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.