Free Volunteer Abroad Programs for High School Students

Ssamba Foundation, a community based development organization in Mukono district, Uganda, offer free volunteer abroad programs for high school students.

Ssamba Foundation recruits and places foreign high school students as volunteers with small community based projects and schools around Uganda. Through our free volunteer abroad programs for high school students, we aim to build the capacities of local projects and raise awareness around the world about the successes and challenges of life in Uganda

Hon. Isaac Ssamba is a Ugandan who came up with an idea to build an organization that puts money and skills into the grassroots and underprivileged communities of Mukono, Uganda. We have been placing and hosting high school students as volunteers since 2007 (a cool 14 years’ experience).

The Projects: Volunteer for Free Abroad

volunteer teaching Uganda

Many local community development projects lack the money and skills to grow themselves. We hope that with our free volunteer abroad programs for high school students in place, our projects will overcome some of the more serious challenges they face.

These include: lack of money for operations (wages, office space, transport, training courses), lack of skills (book keeping, marketing, strategy, grant writing), and lack of up to date knowledge (Counseling/mentoring skills, English language, HIV/AIDS and life skills information).

Our Program: Volunteer Travel Abroad Free

Ssamba Foundation offers a safe and family-like environment in which to come to Uganda and give your time. We offer pre-arrival support by answering your questions about Uganda and by finding a project that best fits your skills and interests. We can also connect you to former and current volunteers working with us through our “Mission Uganda” WhatsApp group.

We offer in-country assistance by collecting you from the airport, getting you to your placement, and unravelling some of the more complicated cultural issues you face when entering Uganda for the first time.

It is not easy to come to a completely foreign culture on your own. We want to be there to give you encouragement, advice, and support in order for you to be most effective while you are here.

Volunteering Life: Volunteer Stay for Free Abroad

While working with us, volunteers learn about the real situation at the grassroots level in Uganda. Life in Uganda is tough for everyone, not just HIV/AIDS patients, orphans and refugees.

Wages are low, corruption is rampant, and education is not universal. In spite of this, Ugandans are some of the most welcoming, friendly, and open people in Africa.

Volunteers become part of the family, learning about the local culture: how to cook, how to speak the language, how to sit peacefully with their neighbors and talk about life in general.

We hope that volunteers take that knowledge home with them, spreading the word about Ugandan development issues and culture around the world.

Humanitarian Service: Volunteer Projects Abroad Free

If you can spare a month, we will find you volunteer work with projects based in Mukono and other districts around the country. Our organization provides primary and secondary education to needy children, youth mentoring, community outreach and counseling.

Please read ahead about the various types of the free volunteer abroad programs for high school students you can join. All of our projects need young volunteers who can bring new ideas, work with minimal supervision, and have a positive, self-starting attitude.

The organization does not need just young volunteers, but older people with business skills and experience. They need those who can sort out bookwork and apply for grants. Just as these projects try to help all members of society, they need all ages of volunteers to help them function.

Mukono Projects: Volunteer Opportunities Abroad Free

There are many private schools in Uganda that educate, house and feed needy children and orphans. You can teach primary classes, including academic subjects and life skills, and organize sport and art activities for the children.

Let us know what you’re interested in teaching and we’ll get you into the best school for you. School terms vary annually but are likely to be: Feb 1 to April 15, May 20 to August 20, Sept 20 to November 30. We also work with village-based boarding schools. So, don’t feel limited to Mukono!

Teaching Projects: free volunteer abroad programs for high school students

Teaching needy and orphaned kids has serious challenges and needs volunteers who are open to local teaching methods but still able to bring creativity and fun into the classroom. You are the outside world to these kids. Schools have a basic curriculum, but you’ll be planning your own lessons daily.

Know that traditional education in Uganda is based on memorization and passing exams. While there is a language barrier, by volunteering you can introduce creative writing, drawing, debate, and life skills into the classroom.

However, if you’re into something a little less structured that includes camping out and mentoring youth around the campfire, perhaps you’d like to work with a youth group. We have a project that promotes the voluntary spirit in Uganda. You would work alongside Ugandan volunteers (youth aged 17 – 22) in programs directly benefiting local communities all over the Mukono district.

Outreaches Projects: free volunteer abroad programs for high school students

Expect to take part in an ever changing schedule made up of public speaking and working with youth leaders fighting HIV/AIDS, public health/hygiene, family planning, condom use/distribution, and creativity workshops promoting small business generation, the importance of basic education, and women’s rights and empowerment. Bring camping gear to get the most of this program.

