Ssamba Foundation recruits volunteers for our Mukono volunteering program to get involved in locally-run community, conservation, teaching, health care, building and sports projects around Uganda. Volunteers are an integral part of everything that happens at the organization. We couldn’t do it without them! Depending on the season, we always have a list of much needed services which can be provided by volunteers within our projects around Uganda.
Our Mukono Volunteering Program is an immersion program customized for individual travelers, students, professionals, families, groups, or anyone with the desire to serve in rural villages in Uganda.
COMMUNITY OUTREACHES & IMPROVEMENT OF LIVING STANDARDS
RURAL HEALTH PROJECTS
Ssamba Foundation reaches out to the rural villages with a team of volunteers for 2-5 days a week to organize health workshops. Ssamba Foundation aims to fight diseases by educating the communities in and around Mukono district about awareness and prevention. Drawing from the education seminars and resources from the Uganda Ministry of Health training programs, this objective is achieved through the exchange of knowledge in seminars, working together in organized camps, and Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) programs. Topics discussed in the seminars range from Malaria control, family planning, to HIV/AIDS and Epilepsy
Our volunteers who involved in the Mukono volunteering program with medical health background also work with the local community health centre, which is in a walk able distance from the volunteers’ home. Knowledgeable volunteers as well as those certified to carry out medical tasks are in great demand. They help assist doctors with several health-related activities.
COMMUNITY SANITATION PROJECTS
Ssamba Foundation team engages into programs and projects which improve the sanitation of rural people. This includes clearing of drinking wells, building of dry racks and the digging of latrines as well as education on a healthy life style. Join the team and help in improving the poor conditions of sanitation in Uganda’s rural villages.
Education is the key to a child’s success in Uganda. Ssamba Foundation Education Program focuses on English language classes, international cultural exchanges and educational murals. These initiatives are aimed at a wide range of audiences, from school children to local villagers.
The main focus is providing education to hundreds of children in poor communities in Uganda. Village schools provide English, Math, health lessons to children aged 3yrs-12yrs. The schools provide not only education but also opportunities for sports and play, health talks, a nutrition center and a meeting place for the community.
Child Care Center
The Center provides at-risk children a safe environment in which they participate in any number of extra-curricular activities. These activities are designed to provide kids from 3 to 19 years old with creative outlets and opportunities to make constructive use of their time. The center is managed by local social workers with the support and involvement of international volunteers. Volunteers help children to practice reading, writing, arithmetic, and English while making time for various games and recreational activities. Ssamba Foundation also helps coordinate important educational workshops in areas lacking emphasis in general school curricula such as recycling, nutrition, hygiene, and self-esteem. This is a fun project for anyone who loves working with children. The kids are very enthusiastic and always keen to learn, play, and interact with volunteers.
The community has shown great interest in learning English from our international volunteers, most of whom speak English as a first or second language.
We teach English to a wide variety of ages, ability levels, and professional orientations. Yet one of the most unique aspects of our Saturday/Weekly Evening classes is the incorporation of a cultural exchange element, which allows locals to learn about the diverse cultural backgrounds and customs of our volunteers while enriching volunteers’ own understanding of the local culture.
We are always looking for people with TEFL certification qualifications or previous teaching experience to manage our English programs by coordinating with local counterparts regarding new and existing courses, preparing appropriate lesson plans, teaching classes, and training other volunteers who are interested in supporting this initiative.
We are helping to make schools brighter, more interesting and more colorful places for kids to study by painting murals that engage students in important themes concerning general youth development and healthy lifestyles. Depending on the needs and desires of the schools, themes range from recycling and proper hand-washing techniques to promoting school spirit. These projects are a fun way for volunteers to engage the community and leave behind an image that has a lasting impact.
The murals we paint are directed towards local schools to help raise awareness on key issues such as personal hygiene, recycling and environmental preservation. Improved knowledge of English provides locals with a crucial skill in seeking further education and can unlock new job opportunities.
