Volunteer in UGAnda
starting at $380 all-in*
We work with orphanages and projects that care for vulnerable children in Mbarara and Masaka. When applying you can tell us in what city you would like to volunteer. If you want, you can also help part-time or full-time at a primary/secondary or nursery school; let us now when you apply.
Overview Volunteer Activities
On the right you see the overview; this is an indication of the activities. Our local team is always ready to learn new methods and skills, they are very eager to learn from western volunteers and will appreciate your inpunt in regards to new activities or projects.
Besides the activities mentioned in this overview, you might be asked to assist with other activities on the project.
Help disadvantaged children and young adults by teaching them important skills such as computer literacy, maths and English
Provide support to impoverished families, demonstrating sustainable agricultural practices and improving food production and diet
Be part of a relief programme to support poor families with food rations and clothing
Provide vital care and love to orphaned children and help them to experience a happier childhood
Help build or repair homes/schools, so that vulnerable children have adequate and safe shelter
A day at the project
Your workday starts with breakfast either at your host family or with other volunteers at the volunteer house. After that your personal coordinator will pick you up to take you to your project. In most cases you will go by foot or motortaxi (the boda boda).
Most days on the project start with a staff meeting during which the situation on the project and the program for the day will be discussed. After this meeting, the working day starts up until about 10 am; time for tea/coffee and something small to eat.
After this small break you will probably work in the project, or you will go to the field for sensitization/education or work on the ‘family home’ plan whereby you work on bringing orphans into a loving home from a family member.
At around 2 pm, it is lunchtime, after which you work until the end of the day. Your coordinator will bring you to your host family/volunteer house, where you can enjoy the evening with other volunteers and/or your host family, colleagues or new friends.
Because we are a non-profit organisation all the money left after we have paid the guesthouse/host family/project and paid all the expenses is spend on social projects.
Volunteer House / Host Family
It is simple! Fill in the form you see on the right and we will contact you to get the last details. After that we will send you our volunteer agreement (click to see an example) and after signing it and sending it back, you can book your flight!
And don’t worry if something is unclear, we have a team of experts to help you with any question you might have. Click here to have a look at the most asked questions; information about VISA requirements, insurance and much more. If you need to know more, just send us a message on WhatsApp!
Projects where you can volunteer
Our organisation works with a select few orphanages in and around Mbarara and Masaka. We also work with nursery schools and primary / secondary schools and you have the opportunity to volunteer at one or two of these projects. In the contact form you can let us know what you prefer and we will try to make the best program based upon your wishes.
Be sure to start your application process at least 2 months before the intended departure date!
There are some subjects that you need to look into before travelling to Uganda.
You will be living and working in Uganda on a volunteer permit. It is important to discuss this with your travel insurance agency.
Allowed medication in Uganda
Some types of medication are not allowed into the country, so be mindful and discuss this with your embassy and check pages like this one on Tripadvisor. Most medications are easily accessible in Uganda.
Obviously, we will try to advise you on these topics if something is unclear.
Upon arrival in Entebbe a representative of Joeboentoe will await you to either bring you to your lodge (if you arrive late) or to bring you to your project (when you arrive early in the morning).
The same applies for your return; we can only rest assured when we know you are safe and well on your return flight. Therefore, our representative will drop you at the door of Departures – Entebbe Airport, as far as he or she is allowed to go.
* We often get the question if it is possible to stay one or two nights in Entebbe to acclimatize after arrival. This is obviously no problem; just let us know, and we will arrange your stay in a nice lodge, and the same goes for the return flight.
We have multiple local project coordinators who are available 24/7 to provide assistance during your time at the project.
Furthermore, we have a Dutch representative of Joeboentoe who lives in Rukungiri district (south of Uganda) who will be available for questions the local project coordinators can’t answer. He regularly comes to visit you and the project to see if everything is going according to plan.
When you arrive in Entebbe Airport, a representative of Joeboentoe will be there to welcome you and drive you either to your project or to a lodge in Entebbe to acclimatize.