Mukono Accommodation: Free accommodation in exchange for volunteer work

Ssamba Homestay UgandaAll volunteers based in Mukono (up to 7 at one time) will live together in family home (Ssamba Homestay) run by Ssamba Foundation. Sandra is there to take care of you. The home is within a locked compound, with an outside showers and toilets (with running water). 3 meals are provided each day, which consists of local foods, such as matooke (mashed plantain), posho (cornmeal), potatoes and rice or noodles. They are generally served with beef, fish, peas, beans or groundnut sauce.  Bread, eggs and fruits are available for breakfast, vegetarians are also accommodated.

Village Projects: Volunteering in Uganda for Free

Ssamba Foundation also places volunteers with a number of small community based projects that provide counseling, care, and education for rural people and orphaned and underprivileged children. Each of these placements is located in a village setting within Mukono District and other districts around the country.

Each village placement provides a totally different experience, but main activities involve working with local children, youth, women and elderly. You can decide if you want to teach nursery, primary, secondary, and vocational education or if you want to be involved in a more free form work arrangement placed with an organization that provides community outreach services.

Community Outreaches: free volunteer abroad programs for high school students

Since teaching placements have been described above we won’t dwell on them here. But you should know that you’ll be living at your school or host family. You’ll have the opportunity to really get to know your kids as many of them also live at your school.

As far as community outreach activities are concerned you’ll have to decide just what you’re into. We have projects that provide health care, HIV/AIDS prevention and AIDS care, counseling, youth mentoring, women’s rights education, and small business development. Let us know and we’ll figure out a good placement for your skills and interests.

A village placement is appropriate for you if you have great ideas and a seriously flexible nature. Expect your schedule to change daily with no notice. Expect to have time to relax. Expect to become a part of the village forever.

Village Life: Volunteer Work Abroad Free

Each village based project will house you and feed you. They will fetch your water and wash your clothes. They will love you and take you places. Your village home will be secure enough for your stuff, but won’t have running water or very much electricity. Your toilet and (bucket) shower will be outside (but fully enclosed).

Food is local Ugandan food, but will be served at weird times. You are welcome to come and stay in the Mukono at our home with the other volunteers on the weekends. You will need to spend time with those like you.

About Mukono Town:

Whether you volunteer in Mukono town or in a village, you’ll likely use Mukono town as your base for volunteer services and meeting other volunteers. It’s located on the Kampala-Jinja highway about 20km from Kampala.

With a population of about 200,000, Mukono town has several internet cafes, WIFI spots, a major university, a bunch of restaurants and drinking spots, supermarkets, several banks, and luxury hotels with swimming pools and gardens. It’s easily accessible from all village placements by public transport.

By public transport it takes about 90 minutes to get to either Kampala or Jinja, which are good places to get specialized services or have some western fun.


Mukono District lies just north of the Equator in the Central Region of Uganda, between the capital, Kampala, and the second largest city, Jinja.  It has Luwero and Kayunga Districts to the North, Kampala and Wakiso to the West, Buikwe and Jinja to the East, and Lake Victoria and Buvuma to the South.


The main languages spoken in Mukono District are Luganda and English. Luganda, one of the Bantu groups of languages, is largely spoken at home. Like other Bantu languages the nouns are made up of a stem and prefixes, thus from the stem Ganda, Buganda is the historical country.

Uganda does not have a natural national language (unlike Kenya and Tanzania with Swahili) and there are over 50 tribal languages. So English has been made the official language of government and business. English is taught in Primary School and is the language of instruction in Secondary School.

How to Apply:

Please write to us, list of your skills/interests, and tell us why you want to come live and volunteer in Uganda. Our free volunteer abroad programs for high school students are pretty popular, so try to apply well in advance of when you’re traveling.

You must arrive around the scheduled dates of the month. We have a 2 weeks minimum and a 3-months maximum. If you want to stay longer, we’ll work it out if the space is available.

You need to be at least 16 years old, speak some English, and be in relatively good health to volunteer with Ssamba Foundation.

The Cost:

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!

All you have to do, is to book your placement with a one-time, donation of USD$200 (180€ or £150) only!

What does the fee cover?

The placement booking fee covers administration support while you prepare for Uganda. Accommodation and food is provided in exchange for your volunteering service.

Ssamba Foundation does not cover airline tickets, visas, vaccinations, drinking water, leisure activities, or medical services. You’ll likely need $20-$70 a week to support a basic life which includes drinking water, internet, transport, and a few western treats such as coffee and chocolate. Ssamba Safaris provides and arranges affordable weekend tours and safaris across the country.

Donations and fundraising:

We have however, set up the challenge (not mandatory though) for all volunteers coming/interested to volunteer with Ssamba Foundation in Uganda to throw themselves into fundraising and aim to bring a donation! We know you can do it!

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
  • Visas
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccinations
  • Laundry service in town/or house (at volunteer’s cost)
  • Toiletries (soaps, shampoos and others) are not provided.
  • Personal expenses (Your pocket money)

Apply Now:


Ssamba Foundation – empowering vulnerable communities since 2006

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