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Firefly Uganda

Environmental Engineering & Construction Work

Ssese Islands, Uganda

Work on a variety of environmental projects to provide access to clean water, sanitation and better infrastructure, whilst protecting the environment we live in!

Passionate about environmental engineering, design and/or construction? We are looking for resourceful and innovative engineers and construction workers with an interest in creative environmental practices. Your contribution will be of immense value in providing access to clean water, sanitation and better infrastructure for the communities of the Ssese Islands, whilst preserving the beautiful natural scenery that is unique to this area.

We work on a variety of projects such as the design and construction of Banda Island Primary School, toilet composting and water purification methods and solar power stations, as well as the constant improvement of our volunteer camp and day-to-day basic upkeep. However, we encourage our volunteers to get involved in all aspects of all projects.

We welcome volunteers of all levels: whether you already are an experienced professional, or are looking to learn new skills, there is a place for you here at Firefly Uganda. We are always looking for new and original ideas, so if you have an interest in developing a particular craft please do get in touch!

Our volunteer camp is an environmental model that promotes a lifestyle that is harmonious and respectful of nature. At the moment it consists of safari tents, a kitchen and dining room area, bathroom with hot purified running water and solar panels for electricity, but we are constantly working towards improving and expanding our camp. The solar panels, the toilet composting and water purification systems, as well as the material we use for construction, are all designed to be in balance with the environment, both aesthetically and functionally.

Transparency, honesty and cooperation with the local community is very important to us. We are not here to impose Western values, but to work with the people to find solutions to the problems we have identified together. All projects and decisions are discussed in regular meetings with parents and representatives of the village.

Firefly Uganda runs a number of different volunteering programs, from teaching to agriculture, design and construction. All our programs are open and interchangeable: if you would like to get involved in more than one project, or suggest something new, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to do so!

We are a small team of dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the work we do: if you are looking for an opportunity to get deeply involved in a project, that will bring you the satisfaction of hard work in an environment that is fun and friendly, then Firefly Uganda is the place for you.

Firefly Uganda is tackling global environmental issues, while working hand in hand with the local communities of the Ssese Islands region of Uganda. We provide schools, better education, healthcare and environmental sustainability. 

Transparency, honesty and cooperation with the local community is very important to us. We are not here to impose Western values, but to work with the people to find solutions to the problems we have identified together.

Typical day

Days at Firefly Uganda can be as varied and diverse as you can imagine. There are many projects to get involved in, so your daily routine might vary depending on what you want to contribute to, and which projects we will be working on at the time of your stay. 

If construction work isn't the only project you would like to take part to, you will able to get involved in other things such as teaching, working on our permaculture farm or working on our media campaigns. On weekends we might take the time to catch up on other aspects of our projects, but we also make sure we take the time to relax and enjoy our time on the island. Essentially, schedules are very flexible: we work very hard to achieve the most, but we also believe that, in order to work well, it is  important to take some time off, and enjoy all the beauty Uganda has to offer.

Free-time activities

Our volunteer camp is located on Banda Island, a real off-the-grid paradise island, about 1.8 square kilometres in size, with lush vegetation, teeming with wildlife, and no roads, concrete buildings or loud traffic nuisances. 

If you enjoy being immersed in nature and listening to the sound of birds singing, wind blowing through the trees and waves crashing onto the shore, then this is the place for you. 

If you enjoy birdwatching, we have over 35 species of bird on our little island, including some rare ones to spot, such as the Crowned African Eagle, one of the largest eagles in Africa. 

If you enjoy swimming, then look no further: we are located on the world's second largest fresh water lake, and our camp is set right on the beach, so swimming is safe and easily accessible all the time! 

If you are looking for something more challenging, we offer waterskiing, wakeboarding and speedboating across the islands. We are also working on a mountain bike trail that we hope will be accessible soon.

If you enjoy walking, hiking or running in nature, you can follow the paths that will take you across the island, or explore new ones!

There is a football field where you can play football with the kids from the village, or you can take part in a game of pool with the locals in the village. 

If you are a kite or wind surfer then take your board with you, we get great winds on the lake and we hope we will soon have our own boards available.

If you would rather lie in the sun to read a book or work on your tan then have no fear, the sun is no rarity around here. And if you enjoy a good game of cards or backgammon, well - challenge accepted!

If you join one of our programs, Safari and Kampala trips are included in your package.

Water Sports
Swimming
Safari/Zoo
Hiking
Sports

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s). Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Education Requirements
at High School level
Required Documents
Application Form
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Families
Groups

Any questions? Just ask. We at Firefly Uganda are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
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Included Services

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We refund your fees if Firefly Uganda cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Firefly Uganda.
Services by Firefly Uganda

All volunteering programs at Firefly Uganda include:

  • Accommodation in our volunteer camp and all meals, water, tea and coffee
  • Orientation activities, where you will learn about the history, culture and tradition of the Ssese Islands and its people
  • Fun activities such as waterskiing, speed-boating through the islands, and more - and if you enjoy a game of cards or backgammon, well then challenge accepted!
  • Cultural immersion activities such as weekly meals in the village, a weekend tour through the capital city of Kampala, a weekend on Safari through some of the most beautiful natural sceneries of the world, and more getaways for long-term volunteers
  • The opportunity to learn Luganda, the official language of the islands

Airport Pickup at Entebbe International Airport

You will be met at Entebbe International Airport, and all transport in Uganda will be arranged dependent on your arrival time. 

Accommodation

Our camp is situated on Banda island in the beautiful jungle, which is filled with amazing wildlife. We live a stones throw away from the waters edge and our sandy beaches are surrounded by palm trees. 

We have a number of 2 person safari tents in which each of our volunteers live, each tent is complete with beds, bedding and storage facilities.

In addition to this we have a full kitchen and dining area, which includes a gas stove and is the common area where volunteers can cook, eat and relax. 

Our camp is also fitted with a hot shower and an environmentally friendly toilet composting system which is connected to a western toilet. We run off solar power which provides us with electricity and light. 

Camping
Food & Beverages

All meals are included in the cost of the volunteering package, as well as tea, coffee and water. Meals are planned and prepared together, and all dietary requirements can be catered for. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Entebbe International Airport (EBB) in Entebbe. We assist you to find cheap flights to Uganda.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Uganda provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Uganda you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Uganda.
Costs (Prices in USD)
13 weeks (min. stay)
$2,125.00
14 weeks
$2,268.00
15 weeks
$2,410.00
16 weeks
$2,553.00
20 weeks
$3,123.00
28 weeks
$4,264.00
50 weeks (max. stay)
$7,400.00
Average fees
$156.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Ssese Islands/Uganda between 13 weeks and 50 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Firefly Uganda will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Uganda.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Firefly Uganda during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
Africa Eastern Africa Uganda Ssese Islands, Banda Island
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