friendly. We can’t wait to have you back with IVHQ!

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Eva
Female
22 years old
Diest
Other

Being a medical volunteer in Uganda...

9/10

When I first applied for the program, I didn't really know what to expect. I was just attracted by the call of Africa and the desire of doing something useful with my free time. Once I arrived I was captured by the beauty of the country and it's citizens and realised I was in the right place. The staff of V2U were really welcoming and provided us with anything we needed. At placement, we immersed ourselves in everyday life of a Ugandan nurse/doctor and helped where we could. I had never thought I would be giving vaccinations to more than 300 school children in one morning, or witnessing a delivery taking hours after midnight, having hardly anything more than our hands to get the baby out safely. I talked to HIV patients, distributed condoms in a local village, visited some precious elderly women that were desperately in need of the helping hand of our centre and most of all, I was touched every day by the generosity and true hospitality of every Ugandan I met during my stay. Should I explain any further I didn't ever want to leave after my 3 weeks?

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Eva, Thanks for your beautiful review. We think you are an amazing volunteer and it has been a pleasure to have you on the program. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.

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Suprianto
Male
25 years old
Other City
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

Uganda IVHQ

10/10

It was my first time to Africa and I came with no expectations. I was greeted by a team of very warm and loving people who made me feel right at home. Even though it was only two and a half weeks, I felt so attached to Uganda and her people.
The liaison with Alexas Medical Centre was amazing. We contributed so much in terms of giving vaccinations, HIV testing and the out reach programs. I liked it because being busy means that most of our day was spent helping people which was the purpose of the volunteer.
It was interesting to see the level of healthcare given to people who came from vastly different social classes. It was heartbreaking to see that some people still have no proper access to basic requirements like shelter and water.
I will definitely try to find the time to come back and volunteer again and will recommend my friends and colleagues about this amazing program.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Suprianto, We are so happy to hear that you felt right at home on your program in Uganda. It was a pleasure to have you join us in helping to make a valuable contribution to the Alexas Medical Centre. Thanks for your recommendation and we hope to welcome your friends and colleagues onto an IVHQ program in the future.

Richard
Male
30 years old
Dublin, Ireland

One of the best experiences of my life!

10/10

I volunteered with V2U hoping to have a rewarding experience where I made a positive impact, however small, on the children in my placement. What I ended up having was not only a rewarding experience but also one of the most enjoyable three weeks of my life. The perfect placement, the friendly volunteers, the excellent V2U staff, the delicious traditional meals, the wide range of activities available to fill evenings and weekends, the wonderful Ugandan culture - it all combined to make an unforgettable experience. I was teaching abandoned/orphaned children between 3-5 years of age. Amazing children who despite their hardship were always smiling, laughing and willing to learn. A fantastic program!

How can this program be improved?

I was lucky enough to be assigned a placement which I absolutely loved, met amazing volunteers who I formed great friendships with and got on well with all the staff, so for me it couldn't really have been much better.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Richard, It is great to hear that you had an unforgettable experience on the program in Uganda. It sounds like you had a really well rounded time and we are thrilled to have been able to help facilitate this for you. Thanks for being an amazing volunteer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.

Hana
Female
23 years old

Bible stories in the school

8/10

I spent 6 weeks in Uganda. I was a teacher in Royal Nursery and Primary school. I had enough time to know all the children in the school. Many children were Christians, but there were also Muslims. We bought children Bibles to every class and we could read them stories. They really loved them and I was glad that I could share gospel to the children even to the Muslims. I also showed to the teacher how to study Bible stories so she can share them better. It was really blessed time. My country call itself Christian country, but we cannot do anything like this in normal classes at home.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Hana, Thanks for sharing. We are so please to hear that you enjoyed teaching the children at your placement in Uganda. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Jade
Female
21 years old
Roeselare

1 month medical in Uganda

10/10

Had the most amazing time in Uganda with IVHQ. I worked in Kajjansi Health Clinic for a month, and spend a few days in other clinics and an orphanage where the childcare-volunteers had their placement.
The placement itself was wonderful: We mainly did vaccinations and HIV-counseling. On thursday you go on outreach to little villages to give medical support to people who can't easily reach the hospital. There is also a maternity in the clinic. I was able to assist on circumcisions as well.
You mainly work during the mornings in the hospital (9 a.m. till 13 p.m.), so you can spend your afternoons doing whatever you want.
Visiting the children in Crystal, one of the orphanages where our childcare-volunteers are placed, is a nice way to spend the afternoon. You can just explore the local town or even go to Entebbe or Kampala.

You live in a house with a bunch of other volunteers, which gives you a great opportunity to make tons of new friends. Everybody wants to make the most of their time in Africa, so you are definitely in for some fun in your spare time. Volunteers to Uganda (the local organisation taking care of you) organizes an amazing 3-day safari, there is boda-boda-tour in Kampala, and Jinja is definitely worth a visit. There is a nice bar (King) very close to the house, so definitely pay that a visit for a taste of the amazing Ugandan beer, Nile.

How can this program be improved?

-

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jade, Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you made the most of your trip by exploring Uganda and getting stuck into the volunteer work. It has been great to have you as an IVHQer and we would love to have you join us again in the future.

