We reach deep into the villages to drive local economic development. Set the foundations for sustainable businesses in the community.
About the Program
This remote community relies heavily on subsistence farming and many are unaware of possible business opportunities that they could capitalize on. People are however becoming increasingly aware of enterprising opportunities, but just don't have the skills and know-how to go about realizing them.
Not only are local people increasingly eager to generate household incomes to improve the quality of life, but the fragmented land typical of this region is insufficient to support growing populations and also subject to increasingly unpredictable rainy seasons. Business, strategy, finance, marketing... are all areas in which we need help in order to teach the local community about improved planning and the business basics to set the foundations for sustainable enterprises in the community.
Big Beyond Uganda volunteers live within the Great Rift Valley on the edge of a mountain rainforest called Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in the far south west of the country. It's a breathtaking little corner of the world, home to one of the world's most endangered primates - the incredible Mountain Gorilla.
Green, lush, mountainous and remote, it's not dry dusty Africa some may know and you'll be travelling away from the masses, to a very friendly community we know you'll enjoy living in. We're nestled in a beautiful small village right on the southern borders of one of Africa's most impressive national parks, surrounded by rolling hills, majestic lakes, tropical rainforest, extinct volcanoes - it's an awesome landscape with immense biodiversity.
Projects are based in and around the "town" (or big village) which will sometimes involve walking to reach the people you're working with, particularly if it's the Batwa tribe who live right on the edges of the forest where there's no road. It's a place where you'll keep fit (if you like that sort of thing), but for those that don't, nothing is very far away. In your free time the hiking is brilliant, the wildlife surreal, you're surrounded by nature and you get to live and work with fun, inspiring local people. This unique opportunity offers you authentic immersion in rural Africa where you'll feel totally safe, relaxed and inspired every day.
You will be working in a different context, so we need creative and innovative volunteers to work in such a resource-contrained environment. You should enjoy discovering simple opportunities from limited financial capital and human resources. Through these projects you will be a real part of building the foundations for a self-sufficient Africa, reducing the need for hand-outs.
You're well placed to explore one of the most beautiful regions of Africa! We can help organize incredible adventures, from cultural explorations to wildlife and wellness experiences. The local area is perfect for trail running, hiking, gentle strolls, bakiga dancing and learning new skills from the local people.
Of course one thing you shouldn't miss when you come to this part of the world is gorilla trekking. You need a permit to track gorillas in Bwindi and only 12 permits are issued per day per gorilla group, in order to limit human to animal contact. We can help organize your permit.
Day or weekend trips could also include climbing the Virunga Volcanoes, relaxing at Lakes Bunyoni or Mutanda, or perhaps safari at Queen Elizabeth National Park
Activities are not included in the program, fee but we will help make arrangements for you in advance of your trip so you can sit back, relax and enjoy the excitement of what’s to come. If you’d prefer to decide once you’re out there - that’s no problem either, just speak to our expert team in Uganda and they’ll organize everything for you.
You’ll be escorted by one of the Big Beyond team from Kigali, across the border to your new home in Uganda. The journey is a combination of private vehicle and public transport. The journey takes about 5 hours door to door and goes past some beautiful scenery, so get a window seat and start getting excited!
Our cosy and rural retreat has bed space for ten people. Depending on how many volunteers are around, you may have your own room, although it’s more likely that you’ll be sharing. Some rooms have bunk beds, others singles and there’s a double bed for any resident couples. Bedding and mosquito nets are provided. We harvest water from rain and heat it over a fire, so you'll be able to indulge in hot showers. There's also a cosy, communal living and dining area, both inside and out.
We will provide three vegetarian, nutritious and locally-sourced meals a day, sometimes traditionally Ugandan (chapatti, sweet potato and rice) and sometimes a little more international (pizza, homemade bread and lentil curry). There's not refrigeration and there's also not a wide range of food available here, as you may be used to, but we try to be creative at mealtimes.
We aim to strengthen cultural values that can be lost in a changing world, raise pride and celebrate the mix of different cultures in the area.
Help the community to benefit from Uganda’s emerging tourism industry. The Bwindi Tourism Club is under development and we need volunteers to help.
We work in health prevention. Projects may include teaching preventative methods, running events, doing health research or improving the local clinic.
Education lies at the core of our development objectives, because knowledge builds individual capacity, understanding, and ultimately, greater choice.
Help with conservation efforts for the protection of mountain gorillas and the incredible Bwindi forest.
Large or intimate, we have found that events are one of the best ways to engage the community, impart positive messages, and to entertain.