Welcome to Volunteer in Uganda
Are you itching for an adventure, but also want to do something for the good of humanity? Global Crossroad has several unique and affordable volunteering opportunities in Uganda that are just waiting for you to check them out!
- Best prices guaranteed; projects in Uganda start at just $150
- Weekly fees go directly to your host family and chosen project
- Safe and meaningful volunteer experience overseas
- A life changing and eye opening adventure in Africa
Uganda is a majestic, bio diverse, and culturally rich country in Africa. There are spacious savannahs, dense jungles, and exotic islands that are just waiting to be explored. While Uganda is rich in culture and nature, it is plagued by poverty and filled with people who are suffering in a number of different ways. There are multiple volunteer opportunities in Uganda that could use your help.
When you make the decision to volunteer abroad in Uganda, you are making the decision to help improve the lives and living situations of the people of Uganda. You have the power to make a significant difference in this fascinating country through one of Global Crossroad’s volunteer programs in Uganda. Contact us today to start your adventure!
Volunteer in Uganda Programs
Global Crossroad offers variety of exceptional volunteering and special programs to meet your volunteering as well as travelling need. Please feel free to choose any program you love and contact us for more information:
|Volunteer Programs||Locations||Starting Prices|
|Work in Orphanage||Kampala||$150|
Dates and Prices
Dates: Volunteer in Uganda
All volunteering opportunities in Uganda start every Monday, though we allow for flexibility due to travel constraints.
Price: Volunteer in Uganda
Most affordable quality volunteer work in Uganda are available through Global Crossroad. We strive to keep our costs low. The humanitarian side of the business is our passion. Global Crossroad's volunteer abroad in Uganda application and registration fee cost US $299.
In addition to the application fee, you are required to pay a weekly program fee. You will pay your weekly fee directly to your host family and project. This way, the fees that you pay will benefit those who rightfully deserve them, and not for company profit.
- Mandatory Comprehensive Travel Insurance $3.79/day
- Airport Pick up $65
Program fees cover:
- Accommodation (host family)
- Food (local food 3 times a day)
- In-country support
- Personalized project
- Pre-departure information
- Certificate of completion
- Fundraising ideas and letters
- Discount for returning volunteers
Program fees exclude:
- Personal expenses on soft drinks and foods
- Daily transportation
- Airport return transfer
The Uganda volunteer opportunity program fees will cover expenses that will begin on the first day of the program to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program or you decide you stay beyond your program's last day, you will be responsible for the additional expenses, which would typically be around $30 a day for room and meals at a hostel.
Accommodations and Meals: Volunteer in Uganda
During your volunteering trip to Uganda program, Global Crossroad's weekly fees include management of volunteers' meal plans and accommodations throughout projects and travel options. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients and feature traditional cuisine choices.
Our volunteer program in Uganda meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are the volunteer's responsibility. In most cases, there are restaurants and markets nearby the homes in which our volunteers stay.
While completing volunteer work in Uganda, you will stay with a host family. Volunteers staying with a host family usually have a single bedroom, but may occasionally share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members, who have experience in the realm of hosting international travelers.
Host family residences are in comfortable, clean and safe neighborhoods and rooms are simply furnished and tidy. Staying with a host family can offer the support system to those having a volunteering experience in Uganda will crave during their program and it is a great way to learn about a host country's culture and customs.
Unless you are traveling with your husband or wife or fiancé, opposite gender rooming will not be permitted. You will either have your own private room or will be sharing with a same gender roommate. You can request to room with your travel partner if you are of the same sex.
When you volunteer abroad in Uganda, it is highly advised that you do not eat food from street vendors and do not drink the tap water. You are responsible for paying for bottled water and or asking your host family to boil you water to drink for the day.
Free Time Options: Volunteer in Uganda
Our volunteering in Uganda projects are located in and around Kampala or Jinja. Rural Uganda hosts various incredible wildlife viewing opportunities. Local villages can be explored on hikes through the countryside. These excursions provide genuine Ugandan cultural experiences.
Kampala is the capital and largest city (approximately 1.2 million) Uganda. It is located just 10 kilometers from Lake Victoria and source of Nile. The city of Kampala offers a plethora of attractions, such as the Ssezibwa Falls, the Ugandan National Theater, the Balikuddembe Market, and Nakasero Market. There are also number historical sites that provide glimpses into Uganda’s past. Kampala is said to have been built on seven different hills, with each hill representing something significant in Uganda’s history. When you join a volunteer abroad in Uganda trip, you will have the opportunity to explore this amazing city.