Andy
Male
23 years old

Incredible experience thanks to IVHQ and V2U

10/10

On my quest to find a volunteer program I came across so many different options and sites. I didn't know which one was better or more trustworthy. IVHQ looked amazing but to be honest I was a bit concerned about how cheap it was. After seeing reviews on this site I felt comfortable with the program so I went for it and I am so glad I did.

The time I spent in Uganda was the best two weeks of my life. The people, the place, the kids (that I volunteered with) were all amazing. It seems a lot has been covered in other reviews though so I really want to share mostly about the staff members that made this trip so Incredible!

There were some complications with my work schedule so I had to switch programs a few time and Will McBride was extremely helpful. He was quick to respond and helped with my tricky schedule. He also addressed all of my questions/concerns very quickly and seemed happy to help.
As for the Volunteers to Uganda staff--I couldn't possibly say enough good things about them. They were some of the nicest most genuine people I have ever met. No matter what you wanted to do they would make it happen!

My girlfriend and I landed in EBB on July 17th and were greeted by Volunteers 2 Uganda (the in country partner organization) staff member Carol. She was extremely sweet and was genuinely excited to see us! I knew we were in good hands.

David the IVHQ in country director was awesome. I had several talks with David and I can honestly say there is no better man for the job. I could tell from the first time I met him that he was extremely passionate about helping others. And he wanted to help you be able to do the same; while of course having the greatest experience.
If you ever wanted to do something (go on a safari, go to some craft markets, get a ride back to the airport) Martin would take care of it. He made everything effortless so we were able to focus on volunteering and having fun.

Sunday (the volunteer house guard) was always around to help out as well. He was an awesome guy who was also happy to set up rides or any other thing we needed. One night we bought about 50 lbs. of flour and 50 lbs. of rice to hand out to some of the neediest in the community. He and Fred (the maintenance manager) organized everything. They got us a ride, bartered to help us get the most food, and helped us hand it out. It was an amazing experience thanks to Sunday and Fred.

I saw Fred a bit more than Sunday because Sunday worked nights. Fred was awesome! He was incredibly hard working and loved to talk to everyone. He was always smiling and laughing. Asking everyone how they were doing. A few nights we wanted to have a bonfire and Fred without hesitating went and got us tons of wood and then get it lit so that we could all hangout by the fire. Fred is the man!

Betty cooked and cleaned for everyone at the house. To be honest I was a bit worried about eating local food and whether I would like it or not. Betty's cooking was absolutely amazing! I honestly looked forward to her cooking every day! She was (of course) very very sweet as well. She was always so happy. Always greeted everyone with a smile. I can’t say enough good things about Betty.

Hilda was also always around. Most mornings she would be helping cook and when I came out to get breakfast without fail her or Betty would say good morning and ask how I slept or how I was doing etc. They made me feel very welcome.

Daniel the V2U driver was awesome! It is very tricky to navigate through the busy main roads in Uganda as well as some of the rough backroads. He did so with ease. His driving ability was truly impressive. Daniel accompanied drove us to almost every trip—including the safari. And was honestly just a really cool guy who was always looking out for everyone. He was also great company. I really enjoyed talking to Daniel over the course of the two weeks in Uganda.

The staff at IVHQ and V2U were absolutely incredible. Without them this trip wouldn’t have been nearly as good. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

If you have any questions about the program check out the IVHQ Uganda page which will tell you a lot.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Andy, What a great review! It is our pleasure and we are so happy that the local team were helpful, friendly, genuine and welcoming – we think they are an amazing organization too. It sounds like you had a really special time in Uganda and I will be sure to pass your feedback on to Will, Carol, David, Martin, Fred, Betty, Hilda and Daniel. Thanks for your recommendation and we would love to welcome you on another IVHQ program in the future!

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Jason
Male
31 years old
San Francisco, California

Mix Feelings.

9/10

Overall, this volunteer trip was amazing. I had a mix of feelings. I was scare of getting lost when traveling to my placement however I was able to recognize landmarks and find my way home. I was happy to meet so many different volunteers and people from Uganda because I laughed and smiled a lot with them. I was also a little sad when I was helping patients with severe medical conditions but these patients are very positive and motivated. This trip had changed me. I became more humble and more appreciative the smallest thing around me. People in Uganda are very friendly and outgoing.

How can this program be improved?

I believe the program can be improve if my placement is closer to home.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jason, It’s nice to hear from you. We are so glad that you had an amazing, inspiring, humbling and fun experience in Uganda! Thank you for being an IVHQer!

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Joannie
Female
25 years old
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australian Catholic University

The most incredible experience

10/10

During the time I was in Uganda, a group of us worked closely with Mutima Uganda, an organisation supporting HIV/AIDs affected communities with a strong focus on women’s empowerment. The strength and positivity within the Mutima community taught me more than I could ever ask for during the time I was there. These women and children will always hold a special place in my heart!

I have fallen in love with not only the people of Uganda, but the entire country and their culture. Memories from this experience are ones I will never forget and will always cherish.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Joannie, It's great to hear you had such a positive and unforgettable experience in Uganda. Thanks for sharing your review and photos. It's great to have you as an IVHQer!

