Ugandan school children

Why volunteer in Uganda?

International volunteers complement local staff, and provide cultural exchange and life skills to children, youth and adults. Volunteer presence and care builds self-worth and confidence.  In many cases, outside viewpoints are very effective. Imagine an area where people are not encouraged to work together, or rarely believe they can achieve good things. Basic information on conservation, hygiene, nutrition, income generation, etc. is not always available in remote areas.

If you can spare a month or 3, The Real Uganda has volunteer placements with programs based in south central Uganda. The organizations we work with provide primary and secondary education, community outreach, youth mentoring, small business development, public health services, and modern conservation and agriculture techniques. Read about our ongoing volunteer abroad programs.

Volunteer at a school in Africa

Each of our partner organizations need volunteers who can bring new ideas, work with minimal supervision, and have a positive, self-starting attitude. We place volunteers of all ages who wish to enhance their world view. Our aim is to bring the two sides together to share ideas, knowledge, and culture. Together we learn, build and develop.

We do not place volunteers in group settings. We do not “plug” volunteers into pre-planned activities. Your job is to decide what you want to get out of this experience. Tell us your skills and interests in Uganda. We then find an appropriate Ugandan run project for you.


Volunteers hanging out on the veranda

Where we work

Our headquarters are in Mukono Town, the capital of Mukono District. Mukono is located on the Kampala-Jinja highway about 20km east of Kampala. With a population of over 60,000, Mukono has many internet cafes, a major university, restaurants and drinking spots, supermarkets, and a luxury hotel with swimming pool and gardens. It’s easily accessible from all village placements by public transport. By public transport it takes about 60 minutes to get to either Kampala or Jinja, which are good places to get specialized services or have some fun.

We work with schools and a residential home for special needs kids in Mukono Town. We also place volunteers with a variety of village-based organizations and schools in Mukono, Buikwe, and Jinja Districts. Whether you volunteer in Mukono Town or in a village, you’ll likely use Mukono Town as your base for services and meeting other volunteers.


Our volunteer guesthouse, Central Mukono

In Mukono Town we operate a 6 bed guesthouse for the use of all our volunteers. Our home is within a private, leafy compound, and has running water and western toilets. Local Ugandan food is served daily.

Once accepted into our program, all volunteers are given a multi-page orientation document and description of their host organization. Included therein are details of your work, responsibilities, security, location, food, accommodation, vaccinations needed, and where your money goes.

Who is Eligible?

While our program is popular, we have a streamlined application process. You can apply just weeks in advance of when you wish to travel. Volunteers must arrive around the 1st or 15th of any month. We have a 2 week minimum and a 3 month maximum. Longer stays are considered on a case by case basis. The Real Uganda volunteer must:

• be 18 years or older
• have no major health problems and a current Yellow Fever vaccination certificate
• be able to walk distances up to 2km daily
• obtain a police check from home country prior to volunteering
• sign a general waiver of liability
• have a positive and outgoing personality

The Cost

The Real Uganda is a non-profit organization. However, there are costs involved in hosting volunteers and in supporting our host organizations. In order to secure any placement we require a $200 non-refundable deposit. The deposit is applied to your total program fee. All program fees are due one month before arrival to Uganda.

The fee covers support while you prepare for Uganda, airport pickup, first night hotel, orientation, transportation to your placement, food, accommodation, guesthouse use, supervision, and a donation to the organization with which you are working. The fee does not cover airline tickets, visa, vaccinations, drinking water, leisure activities, or medical services.

You’ll likely need $20-$40 a week to support a basic life which includes drinking water, internet, transportation, and a few treats such as coffee and chocolate. Safaris, white water rafting, and general travel are a bit more expensive. Check out our blog post on easy weekend getaways in Uganda. An East Africa or Uganda travel guide will, of course, provide more options and details.

Duration and Program Cost

2 weeks$   600
4 weeks$   900
6 weeks$1,200
8 weeks$1,500
10 weeks$1,800
12 weeks$2,100


Have we piqued your interest?
The Real Uganda matches your skill and interest with a locally-led initiative seeking help