4 Ways to Volunteer with The Real Uganda

Before reading, check your eligibility.

1. Village Teaching and Community Outreach

Do you want to ride to work on the back of a motor cycle as the sun rises? Scrub the red dust off your feet as the sun sets? Experience new activities with each new day? This placement is for you. Volunteers learn to make baskets while discussing household issues with amazing Ugandan women’s groups. They plant carrots, cabbages and tomatoes. They dig wells and make bricks. They help primary students learn fractions. They play Duck! Duck! Goose! with the little ones. The sky is the limit!

Teach in Africa

Kennedy Primary School, Buikwe District

Volunteers in the Village Teaching program provide arts and crafts, structured play, music/singing, sports, health, and academics at the primary or secondary level. Volunteers are needed in local schools to give students an alternate learning experience. Traditional teaching in Uganda is rote learning and memorization. Our main focus is to provide children with a loving, creative and interactive environment in which to flourish.

Volunteers choose which subjects and age groups to teach upon arrival. They work independently to plan lessons using government curriculum and textbooks. Please be aware that there are few (if any) resources available at school. Volunteers should bring any supplies, teaching materials, or instruments they wish to make use of. (Or plan to buy here – why not support our economy?) This is a challenging but amazing program for volunteers with experience organizing children, such as camp counselors, day care workers, and people who love children. Bring your games, songs, and enthusiasm to the village!

Volunteer in Africa

Conducting a community needs assessment

Volunteers in the Community Outreach program join in on the work of their host organization. Volunteer activities include youth mentoring through sport and art, women empowerment, small business development, handicraft making, light construction, micro-finance administration, educational materials development, conducting seminars, and maintaining wells and other village infrastructure. A community outreach placement is particularly appropriate for volunteers with great ideas and enthusiasm for grassroots development. This is a real opportunity for deep cultural exchange.

For all village teaching and outreach placements, accommodation and daily meals are provided at the village of placement, with the family of the host organization’s director. Most have electricity, some have running water. No more than 3 volunteers are placed together in any village placement.

School terms vary annually but are likely to be: Feb 1 to April 15, May 15 to August 15, Sept 15 to November 30.

2. Public Health Improvement

Can you communicate important information in creative ways? Do you want to learn the reality on the ground regarding public health in Uganda? Do you like camping? In this program, volunteers work alongside local counselors and health care professionals, in a variety of remote locations, designed to help Ugandans stay healthy and make informed decisions about their health care.

Volunteers talk to people in schools and communities about issues directly affecting them. You’ll design and conduct seminars based on subjects such as community sanitation, household and personal hygiene, nutrition, malaria prevention, sex education, HIV prevention and AIDS care, etc. Basic training and educational materials are on site, but volunteers are encouraged to bring new materials as well.

HIV/AIDS in Africa volunteering

HIV testing

Volunteers can also work in clinics and maternity hospitals talking directly to women and girls about safe sex, family planning, maternal and child health, and nutrition. Volunteers are involved in the lab and pharmacy, as well.

The schedule is flexible and includes some or all activities offered by the program. Other activities such as teaching, youth mentoring, and vegetable gardening may be on offer by the host organization. Volunteers are encouraged to dig in and try everything. The exchange of ideas, experiences, and culture is highly encouraged.

This program may involve walking long distances in the sun. Volunteers should bring a hat and walking shoes. As you’ll be working off the beaten track, expect to ride to work on the back of a motorcycle.

Volunteers are given a private room at the host organization as their home base. All have electricity, some have running water. When work is done in surrounding villages, you’ll commute by motorcycle. If outreaches are longer than one day, volunteers camp with fellow staff in the village.

3. Agriculture and Conservation

Volunteer on a farm in Africa

Planting mango trees

Do you like working outdoors and getting your hands dirty? Interested in seeing the impact of climate change in the tropics? Come volunteer at a local farm and help a community achieve food security and environmental sustainability.

Volunteers work along side Ugandans digging and maintaining demonstration gardens to promote better nutrition, efficient use of land, natural pest control, soil conservation, and income generation. Depending on the season, volunteers prepare soil, plant, weed, chase pests, or harvest crops. Volunteers are given basic training and appropriate tools upon arrival, but bring gloves, a hat, and rubber boots if you wish. This project requires working in the sun.

Volunteers take part in a flexible schedule, which includes some or all activities offered by the program. Other activities such as primary school teaching, and art and sport programs are also happening. Volunteers are encouraged to dig in and try everything. The exchange of ideas, experiences, and culture is highly encouraged.

Volunteers are given a private room and meals in the family home of the host organization’s director. Electricity is intermittent and there is no running water. The farm is walking distance from home.

4. Mukono Town Primary School Teaching

Teach art in Africa

Art class

Are you enthusiastic about early childhood development? Do you love kids and want to teach them about the world? We work with private primary schools in Mukono town that cater exclusively to the education, housing and feeding of needy children and orphans. Because local education is largely rote learning, we want volunteers to feed these hungry little brains!

Volunteers are involved in academics, arts and crafts, structured play, music/singing, sports, and public health. The main focus is to provide children with a loving, creative, interactive environment in which to flourish. Volunteers choose which subjects and age groups to teach upon arrival. They work independently to plan lessons using government curriculum and textbooks. Please be aware that kids come with only pencils and exercise books. Bring any further tools or materials you wish to use.

Volunteers may choose to work in a local residential home for special needs children. Main activities include structured play, story time, feeding, physical therapy, and teaching basic colours and numbers.

School terms vary annually but are likely to be: Feb 1 to April 15, May 15 to August 15, Sept 15 to November 30.

All volunteers working in Mukono Town (up to 4 at one time) are housed together in our volunteer guesthouse (also our headquarters). There is electricity and running water. All schools are within walking distance of the guesthouse. Transportation by motorcycle is provided to the special needs kids’ home.

Have we piqued your interest?

The Real Uganda offers 4 programs for international volunteers to join. You can teach in primary schools, dig on organic farms, work in public health, and get involved with women empowerment groups. Our focus is cultural exchange. Bring your encouragement, creativity, and love to Uganda!