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Luke
Male
26 years old
Englan
Other

Best month of my life

10/10

Uganda was quite simply the best experience of my life. I was lucky enough to share my time there with other lovely volunteers, but ultimately the staff and the place were the pinnacle of a remarkable trip.
Contrary to what I'd been told about Africa, there was not a single moment where I felt unsafe; this was due to a) the village where the house was situated being occupied by really friendly locals and b) the staff doing their upmost to ensure everyone is safe at all times. Just an example of the staff's willingness to help:
My card got swallowed by the ATM (I waited too long to take it) leading to obvious panic, but Martin, the placement manager, went to the official office in Kampala with me and made sure that I retrieved my card.
That is just one of my instances where the staff were incredibly helpful. All of the staff - without exception - were some of the nicest people I have ever met.
If you're debating where to go for your travels, you would be hard pushed to find somewhere better than Uganda and IVHQ.

How can this program be improved?

The programme could possibly be improved with the organisation of the placements, but this is of no fault from IVHQ. My placement, as well as some others, lacked organisation, but I still gained a lot from the experience. Other than that I wouldn't change a single moment.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Luke, it’s great to hear from you! We are so glad that you had such a memorable experience. It sounds like the local team were a great support to you which is exactly what they are there for. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you back on another IVHQ program again in the future.

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Justin
Male
37 years old
Dallas, Texas

Great & Impactful Programs in Uganda

10/10

I loved the group and the programs available around the central Kampala/Entebbe area ranging from orphanage support, outreach, and medical placement and felt they all had a great impact. The costs are fully justified and appropriately used, a great and safe location for the program, and the country of Uganda itself is a country that should be on everyone's list to visit and contribute to. I can't wait to go back and visit this country and even more so to return to this volunteer program.

How can this program be improved?

In order to draw more people to the volunteer site and programs maybe a more active and constant online presence via Facebook and other social media that prior volunteers could additionally support?

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Justin, Thanks for sharing your thoughts on your experience volunteering in Uganda with IVHQ. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

Lalani
Female
27 years old
Canada

Christmas in Uganda

9/10

I spent two months in Uganda, Africa over the Christmas holidays. Since coming back I have had a very hard time even so much a discussing any parts of my trip. Those who have seen me since I have returned have noticed maybe a change in my spirit. Or a strange response when you might have asked me “how was Africa, or tell me about Africa” etc. Honestly I dreaded seeing anyone once I came back just because I feared hearing those words. I cannot quite express what it did but it just filled me with the most horrifying pain in my stomach. I guess you could say I was almost a walking zombie. I’d rather not have to talk about it and not feel than to discuss it and bring up the pain. So I fell into what I can describe as a very intense depression. So this is the first time I am actually able to speak about my experiences in Uganda. I always like to say I’m not emotional, I don’t cry, and I am quite a strong woman. And those who know me well know this is mostly true… For myself anyway. BUT show me someone elses pain, somebodys suffering, someones tears, and I become a complete emotional baby. I am extremely sensitive to others to the extent I actually feel and wear their pain. So, as you can imagine going to a Country that is completely overcome with oppression, pain and suffering how it may have affected me. When I returned from Africa everyone thought I would be so excited to share stories and pictures and memories and I did as well but in fact it was the complete opposite. First of all I have very few photos, I know it would be great to show you all the need there when I want to request financial help or motivate others to come help as well. But how does someone take out a camera while they see someone eating off the ground, people with no clothing or shoes walking around with open sores all over their bodies? People with no legs, no arms begging for help. Or worse, people working in that state still. How can one possibly capture that on a camera? How can I share the moments of joy and laughter when all I remember is faces of those suffering?