Teaching experience is not required. You can begin as a teaching assistant and then work in small groups with children in need of extra attention. The objective of this program is to contribute to the academic development of the school and the children in order to provide the best opportunity for the orphans to receive quality education. Volunteers support the local teachers; encourage students to learn and play and instill pride in their schooling.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
Volunteers wishing to get involved in one of our Community Development Initiatives (CDI) will work as part of a team dedicated to a particular project pertaining to one of our three main program areas: Women Empowerment, Youth Development, and Social services. These volunteers have the chance to interact directly with the community by preparing and coordinating workshops and activities with local counterpart organizations, community groups, government agencies, and NGOs whose goals are closely related to those of Ssamba Foundation. They are also actively involved in the execution of educational training workshops and project monitoring and evaluation. Ssamba Foundation’s Community Development Initiatives provide volunteers the unique opportunity to continuously improve program parameters and best practices. Our programs are constantly enriched by the participation and insight of volunteers with a wide range of experience and educational backgrounds.
Volunteers have the opportunity to try different roles and projects, dependent on your interests and skills. These volunteer opportunities do not require specialized skills (although these would be an advantage!). We accept volunteers for both short and long-term placements, all year round. On arrival, most volunteers see all the projects before selecting the tasks that fit them best.
As a volunteer you perform a variety of much-needed work such as caring, helping children with their homework, preparing meals for the children and lots of other activities needed at the home.
MDD, SPORTS & RECREATION
Ssamba Foundation’s MDD, Sports & Recreation Program collaborates with local communities to promote healthy lifestyles amongst local children/youth through teaching basic skills and tactics of football (soccer) and volleyball, teaching music, dance moves and drama. Given the lack of adequate recreational opportunities available to kids in the villages, our programs seek to provide at-risk children and youth with a safe environment where they can practice these activities in order to make productive use of free time. In addition, we emphasize important core values like mutual respect, trust, fair-play and self-esteem as well as sportsmanship, teamwork, and leadership. Volunteers contributing to this program will plan and lead practices of understanding the activity.
Volunteers who indicate their desire to work in construction enjoy a wide variety of projects to choose from every week. This is the most flexible branch of Ssamba Foundation operations, as volunteers may choose to work on different projects every week or, alternatively, work on various stages of one project through to completion (assuming they are able to stay throughout the duration of the project).
Although certain projects often present unique needs and challenges, there are several core areas (and corresponding activities) volunteers will likely find themselves contributing to at some point during their service at the Mukono volunteering program: Site Preparation (demolition, digging foundations, clearing rubble, etc.), Building (Mixing and pouring concrete, bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, etc.), or Community Beautification (planting trees, landscaping, community cleanups, painting murals, etc.). Whatever the interest, rest assured you’ll get your hands dirty from the start!
Ssamba Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Program aims to develop initiatives that support locals in the improvement of their neighborhoods as well as providing them with basic sanitation. We are currently engaged in fruit tree planting initiatives at schools and homes that give volunteers the opportunity to contribute to environmentally friendly projects that are made sustainable through education and inclusion.
Ssamba Foundation volunteers working with Mukono volunteering program enjoy an extremely unique experience not only in the work they do but also in the atmosphere they live in. The Ssamba Foundation’s Headquarters are housed at Ssamba Homestay in Kalagi town and this serves as our center for logistics, administration and daily meetings. Volunteers are housed here as well and this allows volunteers to get to know each other better outside the work-site and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.
The hard work volunteers put in during the week undoubtedly warrants some fun and relaxation during evening free time and on the weekends. During the week we organize a variety of activities for volunteers in the evenings. We often play football (soccer), cards and board games or chill out around the bar or go out for a dance getting to know fellow volunteers from around the world. Musical ballads are known to break out from time to time as well as the always entertaining pub-quiz nights.
Yet one of the biggest perks of getting involved in Mukono volunteering program lies in the plethora of weekend outings we organize through Ssamba Safaris. Ssamba Homestay is located just 60 minutes from either Jinja or Kampala where day tours can be organized to visit the source of the mighty river Nile, white water rafting and Mabira forest which showcase incredible biodiversity, including hundreds of birds and nature walks. No matter what your interests, there is always something for everyone to enjoy!
SSAMBA HOMESTAY MUKONO
Volunteers staying at Ssamba Homestay are assigned a bed based on capacity, arrival time and length of stay. All beds have good mosquito nets and you don’t need to bring your own sheets etc. Part of the income from this facility is used to support the projects of Ssamba Foundation and other humanitarian projects.
