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Uganda

 

Uganda is the lush pearl of Africa on the northern shore of Lake Victoria where the Eastern African Savannahs meet the western rainforests. The natural wonders of the country include dramatic waterfalls, incredible wildlife including the last troops of mountain gorillas, and Lake Victoria, the second largest lake in the world. The people of Uganda are well known for their hospitality and warmth. Uganda ranks among the world's poorest countries and has little in the way of basic infrastructure such as electricity, running water, waste management, and access to education and healthcare. ELI works with local organizations based in Iganga District, about three hours east of the capital Kampala. Iganga town lies on the Mombasa to Kampala Highway--one of East Africa's major transportation routes. The bustling highway gives the false impression that the town is teeming with traffic, but just a few hundred yards from the highway, cars become a rare sight and quiet village life takes over.

The plight of the "Invisible Children" brought volunteers to Uganda in huge numbers, but it was only a temporary upsurge. ELI Abroad began working there before the upsurge and continues on now, working with worthy projects in our base city of Iganga. You can volunteer or intern in youth projects and teaching, microfinance, women's programs, public health,or wildlife conservation. Take in the source of Nile river, just 30 minutes away on the weekend, checkout the mountain gorillas or Kampala, the booming capital.

Volunteers and interns can choose from joining a wide variety of locally initiated projects. Whether you are interested in working with children or helping a widow's group learn the basics of accounting, living and working in Uganda will change the way you see the world.

Volunteer & Internship Programs

Youth

School for Poor and Orphaned Children

According to the World Bank over 1 million orphans are growing up in Uganda. After losing their parents, many children move in with relatives. The additional children place a large burden on the families who often don't have the resources to send their own children to school. Children living with their extended families often face a bleak future of hard work and little opportunity for education. Our coordinator in Uganda has started a school aimed at assisting and empowering these children through education programs, skills training, and other activities. Volunteers are welcome to assist with teaching, and are encouraged to lead other activities such as sports and arts in order to enrich the lives of the children. Volunteers working in this school will assist with the day to day care of the children, teach reading and arithmetic, and assist with improving the facilities. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Women's Programs

Women's Empowerment

As in many countries in Africa, Ugandan women are marginalized through limited opportunity for education, lack of economic opportunities, and other factors. ELI works with community organizations committed to providing women with the tools they need to improve their prospects. Interns will work with local organizations in order to learn firsthand about the factors contributing to the marginalization of women in Uganda and design programs to promote equality between men and women. Past interns have designed and led workshops focusing on issues such as financial literacy, income generation, health and hygiene education, family planning, and adult literacy. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Microfinance

Microfinance

The field of Microfinance has received a lot of attention since Muhanned Yunus received a Nobel Prize after founding the Grameen Bank. Thousands of microfinance institutions (MFIs) provide financial services at the community level in Uganda, usually through Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs). SACCOs have had mixed results--a few have been very successful while others struggle to survive. Interns in this program work in a SACCO with a successful track record. The first few weeks are spent working with the SACCO staff to get an idea of the day to day activities, the strengths of the organization, and to determine what projects within the SACCO to pursue during the rest of the internship. Interns can pursue a wide variety of projects in collaboration with the organization including business skills development, developing business plans, microfinance education outreach, and project monitoring and evaluation. Our volunteer Anders, talks of his experience here.

Participants in the project must commit to at least six weeks. Past experience in banking, accounting, or financial services will be a real advantage. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Medical, Public Health, Physical Therapy

Health

HIV/AIDS:
Uganda has been hit hard by the AIDS epidemic. The countryside is dotted with villages abandoned after the disease raged through, killing many of the adults, but Uganda is seen as a success story in Africa. The prevalence of HIV infection topped out around 15% in the early 1990s and since then the official prevalence rate has dropped to around 6%. Interns with this project will work with social workers, health professionals, and community organizations devoted to providing care and support services to people affected by HIV/AIDS. Interns will accompany social workers on home visits, develop educational programs, assist with the distribution of Antiretroviral treatments, and pursue other projects. Participating in this project will give interns insight into the fight against AIDS in Africa as well as help interns to understand the human impact of the disease.