The first few weeks I was there I was ok; I could detach myself from everything and be the “strong” person I am. Ha ya right. After about a month I was pretty much bed ridden and a complete hermit. I would wake up, go to my placement, come home and go straight to my room. I did not want to be around or speak to anyone. I felt emotionless like a complete robot. My mind just could not comprehend everything it was seeing. Sure you think you know what it’s like due to others telling you, TV, commercials, movies etc. But, you have no idea! Nothing and I mean nothing can prepare you to see that much suffering. I think the worst part was seeing so much need so much pain. And I could not save everyone.  How can I watch these people suffer and only help a few? How can I ever leave here and go on with my life? That was the hardest thing in the world for me. I know I am not superwoman but I think sometimes I try to be… or maybe even think I am. So to realize no… You cannot save everyone was by far the hardest thing in the world for me. The first day I went to my placement I could not believe my eyes, I cannot describe the facility to you but it was painful to see. Some of the individuals sleeping on the ground. Some on wired bunk beds with just a sheet over top. Some with thin mattresses half eaten by mice and or bed bugs. It was completely filthy. It was how you could imagine a jail…. Where horrible people should go. But these were innocent children… Who have been completely abandoned by those who are supposed to love and care for them? This is their life. No medication, no sanitation, and no ability to grow and learn or improve. And this…. This is a freaking government facility!!!!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! Tears started to fill my eyes as I sat there taking everything in, when this little angel approached me. He had the biggest smile on his face and walked straight up to me and put out his hand to grab mine. He did not just grab my hand in that moment…. He stole my heart. I was completely in love. His name was Benja and he suffered from hydrocephalus along with many other afflictions. Living in this horrible setting with no treatment. How does someone with this life bring so much joy… so much love? I’ll never forget the day I showed up there just a few days after us first meeting and he yelled to the others “Mother is here” as he hung onto my arm. This boy was my angel…. my spiritual son. A few weeks later we had a Christmas party at the facility, some of the childrens relatives would come pick them up this one time out of the year to take them for Christmas then return them, and some had no one. At the party everyone was asked to introduce themselves, when it was benjas turn he introduced himself, his father, and then he had a huge smile looked into my eyes and pointed to me and said “and this is my moma”. I can’t really explain how that felt… But I can imagine it feeling exactly like a mother hearing her child say mommy for the first time. He just brought so much joy into my life. And that day…. that was the last time I saw him. When all the children returned to the facility there was no sign of Benja, I’d return again, still no sign, and again…. I thought it was great he was getting more time with his father. But I was extremely sad I didn’t get to see him more before I left. But I always cherished the moments we shared and the deep connection we had. I absolutely loved all of the children at the facility, every day that I showed up they would all come quickly to greet me and yell to the others telling them I had arrived. A very difficult part of the trip was that every time I would feel a form of joy, fulfillment…. See the joy in others faces It would rip my heart out knowing that I had to eventually leave. With the help of family and friends back home I was able to get a lot of food, writing material, fabrics, sports equipment and mattresses for the facility! Thank you so much for helping bring blessings to these children.

Christmas was just a week away and I was on the taxi on the way back to my facility and I was just thinking about the fact that back home everyone is wanting presents, everyone is planning great meals and celebrating an incredible day. Yet here many people don’t even know when it is Christmas because it’s just another day fighting for their life, just another day searching for food to feed their children, just another day of torment. Knowing So, I knew I could not help everyone but I knew that I could try and help as many as possible… so I did another call out to people back home and together we were able to get TONS of food, and pop! lol Me and one of the amazing people I met in Uganda Fred, who was one of the facility guards helped me bag all the food individually. We had such a fun time and got everything all prepared, Betty, my Ugandan sister joined us after she was done all her work to help us finish up! Christmas Eve morning the workers at the organization drove me around in the “slums” of Uganda, these are the very very poor parts and I went up to the homes and handed out meals for Christmas dinner. lt was really amazing because I reminded them this gift is from God not me. All of them were of different religions, some Christian, some Muslim, some atheists, some even practiced dark magic. But they all were praising God and thanking him for the answered prayers which I found to be incredibly beautiful! We were in the first area handing out meals and I was trying very very hard to keep myself together and not break. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, until I felt a tap on my back and I turned around to see thing young boy who was horribly physically afflicted I cannot even put it into words. With the biggest and most thankful smile on his face and he grabbed my hand to thank me…. I almost fell to my knees. I jumped in the car and I completely broke down. I didn’t think a pain so deep down like that could ever exist. But the men of the organization talked me through it and helped me “man back up” and continue to finish the mission I had started. Not going to lie, the rest of the time handing out the supplies I had to keep my sun glasses on because it’s as if I had no control over the random tears that decided to escape me. After I got home that day I just went straight to bed, I just again, needed to take in everything that happened and stop myself from breaking. So I laid there in bed in excruciating emotional pain for hours until it was Christmas morning. On Christmas I went to the facility and picked up the few children who remained there and brought them to the volunteer house for a Christmas feast! I got them Christmas outfits and presents to open as well. They were so so so thankful. It was such an amazing thing to see and be a part of. I truly just love all these kids so much.

There were a few families in the neighborhood that I grew very close to. The children would call out to me “Auntie Lala!!!!!!!” and run up to hug me. They were my little babies. I loved helping out their moms when in need and spending time with the kids, making sure they were fed etc. I would take them for outings to the pool etc. and they’d get tons of yummy food and have an amazing time. I remember one day at the pool they called out to me as I was laying down watching them play. “Auntie Lala, would it be ok if we called you mommy?” …. gahhhh and again, I became an emotional suck! They just completely melted my heart!!!! So the whole rest of the day I’d hear “mommy look” “mommy come here” honest to God, best feeling in the whole entire world… And I to loved them as if they were mine. I’ll still remember the day Chanices mom said to me, “Let me get your daughter” . I was lost for worlds…. A mother… calling me her daughters mother… and she said “You love her just as much as I do. You are her mother as well.” Oh my gosh…. again…. Can you see how all these people just ripped and store at my heart? Try being “strong” in these circumstances. yaaaaa right!  Chanice is one of the girls I put into school before I left I cannot wait to see this little beauty when I return. I wanted to take all of the children home with me to the point I researched every possible way to adopt and even spoke with a lawyer while there. Needless to say it’s a very very difficult longgggg process if possible at all. This was another thing that was very hard to accept.

