Community project run together with Softpower Education that aims to improve the quality of life through education & empowerment in rural Uganda.
About the Program
Hailed as the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda is a country of staggering beauty – a lush green land whose stunning and diverse countryside supports incredible wildlife – Lions, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Leopards, Rhinoceros, and half of the world’s population of Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees. Become part of a rural community village and experience true East African culture.
This community project is run together with Soft Power Education (SPE)-a British registered charity and Ugandan NGO- and aims to improve quality of life through education and create an empowered and self-sustainable society.
As a volunteer, you will be introduced to the various community & education projects during your orientation.
This is your volunteer experience and the timetable can be suited to
where you feel most comfortable. Your specific schedule will be determined based on your interests and skills upon arrival. Below is a description of our different
Pre Schools: 8.30 – 12.30
We suggest volunteers run small group activities with the children. This gives the children an opportunity to have some more quality time (usually they are in a class of 30!). Once the school day has finished then volunteers can speak with the teachers about activities for the next day. We do have resources at the pre-schools but we do encourage volunteers to bring things with them if they have specific activities in mind (such as art or sports games).
Amagezi Education Centre: 09:00-17:00
Here the volunteers can assist with running lessons. Please be aware that communication in English may be difficult when teaching lessons; it is also extremely helpful to create resources for the lessons for the local teachers to use.
After School Club: 15:00-18:00
We run an after school club at one of our residential Special Educational Needs units. The volunteers can run group activities with the children such as team sports, games, and crafting. Again we have lots of resources for this in terms of sports equipment, but if the volunteers want to do anything different/more specific, they are very welcome to bring things with them (such as art materials).
SEN Clinic: 8:30 – 17:00
Friday is the busiest day of the week for this local clinic, and volunteers are welcome to assist on this day. The clinic operates both occupational and physiotherapy, as well as small teaching activities. Volunteers can assist with the physiotherapy and keep children busy that are waiting for their therapy. There is also a clinic at the Kybirwa Children’s Centre that helps several children with special educational needs at the moment. At this specialized clinic volunteers can assist with the teaching aspect of the clinic; running group games and doing basic maths and literacy activities.
School Infrastructure: All day
This program can be run on any day, but we do it as an induction day for all new arrivals (as such, all of the volunteers will be involved with this project on these days). We believe this is a fantastic way to get out into the village and for new and existing volunteers to interact and get to know eachother. On these days, we tackle any needs of the school infrastructure that are identified by the host community (for example repairing equipment, painting classrooms, etc.)
*Please take note of the term dates; as our project heavily revolves around the school terms. We have programs running outside of these terms. If you are planning on staying with us outside of term/during Christmas or any other holiday, please contact us to find out what is going on during that time.
Term 1: runs from the beginning of February until the end of April
Term 2: runs from mid May until the beginning of August
Term 3: runs from the beginning of September until the beginning of December
A.M: Induction at Amagezi Education Centre / P.M: Painting
A.M: Kyabirwa Pre-School / P.M: Afterschool activities at Kyomya
A.M: Buwenda Pre-School / P.M: Amagezi Education Centre
A.M: SEN-class at Kyabirwa / P.M: Afterschool activities at Kyomya
A.M: SEN-class at Kyabirwa / P.M: Volunteer Meeting
Due to Jinja’s location at the source of The River Nile and the Northern shores of Lake Victoria, and the good climate, Jinja attracts a lot of tourists. There is plenty to do and see in Jinja; from river rating and horseback riding to quad biking. Volunteers can visit the source of the Nile River, go bungee jumping, or take a mountain bike tour in the rain forest.
Weekends during the project are generally free, and most of the time volunteers use this opportunity to travel and see some of the area. Possible trips include a trip up to Sipi Falls on the foot of Mt Elgon where you can do varioustreks, abseil down the side of the falls, or simply sit and enjoy the view! Other options include a trip to one of Uganda’s national parks – lesser known than those of the famous counterparts in Kenya, but just as beautiful! Queen Elizabeth National Park is on the shores of Lake Edward, here Elephant sightings are common, Hippos bask in the water, and Uganda’s beautiful national bird -the Crested Crane-is often sighted.
The project staff will be happy to assist volunteers with activity ideas and bookings.
We suggest that you arrive on a Monday as we are closed on the weekends. Your transport from Entebbe to Jinja will be with the Pineapple Express Shuttle. The shuttle leaves at 2.30pm and will take you straight to your accommodation. Look for your driver holding a signboard with your name. If you cannot make the Pineapple Express shuttle, then we suggest that you stay in Entebbe for the night (we can help you arrange accommodation here in advance).
The accommodation consists of foam mattresses & is shared with your fellow volunteers and crew. It is located in a secure location close to the school. You have a social area & there is a garden to relax in. As storage is limited, your baggage must have a lockable compartment in it for any valuables. Your house will not have running water, but you can use an outdoor shower. Electricity may not be available but alternatives will be provided –usually paraffin lamps that create a cozy atmosphere.
Volunteers have a local cook who will cook at the house on charcoal stoves. Breakfast will be a simple affair consisting largely of bread, jam and fruit, dinner will consist of any combination of; rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, ugali (a maize meal porridge), chapattis, spaghetti, cabbage, spinach, beans, seasonal vegetables, eggs, beef stew, etc. Most meals are vegetarian. You will be given a 5000 UGX allowance per day for lunch. *Please let us know of any dietary restrictions in advance.