Gap year travelers who enroll for the Construction and Community Development Volunteer Program in Uganda enjoy a wide variety of work opportunities. This is a one-of-its-kind volunteer abroad program which involves a lot of field work as well as vocational training initiatives. Volunteers who would not shy away from working under the sun are surely going to enjoy every little work time spend in this project. The entire batch of volunteers teams up to give the infrastructures in the area a fresh and colorful look. Trained volunteers can also take part in educational training workshops and be actively involved in project monitoring tasks as well. Volunteering for construction and community development is a well-rounded project for those interested in working for varying roles and interacting with locals for a great exposure that has a lasting impact.
Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project. You need to have an open mind and a flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment. The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference and should be willing to work outdoors and get their hands dirty. Participants must be fit and healthy at the time of joining the program. Participants should have no criminal convictions and should provide a clean criminal background check report. A parental consent form shall be required for Under 18 participants joining the program.
Volunteer Roles & Responsibilities
This program is best suited for volunteers interested in fieldwork and community development tasks. Depending on the time of the project, volunteers will be needed in;
- Site preparation (demolition, digging, clearing rubble, bricklaying, plumbing, carpentry and so on).
- Beautification of the site that includes work like planting trees, landscaping, community cleanups, painting murals, and other related work.
The other area of work is community development where volunteers will assist the local teams in community development initiatives. These include;
- Business training
- Women microfinancing
- Environmental conservation
- Sanitation and other development projects.
Volunteer Work Schedule
The schedule for the volunteers remains as follows;
- Sunday - Arrival at Uganda, Kampala
- Monday - An orientation session will be conducted by the local coordinator, covering topic areas; such as safety, culture, language, places to visit, behavior, food, and other suggestion over things to do in Uganda.
- Tuesday to Fri - Volunteer work
- Breakfast - 07:30 am onwards
- Leave for the project - 09:00 am
- Working hours at the placement - 10:00 am to 04:00 pm
- Lunch - 01:00 pm onwards
- Dinner - 07:00 pm onwards
- Weekends - Free to explore the city
The same volunteer work schedule continues from the second week onwards
Note: Please note, the schedule may vary depending on the particular project the volunteer is participating on.
As you arrive at the Entebbe International Airport near Kampala, we take care of everything starting right from the airport pick up to the accommodation, meals and local assistance. You will also get a comprehensive pre-departure information booklet and other assistance to prepare you for living in the city. Living options for various projects in Uganda range from host family accommodation, volunteer house, and guest house. All necessary facilities are provided in the accommodation for a comfortable stay of volunteers.
Upon your arrival at Entebbe International Airport near Kampala, our coordinator will pick you up and transfer you to your accommodation. In case you are coming by road or are already in Kampala, you need to inform us beforehand and the pickup will be arranged accordingly.
Volunteers are provided accommodation at a guesthouse which is located about 3-5 minutes’ drive and about 15-20 minutes walk from Mukono Central business town within a very humble neighborhood. The guesthouse is very close to facilities like banks, supermarkets, hotels and restaurants.
The guest house has self-contained rooms, a large dining/ conference area, a view area/ gardens, on site water facilities and well managed facilities by our local team in Uganda.
Some of the facilities available for the volunteers include, western toilets and showers, camping tents for hire, laundry services at additional cost, bikes for hire, and security guard.
Our program coordinator will give you an orientation about the placement, local transport, facilities around the accommodation and necessities like ATMs, banks, restaurants, shops, pharmacy, local customs, and practices, Do’s and Don’ts, safety and so on. Please feel free to ask any questions to the coordinator if you need any more information.
3 meals a day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided from Monday to Friday. Breakfast and dinner will be given at the accommodation whereas lunch will be provided at the program location.
Breakfast includes tea/coffee, bread, jam, fruit and one dish (eggs, porridge, French toast, cereal etc.). Lunch is mostly prepared by local families or community members and typically includes meat (beef or chicken or fish), potatoes and rice.
Our program coordinator may take you occasionally to a local restaurant for lunch. Dinner includes vegetable, meat once or twice a week, rice, maize etc.
On weekends, only breakfast and dinner will be given. For lunch, you can go to the good local restaurants. The program coordinator will recommend the restaurants and other activities to do during the weekend. Weekend trips can also be taken up after consulting the coordinator and your fellow volunteers.