I met some incredible people on this journey, people who will remain a part of my life forever! All of the children and families I have mentioned to you already of course. And a few other volunteers who I completely adored. One volunteers in particular stands out to me so much. Her name is Kim and she pretty much stole my heart as instantly as all the children. It was so funny because when I found out another volunteer was coming I asked she be put in the other room so I could be in my room alone, as I said I wasn’t in the best emotional state and in my best state I still like to be a hermit. So we went to pick her up from the airport the following day and the organizer or the placement we stayed at called me out in the car with her and said I didn’t want her in there…. Ummmmm completely awkward… but I just admitted it and explained my reasoning and she was awesome because she was thinking the exact same thing. We were so similar… complete social butterflies when necessary but hermits at the end of the day. But in the end we realized maybe we should have just roomed together because we were constantly together after that day! We still talk now and are hoping to both go to Africa again together maybe next year! Another person who really stands out is my Ugandan sister, Betty! She took care of the house, fed us, and made me laugh so hard my stomach would hurt. She cooked meat for my cat even though she thought I was insane for loving an animal so much… Then she learned to love him just as much as me!!!!  I love this woman soooooo much, she truly is my sister for life. We had so many good times I cannot even share them all. There are way too many amazing people to list on here … but I cannot wait to go back and see all the incredible people I have grown to love again.

Though a lot of the experiences there were very hard there is this incredible beauty in Africa that I cannot explain. People with nothing still smiling and giving to each other. The incredible scenery. Amazing sunsets. Delicious food, dance and music. Actually one day a few of us volunteers got invited to an introduction ceremony which is where the soon to be bride introduces her future husband to the family and he gives multiple gifts to ask for her hand in marriage and the family approves or not. Well, as we are all sitting there enjoying it clapping watching the dancing I get a tap on my shoulder and I get called into the back… so I had to get up walk through all these people and got lead into the back of the house. All of the sudden a few woman grab me and start undressing/dressing me in beautiful African attire. and rushed me out with them… I asked what to do and they just said follow them. So I had to dance and smile and change into multiple outfits and accept gifts etc. haha It was a really scary but awesome experience! As I told you before I haven’t been able to talk about this trip at all until now, I was doing very bad emotionally and mentally and about 3 weeks after I returned I got news that my boy, the one I told you all about in the beginning… my spiritual son, Benja had passed on. I cannot put in words the pain of that moment. I still honestly can’t really comprehend it. The thought of going back there and not seeing his beautiful smile light up or hear him say moma again … or his beautiful squealing laughter. It hurts my heart in a way I don’t think will ever fully go away. But I am so thankful for the time that we got to share. And nothing will ever take that connection away. I needed an angel recently and now he is mine, some people feel as though I saved him/ gave him joy and love when he needed it most. But truthfully. He saved me. I think his passing and everyones words since then have just made me realize how short and precious life is. And that it doesn’t matter how long you know someone or how much time you get together but you can be used to change each other’s lives… or better… give each other life.

There is still so much need here and as much as it is heart breaking the more people who do decide to volunteer the less need there will be. We are all one, and we need to come together and help each other. We have the ability to change the world. We just need to truly believe it. I have finally crawled out of the pit I was in and I am ready for battle. I know Africa is where my heart is… It always has been. I know that it is not an easy calling but it is mine. And no matter what your calling is or how hard it is you will be given the strength and tools needed to complete it. Benjas death showed me that as painful as it is…. in the short time I was there it changed him it changed me… it brought joy into his life as the “master” of the facility said. “Ever since you have come here the kids are different people. They are so happy I’ve never seen Benja like this before, he has improved so much, You are an angel” Now I wouldn’t ever say I did anything great or ever refer to myself as an angel. I would say that what we all needed in that moment in our lives is exactly what came to be. That is all God. No matter how hard it is…. If it can bring healing to the broken, joy to the crying, fill up the empty, even for a short time. It is so worth it. You might be the last smile brought to someones face.

I was not very prepared going to Africa this time, I just new I was finally meant to fulfill my dream so I booked everything saved what I could within a few short months. I didn’t have time to even consider fundraisers or anything of the sort I just knew I needed to go! But in doing so I was not mentally prepared either… Though honestly I don’t think you can ever fully mentally or emotionally prepare yourself for this. I do hope to go back one day and hopefully when I’m in a stronger mind set. I’m not sure when I am supposed to go back but I will keep my eyes and ears open for the calling to return. If that be in a few months or years down the road. My prayer is that this motivated others to help others and our world in everyway they possibly can.

Life is very very short everyone… while you’re busy making a living don’t forget to make a life. Give to those in need. Love every single person you meet. Be so incredible thankful for everything you have and don’t for a second take anything for granted. I truly feel if we are not on this earth to help others, give our all… make a difference. Then why are we here at all? I love you all so much words cannot even describe the deep love I feel towards you all. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and God bless you all!

,Lalani

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Emma
Female
23 years old
UK

Fantastic Experience

10/10

Uganda was a beautiful country and the staff so kindly showed us around the local villages and elsewhere. The staff were so kind and thoughtful always asking if we are okay and how they can make our stay more comfortable. We had a great farewell campfire at the end of our stay with beer, meat (delicacy) and great company. Accommodation was a lot better than expected wifi and comfortable beds! Strongly recommend this program!

