Why Volunteer in Uganda?
When searching for a study abroad program, you may want to consider contributing your time to assisting those less fortunate. Choosing to volunteer in Uganda could be a great opportunity to do just that. This program could combine your altruistic passions with an international experience in the heart of Africa. As you live and work in Uganda, you could have the chance to take part in village life and gain life experiences you may not have access to in your home country. This could mean anything from joining in on local traditions, exploring the native environment, or as simple as sharing a meal with your new neighbors.
Building Communities: Volunteering in Uganda
Volunteer work in Uganda may be a great way to combine your passion to serve a community with the exploration inherent in a study abroad program. You could potentially contribute in a variety of ways, such as serving as a medical assistant, teaching English, providing child care, supporting those with HIV/AIDS or promoting women’s education. This could be a great way to help develop and build a community, not to mention your own knowledge and skills!
While volunteering in Uganda, you might be able to live amongst the very people you are serving. You could experience the day-to-day routine of your temporary home and see the culture up close and personal. You might gain a better understanding of not only Uganda in general, but the unique aspects of the specific region you are residing in. Not to mention you could have the chance to socialize and become a part of a vibrant community!
Many programs may also offer excursions as part of the scheduled curriculum, making it easier to explore the large country of Uganda – or maybe even neighboring countries. These macro and micro program approaches could give you a comprehensive Ugandan experience!
FUN FACT! If you need to use the restroom in Uganda, say, “I need to make a short call.” This a polite way to excuse yourself. Don’t think everyone is getting up to use their phone during dinner!
Life in Uganda: Your Experience
While Uganda may not seem like a bustling tourist area, many internationals may be surprised to find a wealth of things to see and do in the “Pearl of Africa.”
A hearty meal might be a great way to start off a day sight-seeing. Uganda’s cuisine is often marked by the usage of potatoes, yams, and bananas in its meals. These are usually the starch component of the dish. If you’re looking for an authentic, rich meal, try some luwombo – a meat stew that is steamed in banana leaves. You might find this meal in restaurants but it is also a common household dish. If you go to a neighbor’s house for dinner, this may be the entree. More adventurous eaters could sample a bowl of deep-fried grasshoppers! They’re a popular, crunchy street food and are often heavily seasoned. Sound like a perfect snack?
Now that you have a full belly, it’s time to explore! Uganda is home to a vast array of wildlife and may offer many opportunities to get up close to some exotic animals. The country is especially known for its gorilla population. You may be able to sneak a peek of them in the Biwinidi National Forest. Guides often lead tours through this beautiful landscape to see the majestic apes.
When you think of the equator, you may think of Ecuador. But the Earth’s dividing line also runs through Uganda! Visit the middle of the earth on a day trip and enjoy jumping from the northern to the southern hemisphere – and back again! Uganda also has a variety of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Maybe use their compilation of sites as a to-do list!
Finding a Volunteer in Uganda Program
Volunteering in Uganda is one-part humanitarian mission and one-part international adventure – what more could you ask for? To start your journey, scroll further down this page to view a list of potential programs. When you find one that sounds interesting, click through the link to read more about the program or request additional information. All that’s left is to apply! International experiences and community service are waiting for you to volunteer in Uganda!