Always be wary of local street food as at most of the times it is contaminated or half cooked or made by unhealthy components. Do not drink tap water directly. Brushing your teeth with tap water is fine. You can purchase packaged water bottles from a supermarket for drinking.
Most of the program locations are within a walking distance from the program location and in cases where travel is required, volunteers are picked up and dropped back on either a boda-boda (motorcycle) or a jeep/car. None of the program locations or local utility shops are within a 5 – 10 minutes walking distance of the accommodations.
Please Note: -An application fee of $199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of £179 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of $299 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment) Please Note: -An application fee of €199 is charged over and above the program fee as an application payment. (A 4% international banking fee is charged at the time of payment)
What are you Paying for?
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Airport pickup from Entebbe International Airport in Uganda
- Round the clock assistance of our in-country coordinator and local staff
- Program orientation by our in-country program coordinator
- Drop and pickup from your accommodation to the placement (if the placement is located beyond walking distance)
- Certificate Of Completion (Upon Request)
What's NOT included?
- International/Domestic airfare
- Visa fees
- Insurance (can be purchased from us at a nominal cost)
- Cost of vaccinations
- Local transport and personal expenses
- Airport transfer while departing
- Local tours and weekend tours (can be booked through our Travel Desk)
FAQ's Application and Program Details
It is advised to apply for the projects once the volunteering/ traveling dates are decided as there are limited spots available. The application fee is valid for one full year and can be sent earlier than the desired year of volunteering for timely confirmation of the seat. As soon as you decide the travel dates, we suggest you apply for the program and hold your spot. We abide by the first come first serve policy.
Usually, it takes around 10-12 working days for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. After we review your CV and documents, your booking is confirmed and the booking confirmation is updated in your My Account and you can view the information in your account. The application acceptance depends on the availability of seats in the project as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Below are the necessary requirements to participate in the Uganda volunteer projects:
Volunteers must be 17 years or older at the time of joining the project.
Volunteers joining the medical volunteer project must be either Pre-Medical, Medical or Nursing student or possess other qualifications related to medical and nursing field. Medical professionals such as doctors and nurses are also welcome to join the program.
Volunteers need to have an open mind and flexible attitude for working in a new and different environment.
The volunteer should bring energy and enthusiasm to make a difference.
Clean Criminal Background Check Report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching Projects is necessary.
Participants must be in good health.
Yes, you are welcome to take part in Uganda Volunteer Program as part of a group. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together in the Uganda program.
Yes, most definitely you can as we believe every participant brings something new to the project. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy – not only are our Volunteer Abroad opportunities rooted in offering you extensive support, but they are also very affordable.
Yes, we will provide you with the Certificate after successful completion of your program. The certificate is provided on request.
Volunteering Solutions offers projects placements in the suburban areas of capital city Kampala and in and around the town of Mukono which is around 30 km from Kampala.
Interested participants working in the town of Mukono can also visit Jinja- which is the source of river Nile.
All volunteers need to arrive at Entebbe International Airport on the program start date i.e Sunday.
Our in-country coordinator/representative will pick you up from the airport and take you to the accommodation. Our in-country coordinator would give you an orientation about the program, placement, accommodation, facilities around the accommodation and placement, local customs, safety etc. Once you get familiar with the accommodation and surrounding area, you can relax for a while.
If you are already in Kampala or arriving in Kampala by road, please provide us with the necessary details like your contact number and arrival time/location, so that we can coordinate/arrange? for the pickup.
Volunteers usually work for 4 to 6 hours a day depending on their program. You will have weekends off so you can travel on weekends. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change as well on certain occasions.
Flights and Visa
All participants traveling to Uganda can obtain Visa by applying at Ugandan Embassy/High Commission located in their country of residence. Citizens of some countries can also get the Visa on arrival. Please consult the Ugandan Embassy / High Commission for more detailed information. Participants can also apply for E-Visa to Uganda. To apply for E-Visa, click here.
Entebbe International Airport near Kampala is well connected with majority of the airlines from all over the world.
Major airlines flying in and out of Uganda are KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, Air France.
Health and Safety
Uganda is one of the developing countries in East Africa. People in Uganda are very warm and hospitable. In general, Uganda is a safe destination.