How can this program be improved?

Any hidden costs outlined at the start

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emma,
Thank you for the review and the recommendation! Sounds like you have had a great time and we are glad you were comfortable and well looked after. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Lisa
Female
57 years old
Rigby,Idaho
Other

Most affordable. It feels good choosing a company that is obviously low in administration

10/10

Living in a first world country, I see the environment around me full of entitlement and very little happiness and generosity. In Uganda, I felt that as simple as the lifestyle was that there was more genuine happiness and generosity and giving spirit that exists where I live. I believe that I gained more from the experience and I was able to give. It has changed my outlook on focusing on the things that really matter in life.

How can this program be improved?

I would make it more clear as to what some of the projects that the volunteers will be involved in. I also would like to see more information on the website about items that can be donated and brought free of charge to the country by making readily available forms from the humanitarian organization to the volunteer that would allow the airlines to forgo the fees of extra luggage. I personally left two souls cases of donated items because I was not aware of the program by the airline I was flying on that would waive the luggage fees for humanitarian organization.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lisa, Thanks for your feedback. It's great to hear that you had such a positive experience volunteering in Uganda. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you on another program again in the future.

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Allie
Female
23 years old
Boston, Massachusetts

Amazing experience

10/10

as a nursing student and first time solo traveller, I was both excited and nervous to be volunteering in Uganda. I learned so much about the culture by living in the community and with full time staff assistance. I also learned a lot about health care and sanitation issues from the nurses who work at the clinic every day. My favorite memory, although there are many would be when I was able to assist in the delivery of a baby in the maternity wing. It is such a different experience in Uganda then it is at home and I am so grateful to have been a part of it.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Allie, It sounds like you had an incredible experience volunteering on our Medical project in Uganda. Thanks for sharing and we hope to see you back on another IVHQ program again at some point in the future. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Abi
Female
21 years old
London, England

Thoroughly Recommended

9/10

I had an amazing time volunteering in Uganda, the staff and other volunteers were great and so much fun. I really enjoyed my placement as well as the accommodation, food, location and local area.

The placement was so eye opening and everyone who worked at the school I was teaching at were so helpful and kind. The children were amazing to work with and I felt like through fundraising and donations I was able to make a real difference to them.

I had a great time at the weekends and in the evenings during my free time exploring and experiencing all that Uganda has to offer such as gorilla trekking.

How can this program be improved?

The only thing that I would change would be some slight changes to the clarity of the information and organisation

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Abi, Thanks for sharing your feedback from your experience volunteering in Uganda. It sounds like you had a really memorable experience which is great to hear. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Lacey
Female
23 years old
South Carolina
University of South Carolina

Uganda

10/10

This program was full of great volunteers and staff. The staff truly made the experience one of a kind. I had so much fun volunteering and so much fun adventuring Uganda during my trip. I can say this trip has changed my life and changed me as a person. It was one of the best times of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

How can this program be improved?

Some of the head staff members could work on their interpersonal communication skills and the way the work with the volunteers. Other than that it was great!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lacey, Thanks for your review. It's great to hear you had such fun time in Uganda both volunteering and exploring in your free time. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Kenzie
Female
24 years old
Cincinnati, Ohio
Miami University

IVHQ Uganda Volunteer Trip

8/10

The accommodations of the program were great. I always felt safe in the complex. The staff was great and I am still great friends with most of them and still keep in contact. David, the Volunteers2Uganda program leader, was great at making sure my placement suited me and helped relocate me to a different placement when I was not satisfied with my first choice. My placement at a nursery school was amazing and I plan to go back this Christmas and see the children and teachers again!

How can this program be improved?

I think that some of the staff puts a lot of pressure on the volunteers to continue donating money to them and the program, which is fine, but I know that many of the volunteers have fundraised their money to get to Uganda and do not have hundreds of dollars laying around. I also feel that some of the staff leaders forget about the reason why they run this program, which is to help their local community. They tend to get involved in the politics of it and have thrown away partnerships with great nonprofits because of a fear that they were "stealing" the volunteers. Other than that, I think the program has made a LOT of improvements to help it be the best experience for the volunteers.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Kenzie, Thanks for taking the time to review your experience volunteering in Uganda with IVHQ. It's great to hear you felt safe and supported when in country. Thanks for the suggested improvements re. volunteer donations, we have passed this onto our IVHQ Uganda Program Manager Willie and he will follow up directly with our local team about this. It's great to hear that you plan to be back at Christmas and we look forward to seeing you then. Thanks for being an IVHQer!

