If you can spare 2 to 12 weeks, The Real Uganda has volunteer placements with locally-led, community-based initiatives, located in south central Uganda.
The organizations we work with provide primary education, community empowerment, public health services, and modern agriculture techniques in their own communities. They support real people – improving their lives, on their terms.
Each of our partner organizations want volunteers who will bring new ideas, adapt to local conditions, and have a positive, collaborative attitude.
The ideal volunteer will deeply experience our culture, gain first-hand experience working with local communities, and share the triumphs and frustrations of daily life in Uganda.
As a result, we learn, build, and develop – together. We are a team.
All placements begin on the 1st and 15th of every month and range from 2 to 12 weeks.
Our volunteers join in on the ongoing work of our local partners.
Tell us your skills and interest in Uganda and we’ll find an appropriate Ugandan-led program seeking help.
International volunteers complement local staff, and provide cultural exchange and life skills to children, youth, and adults.
Your new ideas can be very effective out here. Imagine an area where people are not encouraged to work together, or rarely believe they can achieve good things.
Volunteer presence and care helps build self-worth and confidence in our communities.
Basic information on conservation, hygiene, nutrition, income generation, and early childhood development is also needed.
Besides, Ugandans are known for their hospitality and absolutely love working with international volunteers. It’s all about group solidarity, team building, and shared leadership.
Not to worry, you also get something out of it! Who doesn’t love meeting like-minded people from all over the world, learning new cultures and ways of doing things, and getting a meaningful, yet adventure-filled break from normal life?
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 decent hotel with swimming pool and gardens.
Mukono is easily accessible from all our volunteer placements 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.
Our volunteers live and work with a variety of village-based organizations and schools in Mukono, Buikwe, and Kayunga Districts.
No matter where you volunteer, you’ll likely use Mukono Town as your base for services and meeting other volunteers.
In Mukono Town we operate a 6 bed guesthouse for the use of all our volunteers during orientation and on weekends. Our home is within a private, leafy compound, and has running water and western toilets. Local Ugandan food is served daily.
Our programs are ongoing and our partners host volunteers year round. However, to ensure smooth transition, volunteers must arrive around the 1st or 15th of the month.
We have a 2 week minimum and 12 week 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 of up to 2km daily
• obtain a police check from home country prior to volunteering
• sign a general waiver of liability
• have a positive and collaborative attitude
The Real Uganda is a non-profit organization. However, there are costs involved in hosting volunteers and in supporting our partner organizations.
Therefore, The Real Uganda charges program fees that cover:
• online support while you prepare
• airport pickup
• first night hostel/guesthouse stay
• in-country orientation
• transportation to your placement
• 3 meals of Ugandan food per day
• secure accommodation
• weekend volunteer guesthouse use
• 24 hr supervision, and
• a donation to your host organization.
Besides covering your basic expenses, our fees ensure our partners can do the work their communities request.
Program fees also allow us to monitor partner progress, guide and advise current volunteers, and seek new volunteers for work in Uganda.
The fees do not cover airline tickets, visa, vaccinations, drinking water, leisure activities, or medical services.
But we’re happy to help you make these arrangements.
PROGRAM DURATION AND FEES
|2 weeks||$ 700|
|4 weeks||$ 900|
In addition to your program fee, 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.
Wild life Safari, white water rafting, and general travel are a bit more expensive. Check out an East Africa or Uganda Travel Guide for options and costs.
While our programs are popular, we do have a streamlined application process. You can apply just weeks in advance of when you wish to travel.
You make the first step:
Fill in and submit the online application form. This helps us learn why you want to volunteer, when you intend to begin, and how long you wish to stay.
We do our best to reply within 48 hours.
Our introductory email proposes a host program, matched to your skill and interest. It also attaches a set of “extra questions” for you to answer.
This information helps us all decide if we are a good fit to work together.
Upon receipt of your answers to our extra questions:
A volunteer placement offer will be made if your answers align with our objectives. We tend to look for positive attitude, flexibility, and willingness to learn over a specific skill set.
In order to accept our offer and secure your placement, we require a $200USD non-refundable deposit. The deposit is applied to your total program fee.
Should you have to adjust your start date, your deposit can be used toward a new placement beginning up to one year from the date your deposit was paid. We require at least one month notice if you wish to use your deposit for a new placement.
The Real Uganda uses PayPal to ensure safe payment of all fees.
Once we receive your deposit:
You’ll be given a multi-page orientation document and description of your host organization. Included are details of your work, responsibilities, security, location, food, accommodation, vaccinations needed, and where your money goes.
You’ll also receive our general waiver of liability and code of conduct to be signed on arrival as part of your volunteer service.
Upon request, we’ll connect you with former volunteers.
Other helpful information can always be found on our Resources page. Here you’ll find links to:
- fundraising ideas
- info on how to book flights and purchase travel insurance
- a packing guide
- instructions for how to apply for the Uganda tourist visa
- a local language phrase book.
Over the following weeks:
We answer all your questions to get you prepped for life in the Ugandan village.
We do this through email and live chat.
One month before you leave home:
Your program fee balance comes due. We’ll send out a new payment request through PayPal.
At this time, we shall also request your:
- emergency contact information
- health and dietary restrictions
- police background check
- proof of travel insurance
One week before you arrive in Uganda:
You’ll receive a group email that introduces you to our other new volunteers and outlines everyone’s arrival and first few days in Uganda.
We’ll also give you step by step info of what to do when your flight lands at Entebbe International Airport, including clearing customs, collecting luggage, and changing money.
Upon arrival to Uganda:
Our driver will be at the airport to collect you. Together you’ll travel to our Mukono Town volunteer guesthouse, where we’ll be waiting to welcome you!
Volunteer orientation is fun and interactive. It includes a walking tour of Mukono Town. We’ll help you connect a local phone line and set up an internet data package so you can keep in touch with your friends, family, and other volunteers. You can also do some last minute shopping.
Our general waiver of liability and code of conduct are explained and signed.
Orientation ends with personalized discussions about how best to get settled and start volunteering.
The next day, you’ll be collected by your host organization director and delivered to your new home. You’ll meet family and co-workers and get a chance to unpack and rest a bit.
We want you to get the most from your time in Uganda. You should expect to start volunteering almost right away!
While you’re volunteering:
We keep in touch with you via Whatsapp, text message, phone calls, and site visits. In addition, when you’re not traveling, you may choose to spend weekends at our volunteer guesthouse.
We’re here to answer your questions about anything that comes up: culture shock, volunteer work, health or accommodation issues. We’ll even help you plan your weekend leisure activities.
We’ll also connect you with new volunteers as they arrive.