Accommodation at this home is in private and dorm rooms, accommodating up to 10 people when full. There are between 1-3 beds per room depending on the size of the room and the time of year you come (off-season there will commonly be 1-2 per room). The emphasis at the home is placed on a relaxed friendly family like atmosphere.
Most people who stay here are travelling alone and so it gives an opportunity for people to live with and make friends with other travelers and volunteers. All the details that you need to plan your break, a holiday or volunteering in Uganda are on the pages of our site – please feel free to have a good look around. Before you do, though, there is just one more thing we’d like to say. “Whenever you choose to come, you’re assured of a very warm welcome.”
Whenever you choose to stay at Ssamba Homestay Mukono, even if you are not directly volunteering with any of our projects you are supporting one of our projects and programs, because proceeds from the facility go to train the vulnerable, support education for orphans and so many of our humanitarian development work.
We have flush toilets, hot water showers, standby fridge, fully equipped kitchen, and small nice vegetable filled garden. The home has electricity and a solar system is available for use when the electricity fails. Wireless internet is available in the house to check your emails, social media updates, of course not for video streaming. The overall consensus of the internet speed is “Not too bad”.
Note: Couples can request their own room if they give us a “Volunteers advance notice”.
Volunteering in Uganda is free, as it should be, No Program Fees! No weekly fees! At Ssamba Foundation, we appreciate and allow you to use your compassion to help make the world a better place at no cost to you!
Many organizations see volunteers as a potential cash cow and are guilty of charging extreme rates. Ssamba Foundation makes every effort to keep your costs to a minimum, as it is your talent and time that are most valuable to us and the communities we serve. Whether you are interested in volunteering short-term or long-term, we will discuss arrangements with you concerning finances.
Benefits of Volunteering with Ssamba Foundation
Volunteers are always welcome at Ssamba Foundation either for short-term or long-term projects. We want to deliver an experience to enjoy Uganda by living, working and making an impact with us. In exchange for your skills, donation and help, you get the following:
- Pre-Departure Handbook (Everything you need to know about Uganda)
- We shall pick you up from Entebbe International airport (Pick Up only)
- Accommodation throughout your stay (Maximum stay is 4 weeks for free)
- Shared bedroom with other-same sex volunteers (separate beds)
- Blanket, Pillows and treated mosquito net
- Limited Wi-Fi Access at house (Please feel free to bring your laptop)
- 3 delicious local meals for your entire duration
- 24/7 In country Support
- You can stay with us for up to 3 months in Uganda (on case by case basis)
- Deeper culture immersion experience with founder’s family
- Discounted tours, safaris and events
- Work and life experience
- The opportunity to help others and lifetime friends
- Certificate of Appreciation at the end of your stay
What we DON’T offer:
- Flight Tickets
- Travel insurance
- Laundry service in town/or house (at volunteer’s cost)
- Toiletries (soaps, shampoos and others) are not provided.
- Personal expenses (Your pocket money)
Personal Expenses; It depends on you and your lifestyle! But we advise that you come with an additional $50-$100 a week to cater for your personal needs such as; Phone/internet bill, Transportation, Laundry, Snacks, Entertainment, Drinks and excursions if preferred, and any other things you may wish to buy.
The requirements to join Ssamba Foundation volunteer program in Uganda
- You must be over 18yrs
- You must speak some English (you don’t need to be fluent)
- A copy of your passport with 6+ months validity
- Placement commitment fee of USD$200
- Criminal Record, Background Check report or Police Statement
- We recommend travel/life personal insurance
- You must commit at least 4 weeks’ minimum (shorter stays accepted).
- You must be Sociable, Energetic, Positive & Fun! Who can Apply?
Volunteer Arrival Dates
Although we are very flexible about start and end dates, volunteers must book their flights to arrive on the scheduled arrival dates for free airport pickup arrangements. You can book your flights to arrive at any time of the arrival date (24/7 Airport pickups).
Your arrival into Uganda will be on a Sunday. Your orientation for your volunteer program in Uganda will begin on Monday. You will spend the day learning about life in Uganda and preparing for your upcoming volunteer program.
If you arrive any other day, you have to cover up your airport pickup fees (usually $85) or pay for hotel for your night stay and pickup for the following day.
Ssamba Foundation – empowering vulnerable communities since 2006