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Emma
Female
23 years old
Chicago, IL
DePaul University

Affordable, Incredible Experience in Uganda (IVHQ)

10/10

This past summer I was able to travel to Uganda through International Volunteer Headquarters and I must say it offered a truly life changing experience. I fell in love with the culture, the people, my students...everything! I spent my time in Uganda teaching English and Math at Royal Nursery School in Bwebajja. The local teachers were incredible and so open to trying to new things. My students were truly the most beautiful children in the world! They were eager to learn and their bright smiles will melt your heart. The local staff were absolutely incredible as well. They offered a helping hand at every moment and there wasn't a single time I didn't feel comfortable. We lived in a compound in a small village called Mutungo where I befriended many of the amazing locals. I lived with approximately 20-30 other volunteers from all over the world at any given time. It was an amazing way to meet incredible people and I made friends I know I will have for a life time! I was able to travel affordably on the weekends and went to some of the most beautiful places I have ever been in my life. From a nine hour hike through the beautiful mountainous region in Sipi, to a coffee tour on a local farm and a night bus ride for a weekend in Rwanda, I must say each and every moment was incredible! I highly recommend this program to anyone considering applying. It is far more affordable than most other programs similar to this one and I can guarantee you will leave your heart in a beautiful place!

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Emma, It's great to hear from you! Thanks for sharing a little from your experience volunteering in Uganda with IVHQ. 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. Thanks for being an IVHQer and we hope to see you next summer.

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allison
Female
24 years old
Horsham, pa

reverse.

10/10

When I first thought about volunteering in Uganda I was only thinking about myself and how it would help me in my life. I thought it would make me appreciate what I have in America, how thankful I should be for having loving parents and friends, and the education I have received here. However I found my experience to bring forth different emotions. It's hard to put into words the feelings I experienced as I stepped inside the dirt floored classroom, or when I saw little children walking miles with jugs of water to take back to their families. They say you experience culture shock when you live in a different country. But I didn't feel it, I felt nothing but joy and happiness when I was with the children and locals. They were all so nice and so willing to help. Can't find many people like that in America. Although I didn't experience culture shock when just was in Uganda, I have experienced it everyday since I've been back in America. I miss the simplicity of life, the welcoming from everyone, and the constant happiness. I have never met a group of students who were more willing to learn than those in Uganda. They love life, it's that simple. So instead of only thinking about myself before I went to uganda, I now cannot stop thinking about others, I constantly remind myself how happy those kids were, and how happy life can truly be in America, helping others has become my passion and I would do anything to bring a smile to someone else's face.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Allison, Thanks for sharing a little from your experience volunteering in Uganda. It sounds like you had a really special experience, one that will stay with you for life. Thanks for being an IVHQer! We hope to see you back on another IVHQ program soon.

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Jef
Male
Antwerp, Belgium
Other

Memoire of a doctor in Uganda

9/10

My unique story of my time in Uganda (among many others) is the following: on my first medical outreach program in the local communities, I met a man with osteomyelitis (a bone infection) resulting from a third degree burning wound the man had had for about 10 years at the time I met him that day. He could not use his leg anymore and had his lower leg folded against his upper leg, wrapped up in a sheet. The wound was severely infected and pus was coming out of it and parts of the bone were even exposing. The man was paralyzed (third degree burning had burned the nerves so he had no feeling in his leg). He had never seen a doctor before, so we decided to treat the his wound with the primitive tools that we had brought with us. We cleaned the wound with antiseptic and tried to drain the pus with the needle of a syringue. That we applied local anti-bacterial cream and put a band-aid on the wound and started oral antibiotic therapy, though it was obvious that he needed IV antibiotics but he could not afford that.
This was my first case as a medical student in a 3 week medical program in Uganda and yet I was been confronted with a situation that I could not solve. We tried later to fix an ambulance to bring him to the hospital but still, who would pay for his treatment once he would get there? I went to Uganda to help, but sometimes you cannot help everyone. But your presence there shall not be unnoticed. At least I was there for this man and I actually tried to do the best I could. And that is how he will remember me. As a doctor that at least tried to save his limb and his life, for free. He will have the feeling that at least someone was looking after him, although he could not cure him. I found consolation in this.

How can this program be improved?

The pre-communication. I was going to work at the medical placement in Uganda, but I didn't know exactly what to bring. It turned out that there were no examination gloves and no hand alcohol for personal hygiene. In a country with a high HIV prevalence and a risk of transmitting other contagious diseases this should have been mentioned at first, so every volunteer can bring this for himself.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi there Jef.
Thank you for sharing such a detailed first hand account of your experience volunteering in Uganda. Thanks for being an IVHQer.

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Jim
Male
32 years old
Luxembourg
University of Pittsburgh

The more you give, the more you get!

8/10

The time I spent in Uganda with V2U in February/March 2015 was (once again) a simply great experience for me. You gotta love the smaller organization and the friendly and thankful people around your area and in the country. I did the teaching programm and I was lucky that I could go to a school where I didn't simply replace a teacher and his work (which is unfortunately quite often the case), but I hat the opportunity to lead the class on my own, of course - if needed - with the help and advices of the other friendly teachers at the school. The programm in Uganda is a great place to be, I enjoyed it very much but as always, you have to remember, the volunteer programms are only as good as you want them to be, so be open minded, show some will to learn smth and share experiences and contribute something more than a "simple" service (helpful goods)!

How can this program be improved?

The volunteers should get a better preparation for their placements. This should be contribued by the volunteers itself, for example with book about the different placements (not about the programm at all!). This leads to get informed well about the specific place where the volunteer helps.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Jim, Thanks for sharing a little bit about your experience volunteering with IVHQ in Uganda. It’s great to hear that your teaching project was what you were expecting. Thanks for volunteering with IVHQ!