You will be given safety precautions and instructions by the local coordinator team during the orientation as well as in your Pre-departure handbook after you become an enrolled participant. However one needs to consider local customs and follow local practices.
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Uganda. To view the general list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Uganda, click here.
Yes, for all participants, it is mandatory to have a valid travel medical insurance for their trip. Volunteers have the option to purchase Travel and Medical Insurance at a nominal extra cost from Volunteering Solutions. To provide the best option to our participants, we offer comprehensive insurance coverage in collaboration with a leading insurance provider.
If you already have a valid Travel and Medical insurance, you can email us a copy of the same. It is also advised to bring along the Insurance documents during your trip.
Accommodation and Living
Volunteers in Uganda are provided accommodation with either a host family or at a volunteer house (subject to availability).You may let us know your preference and we will try our best to accommodate you. It is shared accommodation. The accommodation has all the basic facilities which ensure a comfortable and safe stay to our participants.
In the Orphanage Project, accommodation is can be provided in the project premises as well.
Participants are provided with 3 meals a day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner, from Monday to Friday. Breakfast and dinner would be at the accommodation whereas lunch would be provided at the program location. Breakfast includes tea/coffee, bread, jam, fruit and one dish (eggs, porridge, French toast, cereal etc.). Lunch is mostly prepared by local families or community members and typically includes meat (beef or chicken or fish), potatoes and rice. At times the program coordinator may take you to a local restaurant for lunch. Dinner includes vegetable, meat (once or twice a week), rice, maize etc.
On weekends, breakfast and dinner would be provided at the accommodation. For lunch, you can try out some local restaurants. The program coordinator would be happy to guide you to the restaurants or food joints. If you go for a tour, then you can have lunch at a local restaurant there.
Always be wary of local street food as most of the times it is contaminated or half cooked or made with unhealthy components. It is not advised to consume tap water directly, however for cleaning purposes like brushing your teeth, tap water is fine. You can purchase packaged water bottles from a supermarket for consumption.
Yes, however, you must inform us in advance and also mention about any dietary requirement in your application form.
Your program coordinator or a member of the local coordinating team will take you to your placement and introduce you to everyone after giving you a basic orientation about the program, its surroundings and other facilities around the location. There will be an assistant program coordinator present at the program location.
If the program location is within walking distance from your accommodation, then you need not ?worry about transport. In case the program location is a little further away from your accommodation, then you will be commuting to and fro by a car or boda-boda (motorcycle).
Depending on your project placement, you will get evenings and the weekends free, to travel and explore the place.During the free time on weekdays, you can venture out for a walk to the main market and explore some of the good restaurants. However, we would recommend not to stay out after 7 pm.
On the weekends, you can go for the weekend trips like Source of the Nile at Jinja or a visit to Entebbe Zoo or a trip to the Equator. There are safari tours as well. Please contact our travel desk for more information and book the trips.
We recommend bringing comfortable clothing like T-shirts, sweat shirts, jeans, skirts etc. Since the region is near to the Equator, light showers are pretty common, and the nights are little colder so carrying a jacket would be a good idea.The main idea is to be dressed comfortably and modestly.
The country has a different set of customs and traditions and it is always a good idea to be respectful towards their beliefs and follow the local customs. Sports shoes or sandals, basically comfortable footwear must be included.
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses. You will need to provide for yourself your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. However, you should carry around $40-$50 per week for your basic personal expenses. This amount can vary and you would need a higher amount if you choose to go on weekend trips out of town. The return trip to the airport is approximate $40-$50 depending on your location.
You can change some money upon your arrival at Entebbe Airport. You can also change money at any of the banks near to your accommodation or program location. We recommend not changing a large amount in a single transaction. Instead, we recommend you to change money after 3-4 days as per your requirement. There is a very good network of ATMs as well.
You can get a local SIM card from the local market. You can get it from a company store or from any shop selling prepaid SIM cards. You need to show your passport. Airtel and MTN are the leading telecom operators. There are internet/cyber centers in the main market if you wish to browse the net.
Connect with Past Volunteers
We encourage volunteers to get in touch with former Volunteering Solutions program participants and also other program participants joining our projects. You are recommended to join the Volunteering Solutions Facebook Page or Facebook Group to communicate with other participants.
To read alumni interviews from past participants, visit ?the Meet a Volunteer section on our website.