Jinja is the second largest commercial center in Uganda, and is located in the southeast of Uganda only 87 kilometers from the capital. Jinja is situated on the shores of Lake Victoria and close to the source of the White Nile River. Jinja has a post office, town hall, hospital, golf course, and numerous Internet cafes. Echoes of Jinja’s Indian influence are reflected in the city’s architecture. Some of Jinja’s attractive features included whitewater rafting, a brewery, Bujagali Falls, as well as an animal sanctuary and memorials for both Gandi and Buddha. See all of this as part of your volunteering experience in Uganda.
Safety and Field Support
Our number #1 priority is the safety of our volunteers. Global Crossroad is a leading volunteer organization serving thousands of volunteers. We pride ourselves on providing the safest, highest quality, and most professional programs to our volunteers since 2003. Our dedicated team works closely from start to finish with each volunteer (and parents/guardians) to ensure a successful, satisfactory, and safe volunteering experience.
Below is a list of our safety and field support features that will demonstrate the level of support and safety each of you will receive while volunteering abroad.
1. Country Coordinator and Field Staff :
In each country, where we operate, we have a very strong and dedicated team of country coordinators and local staff members to support and take care of you. All of our country coordinators and field staff are highly experienced and responsible individuals. They have been running volunteer abroad program for many years. They have served thousands of volunteers, so they understand your needs and know how to run safe, rewarding, and meaningful volunteer abroad program for you.
Our In-country staff is responsible for a number of things. Below are some of the main services that they will provide:
- Airport pick-up and transfer to host family or work site
- Management of room and food in host family/hostel
- Orientation of local country, culture, host family, safety, and related issues
- Introduction to your host family and project staff
- Periodic follow up visits or calls (1-2 week intervals) to ensure everything is going smoothly
- Advice for solving any issues, problems, or concerns
2. Airport Greeting
We are dedicated to keeping you save and comfortable from your point of your arrival until your point of departure. We will always receive our volunteers at the airport and transfer them safely. Depending upon the country in which you choose to volunteer, our coordinator, local staff, or a professional transfer company employee will greet you at the airport.
3. Orientation and safety discussion
Regardless of where you join the Global Crossroad volunteer program, our program starts with an in depth discussion on safety, history, cultural people, religion, life, and doâ€™s and donâ€™ts. Depending upon the country, these orientation programs range from a few hours to three days. During orientation, we explain the different aspect of safety and general guidelines to help keep yourself safe while volunteering abroad.
4. Safe Host Family and Accommodation
While volunteering abroad, the majority of the time you will reside with a local host family, hostel, or similar accommodation. We always carefully select the host families and other forms of accommodations to make sure that you will be safe and comfortable. In all destinations, we have selected host families who are socially respected and responsible. Most of our host families have hosted international volunteers before, so they completely understand your needs. Your host family will always take care of you and keep you safe.
Similarly, all of our volunteer houses and hostels are located in very safe locations. These hostels are always guarded by security guards or supervised by the local staff very frequently to make sure that you are safe and secure. Also you will be staying with other volunteers from all over the world. You will never be alone.
5. Comprehensive Insurance and Evacuation Plan
While volunteering abroad, you will be covered by international insurance. This protects you in case something unforeseen happens. It is mandatory that all volunteers obtain a travel insurance policy when volunteering abroad. Global Crossroad offers one of the most comprehensive insurance packages from a third party. Our insurance policy provides excellent protection in the event that a health-related issue occurs, an accident, or other unpredictable incidences.
6. Placement with Other Volunteers
Global Crossroad is happy to place you with other volunteers (depending on availability) if this is something that would make you feel safer.
Any international travel requires caution and awareness; volunteering abroad is no exception. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own government advisory office before making the decision to participate in any overseas volunteering opportunities. International travel presents risks, especially with the modern day threat of international terrorism.
The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories in many countries for American travelers. These travel advisories and warnings frequently change, as situations in each country transform.
These links provide valuable travel information:
It is also wise to consult the Center for Disease Control for health related information and issues that might come up during your time volunteering abroad. Check out www.cdc.gov for possible health risks. One must also keep in mind that the sanitary conditions in developing countries are likely very different from those in your home country. It is also strongly advised that you do not drink the tap water and do not eat food from street vendors.
Most Frequently Asked Questions: Volunteer in Uganda
Global Crossroad has all the answers to all of your questions about volunteer programs in Uganda.
- When should I apply for a volunteer in Uganda project?
- What happens once I submit my documents and application to Global Crossroad?
- How long does it take to process my application to volunteer in Uganda?
- What documents do I need to submit with my application to volunteer in Uganda?
- Are there any necessary requirements to participate in volunteer in Uganda projects?
- An open mind and a willingness to teach others as well a passion for helping those in need.