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LelaB
Female
42 years old
Columbia, SC
University of Memphis

I absolutely would NOT recommend this program!

1/10

As a former IVHQ volunteer, I’m disappointed to say that IVHQ doesn't appear to properly vet their Uganda program or take volunteer concerns seriously. I was placed in an illegal, unregistered orphanage during my June 2013 placement and returned to Uganda in September of 2013 (independent of IVHQ) to continue to seek resolution for these children. The Ugandan government ordered all children removed from the home and yet IVHQ’s local partner insisted that his volunteers return to help facilitate construction so this abusive institution could reopen. I took my concerns all the way to the IVHQ director, but was disappointed at his complacency and lack of communication. In my opinion, the director of the Uganda program (a staff member of International Volunteer Network/ IVN) is corrupt and doesn’t have sufficient regard for the wellbeing of his volunteers. I’m certainly not alone in that opinion. A lengthy recounting of recent events is posted on my blog. Please, please, please demand to know your placements before you get on foreign soil. Research IVHQ’s incountry partners and your actual placement before turning over your money.

I blogged the events in a series of 5 blog posts on my blog, Lucky Break Blog.

After waiting 2 full weeks for any sort of acknowledgement of my concerns from the IVHQ director, he managed to delete my post at the IVHQ Facebook within 90 minutes and reply, in part:

“…while we have said we will treat any allegations she makes seriously, providing she has proof, all we have received so far are very dramatic allegations with no base which makes it difficult for us to look into things further.”

The IVHQ director hasn’t asked me for a thing. Would he like the police reports? Eyewitness accounts of the director of the International Volunteer Network trying to muscle his way into my hotel after the IVHQ director told him not to meet with me? I’d be happy to engage IVHQ in a conversation and answer any questions they may have and provide any proof they seek. The problem is: they’re not concerned with critical opinions of the program. They dismiss and move onto the next group of potential volunteers. Shameful.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Hi Lela,

As outlined to you in our previous email correspondence, we have taken a number of steps to address these complaints after we first heard from you. However, your initial complaints were hard to address as you rung the office and would not give us your name, which made us suspicious and it was very difficult to ascertain how legitimate the complaints were. You were also contacting us 3 months after your 1 week program had finished, whereas we would have liked to know about these concerns at the time of your program. The complaints we received over this time were not made by volunteers currently on the program, but volunteers who had been there with you and did not send us their concerns until 2/3 months after completing their programs. We contacted current volunteers on the Uganda program and they notified us they were happy with the program.

If volunteers have serious concerns, it is important they contact us immediately, so we can address these concerns.

Regardless, our volunteers should not have been placed at the orphanage in question, and we have discussed this at length with our program coordinator in Uganda. Despite the fact the orphanage needed volunteer assistance, if it was not conforming with requirements from local authorities, there is no way our volunteers should have been placed there and upon this incident occurring and complaints received, we have taken the following action:

- We have had held daily phone discussions with the IVHQ Uganda Coordinator since issues came to light 3 weeks ago from June/July volunteers.

- Arrangements have been made for an IVHQ staff member to visit the Uganda program in 2 weeks to look at the program and the complaints in depth with local staff. Our Executive Director will be following up with a visit to Uganda 2 weeks later.

- The Uganda program isn't accepting volunteers until we are happy with the outcomes of our visits and we have addressed these concerns raised by volunteers.

At IVHQ we treat all feedback very seriously and we look into any complaints we receive.

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upsetbrit
Male
32 years old
UK
Other

Explaining costs before placement...

8/10

I first will say that I had a great time with my flat mates while in Uganda. I enjoyed my program but am very disappointed with the in country coordinator. From the moment i arrived in Uganda it felt like it was all money, money, money. It really kind of left me in a tight spot. Then being told to ask my friends for more to cover costs?

That should have been covered before I left home. I will not be using IVHQ again.

p.s. It wasn't the locals that were bothering me for money, it was the program trying to get me to pay for everything!

Default avatar
CanadianEng
Male
24 years old
Vancouver, BC
University of British Columbia

Not impressed

5/10

I continually felt like I was only valued as a source of income for the program as a walking wallet. The other volunteers I worked with during my time at the specific program I worked at felt the same way. There were many occasions where they just flat out expected us to buy/pay for things that we were not expecting.

Response from International Volunteer HQ - IVHQ

Thank you for your feedback. IVHQ participants are there to volunteer and should not expected to make donations to their volunteering placements; however, we are sorry to hear you felt pressured to do so. African people often see volunteers as very rich and will not be afraid to ask for things, we therefore encourage our volunteers not to be afraid to say “no.” We have passed on your concerns to our local staff and we trust your time spent volunteering was still of great value to your placement.

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IVHQ (International Volunteer HQ) provides safe, unique, meaningful and extremely affordable volunteer programs in 35+ countries around the world, with a constantly expanding base. Programs are available in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central America, South America and the Pacific, where IVHQ works alongside local NGOs to

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