VOLUNTEER IN UGANDA

Life in Africa means walking on red dirt roads as you pass vibrantly colorful markets, rows of emerald green banana trees, and crowds of happy kids who love playing outside before English lessons start. With weekends and vacation time to explore what this country has to offer, Uganda is also a place where you can do even more outside of the classroom. If you’re looking for a semester full of adventure, experience, and multiple ways to give back, this country is for you.

City: Lugala

Service: Uganda is one of ILP’s Humanitarian programs. You will help children of limited means by helping them learn English through the ILP method (more on that below!). There will likely be other opportunities to serve as well.

Life Abroad: Live together with a group of other volunteers, enjoy local foods like beans, pasta, rice, and jackfruit, and even learn to speak some phrases in Luganda (the locals will love you for it!).

Semesters: Fall semester is late August – December. Spring semester is late January – April. Summer semester is late April – August.

Group Size: About 8-11 volunteers.

Help Children In Uganda Learn The English Language

Over 100 local languages are spoken in Uganda; because the country is so multilingual, English is a unifying language and commonly spoken. It’s used for everything from business to government and all public education classes. However, the children you will be teaching typically aren’t speaking English at home, which means learning English quickly and successfully will impact how well they do in school. Think about having your first day of school and sitting through a math lesson and a test in a language you don’t understand.

There’s a high drop out rate in Uganda, and one of the main causes for this is kids struggling with the language. The goal of ILP classes is to help kindergarten-age students (about 3-6 years old) speak English naturally so that they’re better prepared to do well in school now and also continue to speak English fluently later in life. All ILP programs help children learn a skill that will benefit them in the future, but in Uganda, English is a skill that’s needed now while they’re young.

There will also be many other opportunities and projects where you can serve the community in other ways if you’d like to in your free time, such as clean water projects (help preserve a spring to provide clean water to hundreds or even thousands of local people), help with health and hygiene classes, etc.

The Pearl of Africa

Uganda gets this nickname because of its beautiful weather! No matter which semester you choose to volunteer in, you’ll find sunny days hanging around 80 degrees with some spurts of rain to cool things off.

EXPLORE AFRICA

While you’ll find more than enough to see and experience in Uganda, you can also travel to top vacation spots in neighboring, approved destinations.

  • Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda: This is just one of the top spots for safari in Uganda where you can spot elephants, buffalo, hippos, lions and others; if you get lucky, you might even spot a leopard.
  • Sipi Falls, Uganda: Enjoy your trek out to these stunning waterfalls and don’t forget to jump in and cool off in the pools before hiking back out.
  • Kidepo National Park, Uganda: Some call this spot the “best of Uganda”. Another national park hiding some of the animals you’re itching to see in person, you’ll find towering mountains and lush plains and of course, animals like elephants, baboons, ostriches, and the occasional lion and giraffe.
  • Lake Bunyoni, Uganda: Head towards the Rwanda border to stay at a lodge on this gorgeous lake overlooking islets; you can swim and take nature walks where you may spot some zebras!
  • Kenya: This country is home to the classic African safari. If you time your visit right, you can Jeep in to see around 1.5 million African plain animals make the trek across the grassy Mara plains for greener pastures.
  • Zambia: A guided walking safari is a must in Zambia, or head to the incredible Victoria Falls to kayak at the base or even swim in Devil’s Pool above.
  • Zimbabwe: Another country where you must visit the natural wonder that is Victoria Falls! Spot rhinos in Matopos National Park, explore the Great Zimbabwe Ruins, or go hiking in the east.
  • Mozambique: For this coastal destination go island hopping and spot whales and dolphins; test your hand at snorkeling and scuba diving to see even more.
  • Rwanda: Hop over for the chance to hike volcanoes or relax on the shores of a few lakes. You’ll find plenty of lodges and resorts nestled deep into the green mountains of Rwanda or situated right on the beaches of clear mountain lakes.
  • The Seychelles: A chain of 100+ islands, you’ll find turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and swaying palm trees. Along with some of the best seafood around, these tiny islands are also home to massive tortoises the size of a bathtub.

Gorillas, zebras, elephants, chimpanzees, lions, leopards, giraffes!

If part of the reason you’re interested in coming to this part of the world is because it’s home to your favorite animals, we don’t blame you. You’ll find plenty of conservation and national parks sprinkled throughout Uganda; there’s even an island chimpanzee sanctuary an hour or two outside your home! This part of Africa is quite famous for gorilla trekking as it’s one of the last chances to see them in their natural habitat. We have a feeling a safari will be at the top of your bucket list this semester.

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