When you opt to stay with a host family in Uganda, they will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you tell them about your culture and local customs. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Uganda and have a truly unique experience.
When you choose to stay in a volunteer house, you will have to buy and prepare your own meals. But don’t worry, the basics for a healthy meal are never far away. If you really can’t (or don’t want to) cook, we can arrange for a cook/cleaner to come assist you!
The most important requirement is that you need to be a calm and loving person, ready to help where needed.
We stress that it is very important to be flexible throughout your time in Uganda. An open mind and a strong work ethic are good attributes to have, so that you may make the most of your time volunteering and be of the greatest value to the project.
Personal appearance is important to Ugandans, and therefore we want you to dress appropriate. In Ugandan culture, the knee and upper leg of a woman are something special, so please cover it. Cleavage is of no importance, as Ugandans see breasts as the milk supply for babies (so don’t be amazed if a woman pulls out a breast to feed her baby while talking to you). For men; short pants are worn by boys, so if you want to be seen as an adult, wear trousers. To all; travel light! Uganda has many second-hand clothes markets, so just buy clothes in Uganda and help the local economy at the same time!
Please remember to be respectful and considerate to the people you interact with. The staff and members of the community you are working with will have different cultural expectations and values to those that you believe to be right, or appropriate. The woke ideology of the West is not appreciated, so no They/Them or ‘I identify as a …’ or any outward showing of sexual preference. If you are attracted to the same sex and you are afraid of coming to Uganda; don’t be. The people actually don’t care about it as long as you keep it to yourself.
Another thing you need to learn to deal with is time. To be more precise; time is flexible, waiting is fine and ‘I am on my way’ can mean that the person will arrive somewhere this week or within five minutes. This also applies to our local coordinators, even though we try very hard to make them more Western in the way they keep time. So don’t be frustrated, but let our Dutch representative know when you are constantly running into time keeping problems with your project and/or coordinator.
The minimum age is 16, there is no maximum age.
When you want to come with a group of people (two or more participants) and you would like to stay together in a volunteer house or at a host family, we will have to make some special arrangements with regard to your accommodation. Please be sure to let us know when you are applying.
Uganda is beautiful! When you travel from the north to the south, you will see many landscapes and experience different microclimates. In your free time, we can arrange trips to one of the many National Parks in Uganda or one of the other amazing places to visit with beautiful names like ‘the mountains of the moon’.
Another trip can be a visit to the capital, Kampala. This crazy, busy and colourful metropole has an amazing nightlife, many cosy restaurants and is a great outing with a group of volunteers (with a coordinator to make sure everyone returns safely).
Even though it is obvious, let us emphasize; weekend trips/safaris are not included in the price of the project. However; we can arrange it for you and because we are a non-profit organization, the prices are a lot lower than if you were to go with a travel company.
According to the latest research by UNICEF, there are more than 2.5 million orphans on a population of 46 million. This is an estimate made in 2020 so in reality that number can be a lot higher especially when looking at the terrible effects of the lockdowns.
There are a few reasons why there are so many orphans in Uganda, the most important one is the loss of parents due to HIV/AIDS. Other reasons are accidents or in some cases one of the parents gets a disease like cancer and is not able to pay for treatment. In most cases, the child or children will be taken care of by a family member, but this is not always possible. A reason might be financial, or in some cases the family member has not been made aware. Part of our approach is searching for these family members and see if they can take care of their family member. If there is a problem, for instance drug abuse/alcoholism, we look for alternatives like a foster family.
There have always been issues with orphanages (for instance abuse) and in 2019 the government of Uganda decided to become stricter. This led to many orphanages closing and charities being barred from Uganda.
The orphanages we work with are all recognized by the Ugandan Government, and we do our very best to make sure they operate in a legit way.
Uganda has had very little Covid cases and deaths, therefore the restrictions are mostly lifted. Just be sure to check with your embassy to see the current requirements.
Ebola outbreaks occur from time to time, they are however not a big issue for the majority of Ugandans and visitors/tourists. Of course, when you are travelling using public transport, you want to be a bit more vigilant, but the chances of getting Ebola in Uganda are very small.