Volunteering abroad is a popular way to travel these days. In fact, there are many reasons why volunteering in a foreign country is beneficial:

  1. It broadens your view of the world;
  2. It’s fun and adventure-filled;
  3. You meet like minded people from around the world;
  4. It teaches you about trust and submission;
  5. You learn new ways of doing things;
  6. You get to know a new culture and language; and
  7. Global experience is great for the resume!

But let’s not focus on how volunteering abroad benefits travelers. Rather, I want to talk about just how important international volunteers can be for community-based development programs all over the world – when it’s done intentionally, respectfully, and ethically.


Why You Should Volunteer With The Real Uganda

Our volunteers work with real locally-led community-based organizations that work to improve the lives of real people. Every day.

Volunteers join in on (and really get to understand) what is happening out here. They become an integral part of a unique team. Sometimes it’s tough. At other times it’s endearing. But it never fails to be eye-opening and character-building for everyone involved.

Here’s a great example of how volunteering with The Real Uganda unfolds over the long term:

Meet the ladies of Hopeline Women’s Group.

volunteers with ugandan women's group

A number of our volunteers have worked with them.

These ladies’ lives are tough. They live in a rural environment. They don’t have much formal education. There are not many opportunities for paid work. Their husbands are not necessarily doing their best to provide for their families. Some have been abandoned. Some are widows. All are mothers. They come together a few times each week to work, share stories, and ease each other’s problems.

They are so joyful.


What Do Our Volunteers Do?

They work alongside the women in their gardens, they help them with English language skills, they brainstorm solutions to the myriad economic and social issues faced in Uganda. In return, the ladies show our volunteers how to appreciate community, exercise patience, make local handicrafts, and cook traditional Ugandan food.

Pretty fair trade, eh?

volunteers fetching firewood in Uganda

Cultural exchange is like that.

The Real Uganda and its volunteers have also contributed funds to give Ugandan women a chance at financial independence and freedom. Chicken coops have been built, a well renovated, pigs and rabbits bought, ruby cups given out, a training on making reusable menstrual pads was held. The women are proud owners of a couple sewing machines. There’s now even a revolving interest free micro-loan scheme in place.


Why Were These Projects Chosen?

Because the ladies asked for them. Because they know how to handle them. Because they just need a little leg-up in order to improve their lives – on their terms.

Supporting locally led initiatives = maximum impact and empowerment. No dependency.

As you can see, volunteering abroad is a great alternative to mass tourism, focusing on the host community rather than simply serving the traveler.


Have You Volunteered Abroad?

What was your volunteering experience and how did you judge its impact?

If you haven’t, consider volunteering in Uganda with The Real Uganda. Here’s how it works

We are always looking for volunteers who value cultural exchange and locally-led community transformation.


Want to volunteer in Uganda?
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