- Enthusiasm for living abroad, meeting new people and embracing varied cultures.
- Be in good mental and physical health.
Global Crossroad has offered volunteering in Uganda projects (including internship) since 2003. We are able to place volunteers on the 1st or 3rd Monday of any month, year round. We recommend applying at least two months in advance, as there is an ever-increasing volume of applications. If your application must be expedited for quicker placement, please contact our office for more information.
Once Global Crossroad receives and reviews your completed application, it is then forwarded to our In-Country Coordinator in Uganda who will then finalize a personal assignment as per your qualifications, experience and requests. Your finalized placement details are forwarded to you upon completion.
The application process may take up to 2-4 weeks Â occasionally longer given the time of year and influx of applications to your chosen country. However, in the event that an applicant requires quicker placement due to time constraints, we request you contact Global Crossroad's offices prior to submitting an application.
The only initial documentation required is our completed application form, which can be found online (http://www.globalcrossroad.com/apply ). We reserve the right to request further information or documentation; however, in most situations information contained in the application is sufficient. Applicants have the option to either submit their application online or download the application from the website and submit the completed form to Global Crossroad's USA-based offices by either mail or fax.
The only qualifications are:
- What are the Visa Procedures?
Securing a tourist visa is the volunteer's responsibility and Global Crossroad requires all volunteers to obtain a tourist visa before departing for Uganda.
Please call our office or contact your nearest Uganda embassy to learn more about visa, visa fees and visa extensions. Much information can be learned online by searching out Uganda's embassy or consulate.
- Who manages the volunteer in Uganda projects?
- What are the daily schedules while volunteering in Uganda? s
- When volunteering in Uganda, where are the possible project locations?
- What is the language spoken in Uganda?
- When are volunteer in Uganda projects available?
- How long can I do volunteer work in Uganda for?
Global Crossroad's in-country Coordinator in Uganda is responsible for researching appropriate volunteer projects as per the qualifications, skills and interests of the applicants.
Project schedules vary for each project in Uganda. Most projects are from Monday to Friday, for approximately 4-5 hours a day. Most volunteers have the weekends and evenings off to sightsee or explore Uganda on their own.
You will be in Kampala or Iganga depending on the specific project that you choose to join.
English, inherited from the colonial period, and Swahili, which is regionally important, are the two official languages of Uganda. Iganga is used within Busoga tribal regions, along with the traditional Lusoga language, which is still quite extensively used. Lusoga is closely related to Luganda, which is the language used in the capital region, as well as in the media. Note: Educated Ugandans are generally fluent in English.
Global Crossroad programs are available year round and begin on the 1st or 3rd Monday of every month.
We typically suggest that participants volunteer for at least 2 weeks. In general, most countries do not allow those travelling on a tourist visa to stay longer than 12 weeks BUT Ugandan government allow up to 6 months to volunteer. If you would like to stay longer, please contact our offices to discuss your options.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE INFORMATION
- Who will arrange my flight to Uganda?
- At which airport should I arrive to volunteer in Uganda?
- If my assignment begins on Monday, when should I arrive in Uganda?
- Will someone pick me from the airport? If so, how will I know who they are and where they are?
- What should I do if my flight is delayed?
- Try to call our Uganda in-country coordinator from the airport to notify him/her of the possible delayed arrival time.
- Check your placement instructions pertaining to details of hotels that have been recommended for late arrival if your flight will after midnight.
- How can I get to my accommodations from the airport, if I did not connect with Global Crossroad's local representative in the airport?
- What do I need prior to departure from my home country?
- Please make sure that you pack all your necessary documents: passport, copy of passport and at least one other form of picture ID.
- Please bring your volunteer assignment placement details.
- Prepare financially to cover unforeseen expenses up to $50-100 USD/week for extra expenses and travel to your project each day.
- Prepare your mind and spirit for the experience to which you have committed. Culture shock affects everyone and it may be so strong that you want to quit the week after arrival. Take precautions: read about your county/city, study the culture and language(s) and learn about food and customs.
- If I want to arrive earlier than when my assignment begins, where do I stay and who will organize the accommodations?
- When should I depart from Uganda after my volunteering overseas in Uganda program is complete?
- From which airport shall I depart to volunteer in Uganda?
- Who will bring me to the airport for my departure?
International flight coordination and payment of international airfare is a volunteer's responsibility.
Entebbe International Airport, Entebbe, Uganda; however, random placements may require arrival at a different airport. Please do not book travel until your placement is complete.
Please arrive the day before your assignment begins. If you wish to arrive earlier, your accommodation and meals will be your responsibility. Please review our assignment or Cultural Immersion start day details in your personal placement information package we will forward to you.