This project is part time only. Volunteers with the HIV project should choose another project to get involved in as well.  This program works well in conjunction with a medical internship

Health Volunteers:
Healthcare is one of Uganda's largest challenges. The country has an average doctor to patient ratio of 1 to 25,000. The Majority of doctors live in the larger cities, but 80% of Uganda's population lives in rural areas where doctors and nurses are scarce. Qualified health professionals such as doctors, nurses, physician's assistants, and physical therapists are welcome to assist in the Iganga hospital in eastern Uganda. Both the hospital staff and facilities are stretched to the limits. Some patients are forced to either share a bed or sleep on the floor. Qualified health volunteers will make an immediate difference in the lives of the people they work with in the community. Questions? Click here

Medical and Physical Therapy Internships:
Volunteers and interns work with doctors and nurses in a hospital or small clinic in Eastern Uganda. Interns will have the opportunity to gain hands on experience in a general care clinic while learning first hand about the challenges facing Uganda's healthcare system. Staff at the clinics will assign tasks based on the skills and past experience of the intern.

Interns with no previous clinical experience have the opportunity to shadow the doctors and nurses as well as pursue public health projects including educational programs covering topics such as HIV/AIDS/STD prevention, hygiene practices, and nutrition. Undergraduate students may apply for this program, but all activities will be at the discretion of their supervisors. Questions? Click here

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Wildlife

Wildlife

Wildlife Internship:
Uganda is classified as an "ultra diverse" country with over 1500 native species of mammals, birds, and reptiles. Due to a combination of lack of education, political turmoil in the 1970s and 1980s, deforestation, and poverty, many of the native species of Uganda face the threat of extinction. The Uganda Wildlife Education Center is working hard to promote the importance of conserving the biodiversity of Uganda among the Ugandan people, especially the younger generations. The UWEC operates an animal rescue center manages captive breeding programs for threatened species such as the Rothschild Giraffe, and facilitates educational programs, Interns with this program will assist with the care of the animals in the rescue center, record observations of the animals' behavior, and assist with the educational programs. Questions? Click here

Interns must have a demonstrated interest in wildlife management, zoology, veterinary medicine, or related field. 

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Cost & Details

Cost

Length
of Program
Volunteer
Programs
Medical
Programs
Wildlife
Program Fee
2 Weeks US $395 US $590 N/A
3 Weeks US $487 US $660 N/A>
4 Weeks US $534 US $730 US $1595
5 Weeks US $661 US $805 US $1845
6 Weeks US $748 US $880 US $2095
7 Weeks US $835 US $955 US $2345
8 Weeks US $922 US $1030 US $2595
9 Weeks US $1009 US $1105 US $2845
10 Weeks US $1096 US $1180 US $3095
11 Weeks US $1183 US $1255 US $3345
12 Weeks US $1270 US $1330 US $3595

Application Fee: $200
The application fee is a separate administrative charge for all programs. It does not apply to the program fee. (Please see our application fee refund policy here)

Programs require at least a two week commitment with a 6 month maximum. Each additional 2 weeks cost $140.

What's Included/What's Not

Program Fee Includes:

*Airport Pickup in Entebbe
*Accommodation
*Orientation Upon Arrival
*Volunteer Work Placement
*In-country coordinator available 24/7

Program Fee Does Not Include:

*Round-trip Airfare
*Return Trip to Airport 
*Required Travel and Medical Insurance
*Visa Fees

Apply Now

After you fill out the Application Form on our website, our Application Advisor will be in touch to help you with the next steps.

Accommodations

Accommodations:

Volunteers in Uganda stay with local host families. ELI truly believes that this is the best way to fully immerse in another culture and get the most from an international experience. All families are carefully screened and are well-respected members of the community with at least one family member who speaks English. Participants will have either a private or shared bedroom with secure storage (volunteer must provide own padlock). Bathrooms are shared with the host family. Please note that bathroom facilities are going to be very basic. Participants will need to be prepared to use pit toilets and take bucket baths. Participants will be provided with breakfast and dinner daily.

Start Dates

Arrival Dates

ELI's Uganda volunteers fly into Entebbe International Airport, located approximately 40 minutes from Kampala. While there are not set arrival dates in Uganda, the airport is 3 hours from Iganga, and we may request participants to attempt to time their arrival dates to coordinate airport pickups efficiently.

 

Where Can I Go?