Live and work with a Ugandan led initiative, supporting education in classrooms and community groups.
Chronic underdevelopment in Uganda is a problem not easily solved. Remote rural living, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, a subsistence economy, loss of hope, and lack of services helps to keep many families dependent upon hand-outs, malnourished, and uneducated. Currently, there are few real ways to generate funds at the village level to support anything other than subsistence living. Therefore, The Real Uganda has developed relationships with local communities to help provide start-up funds, knowledge, and motivation all necessary to solve their respective problems in a sustainable way.
About the Program
Volunteers in the Village Teaching program provide arts and crafts, structured play, music/singing, sports, health, and academics at the primary or secondary level. Volunteers are needed in local schools to give students an alternate learning experience. Traditional teaching in Uganda is rote learning and memorization. Our main focus is to provide children with a loving, creative and interactive environment in which to flourish.
Volunteers choose which subjects and age groups to teach upon arrival. They work independently to plan lessons using government curriculum and textbooks. Please be aware that there are few (if any) resources available at school. Volunteers should bring any supplies, teaching materials, or instruments they wish to make use of. (Or plan to buy here – why not support our economy?) This is a challenging but amazing program for volunteers with experience organizing children, such as camp counselors, day care workers, and people who love children. Bring your games, songs, and enthusiasm to the village!
In the Community Outreach part of the program volunteers will join in on the work of their host organization. Volunteer activities include youth mentoring through sport and art, women empowerment, small business development, handicraft making, light construction, micro-finance administration, educational materials development, conducting seminars, and maintaining wells and other village infrastructure. A community outreach placement is particularly appropriate for volunteers with great ideas and enthusiasm for grassroots development. This is a real opportunity for deep cultural exchange.
By working and living with international volunteers, local people receive education and learn to generate income on their own, resulting in a diminishing need for outside help. Volunteers complement local staff, and provide cultural exchange and skills to all levels of society. Your presence and care not only builds self-worth and confidence in adults, but gives kids a chance to have fun and express creativity through sport and art programs. We’ve found it’s not always what volunteers teach, but how they teach that makes the impact. Come prepared to give encouragement, love and creativity to everyone you meet.
School terms vary annually but are likely to be: Feb 1 to April 15, May 15 to August 15, Sept 15 to November 30.
Uganda is a beautiful, peaceful, fun and very welcoming country. Volunteers can easily meet up on weekends to travel. Popular tourist activities in Uganda include wildlife safari, white water rafting and bungee jumping on the River Nile, chimpanzee and gorilla tracking, nature walks and forest hikes. Volunteers are encouraged to see as much of the country as possible. Volunteers are provided with assistance in setting up tourist activities either before or after arrival.
The Real Uganda also encourages volunteers to visit each other at their respective program placements. We find volunteers learn more about grassroots development, locally led initiatives and themselves, the more they see and do while in Uganda. All volunteers are provided with contact information for each other before and after arrival.
The fee covers support while you prepare for Uganda, airport pickup, first night hotel, orientation, transportation to your placement, food, accommodation, guesthouse use, supervision, and a donation to the organization with which you are working.
Volunteers must arrive around the 1st or 15th of the month they start volunteering. They should fly into Entebbe International Airport. We have procedures for all arrival times and flights. Our driver collects our volunteers and brings them to our Mukono Town headquarters for orientation and placement. 1 week before volunteers leave home, they are given an email detailing their arrival and first few days in Uganda.
Volunteers are given a private, lockable room (often shared with another international volunteer) in the home of your host organization's director. Most homes have electricity, western toilets, and running water, although frequent outages do occur. Once a volunteer commits to join us, and a particular host program is selected, full details about location and accommodation are then provided. Bed linens and mosquito nets are provided, but bring a pillow as they're not commonly used in Uganda.
Volunteers receive 3 meals of local Ugandan food each day. Meals consist of matooke (mashed steamed banana), posho (corn meal), potatoes, and rice. They are generally served with peas, beans, groundnut sauce and (occasionally) beef or fish. Tea and bread is the usual for breakfast. Vegetarians are welcome! Dairy products are rare. Volunteers can supplement their diets with locally bought fresh fruits and veg if they wish.
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