Volunteer in Uganda

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Working With Children

Location: Pallisa District, Jinja District (assigned)

                              

The work usually undertaken by volunteers in Uganda orphanages entails organising play, assisting with arts and crafts, and helping with feeding, hygiene and HIV/AIDS education. Volunteers in Uganda may be involved in some administrative tasks such as preparing budgets, writing proposals, and setting up and maintaining the children’s personal files.

One the largest children’s home that we place volunteers at is in fact a children’s home, primary school, secondary school, special needs unit, vocational school and clinic all in one facility set up and run by a wonderful Dutch couple to meet the desperate needs of the local community.

The children’s home caters to 200 children aged from 4 weeks to 16 years. The schools cater to all the orphans and also the local community. The children’s home is run under religious beliefs and although they do not require volunteers to hold the same religious values, they do require volunteers to be courteous of their beliefs.

At the children’s home, volunteers will be working in schedules alongside local staff. Some of the children have been found in extremely poor situations and come to the home malnourished and ill. It can be emotionally difficult for volunteers but the local staff are there to support volunteers whenever needed. 

As this program involves working closely with orphaned and at risk children a two week minimum commitment is required to participate. 

NOTE: placements in Pallisa District incur an additional charge of US$30 to help with transport costs.

For a list of fees for this program click here.

Apply now for this program

Teaching Program

Location: Mukono District, Ngora District, Gombe (assigned)

                              

On this program, volunteers are placed in a school in Uganda which has high levels of staff shortages as a result of limited funding and inadequate resourcing. These schools are also usually attended by orphaned and underprivileged children. For these reasons teaching volunteers in Uganda are very sorely needed here.

The teaching which volunteers in Uganda undertake is very varied and can cover one or more of a wide range of more academic subjects, as well as practical vocational skills. The majority of these skills help students to improve their career prospects.

Volunteers can plan and teach lessons in subjects such as English, Maths, Science, Physical Education, Health, HIV awareness and any other subject that the volunteer has knowledge and interest in. Volunteers can also plan fun activities and sports programs for recess times and after schools.

A lot of schools are also attempting to develop sustainable projects such as gardens, farming projects and water sanitation projects. Volunteers are more than welcome to help with these or develop their own projects along with local staff and students.

Due to school holidays in Uganda, this program will be closed from 14 May - 11 June, from 3 September - 25 September and from 10 December - 29 January. Volunteers who wish to volunteer during this time should opt for working with children.

NOTE: placements in Ngora District incur an additional charge of US$30 to help with transport costs.

For a list of fees for this program click here.

Apply now for this program

Medical and Health Programs

Location: Ngora and Pallisa (optional)

                            

Placements for volunteers in Uganda are available in a number of Uganda clinics and hospitals, where the volunteer’s role is tailored according to individual abilities and interests. Volunteers in Uganda may work directly with patients or perform office duties. Qualified medical personnel may work directly with patients and perform emergency duties; they might work in surgery settings or patient support areas. Medical students, pre-med students and those considering a career in health care are certain to find the volunteer experience extremely helpful in solidifying their chosen careers. Doctor-shadowing is another possibility. Volunteers in Uganda with no medical training will be asked to help patients and visitors in waiting rooms, the pharmacy and the in-patient areas. These volunteers also perform a valuable role assisting staff with daily office tasks, which may include manning the phones, filing, running errands, carrying out reception duties and data inputting.

The options for hospitals in Uganda include:

Ngora Health Centre 4 – This is like an outpatient clinic. Bazil is the head doctor and is often there to help out. Volunteers will work alongside doctors and nurses with outpatients, lab, malaria/TB /HIV testing, ART clinic, immunisations and maternity. This is also a very basic clinic and they are often dealing with shortages of testing kits and medication. It is also an extremely busy clinic with anywhere from 200-300 outpatients per day. There is an inpatients ward but very few patients stay in the hospital as they do not have food to provide patients and families will often live a great distance away. The government is funding the construction of an operating theatre which will hopefully be completed in 2015. This clinic is happy to have both medically trained volunteers and non-medical volunteers.

Ngora Health Centre 3/ Ngora District Maternity Unit - This clinic specialises in maternity but also sees a few outpatients a day. The clinic delivers approximately 200 babies per month and also complete the babies check-ups, immunisations, HIV testing and 6 week screening.  Again this is an extremely basic clinic and they often find themselves having to improvise as they do not have the equipment they need. Volunteers can assist the nurses with deliveries, check-ups, immunisations etc. A theatre has recently been built which means C-sections can take place on site. This clinic is happy to accept medical and non-medical volunteers

Ngora Freda Carr Hospital - This is a private hospital and is quite a lot larger than the other clinics is Ngora but is still extremely basic. This hospital has a surgical theatre where they will conduct C –sections and general surgeries – volunteers are able to assist if trained or observe if not. There is also inpatient, outpatient, lab, pharmacy, maternity, dental, immunisations etc. Volunteers can assist in any area of patient care that fits with their knowledge and interest. They will work alongside local staff to learn the ways on the hospital. This hospital also runs nurses training so volunteers can help to teach trainee nurses.

Pallisa Hospital - Is a 100 bed capacity public hospital located in Pallisa town which is approximately 200km east of Kampala. It has a large out-patient department that sees on average 300 patients each day. In addition, it has a Maternity unit where normal deliveries are conducted, a Theatre where C-sections are done as well as general surgeries, a Children's (pediatric) ward and general male and female wards. Volunteers usually assist in several departments during their placement.

All of the hospitals and clinics are extremely basic compared to what volunteers with medical experience would be used to. Volunteers need to be prepared to learn new ways to complete tasks and be willing to think outside of the box when working with patients due to lack of resources. 

For a list of fees for this program click here.