You will be greeted up at the airport, but you must send your travel itinerary to our Uganda in-country Coordinator and to us at Global Crossroad's offices before your arrival in Uganda. You will be met by a local staff member or our in-country coordinator. They will be holding a sign with your name, awaiting your arrival outside of the airport.
If you miss our representative due to flight delay or confusion, please call the in-country coordinator number provided in your placement details. This rarely happens, but be prepared by keeping this important information with you as you travel. Make sure you look carefully for your pick-up representative, as it is normally busy outside of the airport.
Call/email our Brazil In-Country Coordinator once you arrive in Brazil so that he can help with a pick-up accordingly.
In the event that your arrival time is changed/delayed, requiring you to stay overnight in a hotel (or if you failed to meet Global Crossroad's representative at the airport), you should hire a taxi at the airport. Request the taxi deliver you to the hotel designated in your placement details/pre-departure information. Remember to request a receipt from the driver.
IMPORTANT: Ensure that you have contacted Global Crossroad's in-country coordinator BEFORE boarding a taxi. Participants are advised to contact Global Crossroad's Uganda In-Country Coordinator the next day and let him/her know their whereabouts.
You can arrive up to a week early for your assignment; however, you are responsible for making and paying for these arrangements (including accommodations and food), and must still meet the in-country coordinator at the airport on the designated date.
You will finish your volunteering project on Friday. It is recommended that you depart from Uganda on the Saturday following the completion of your assignment.
All Uganda volunteers should depart from Entebbe, Uganda (Entebbe International Airport) unless you receive other instructions in your placement details.
Global Crossroad does not offer airport drop-off services after your volunteer work in Uganda is complete. You will need to arrange a taxi or bus ride to the airport following your assignment's completion. This is a simple process and our Uganda in-country coordinator or your host family will normally be very happy to assist you with the arrangements.
LIVING ACCOMMODATIONS INFORMATION
- While volunteering in Uganda who will arrange my accommodations and what are they?
- Where do volunteers stay?
- What support do Global Crossroad provide me?
- Are single rooms available while during volunteer work in Uganda?
- If I arrive with my friend, or girlfriend/boyfriend, can we stay together while volunteering in Uganda?
- Will there be other foreign volunteers/interns at my volunteer project in Uganda?
- What are the bathroom facilities like?
- What are the laundry arrangements?
- Can I use appliances if I bring them from my home country?
- Who manages my meals?
- Can you accommodate special diets?
- Is the running tap water safe for drink?
- Are there hot and cold-water facilities available?
- Will bottled water be provided?
During your volunteer in Uganda program, Global Crossroad's weekly fees include management of volunteers' meal plans and accommodations throughout projects and travel options. Three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) will be provided and will consist of local ingredients and feature traditional cuisine choices for Uganda. Our meal program can accommodate vegetarian needs; however, we are not able to provide for other dietary restrictions. Food and drinks outside of mealtimes are the volunteer's responsibility. In most cases, there are restaurants and markets nearby the homes in which our volunteers stay.
While volunteering in Uganda, most volunteers stay in our Homebase. This concept is a permanent residence set up especially for international volunteers. There are several bedrooms at our Homebase and volunteers will normally share a room with a same gender volunteer. There are community rooms and a television. The environment is very relaxed and social and a great place to unwind after a busy day. The kitchen and bathrooms are shared, and there is running water and "western-style" toilets. The neighborhood is very safe and clean. There are many amenities nearby like internet cafes, grocery stores, restaurants and mass transit stops. Orphanage volunteers in Uganda might have the opportunity to stay with the children as many orphanages provide private rooms for international volunteers. These volunteer rooms will normally be shared with a volunteer of the same gender.
If there are a large number of volunteers during your timeframe, you may stay with a host family. Volunteers staying with a host family usually have a single bedroom, but may occasionally share a room with another volunteer of the same gender. Our host families are chosen carefully and are esteemed community members, who have experience in the realm of hosting international travelers. Host family residences are in comfortable, clean and safe neighborhoods and rooms are simply furnished and tidy. Staying with a host family can offer the support system a volunteer will crave during their program and it is a great way to learn about a host country's culture and customs.
A unique and important part of Global Crossroad's successful volunteer in Uganda program is our in-country support. We put safety and comfort first as we deliver enriching and consistent experiences for our international travelers. Our support is multi-faceted while volunteers are in Uganda and our staff is in contact with our volunteers on a regular basis either with face-to-face visits or via phone/email. Key support comes from our country coordinator and in-country field staff. These individuals are employed by our company and committed to ensuring your experience the best it can be. Your chosen project staff and host family offers support as well, and they are familiar with working with international volunteers and accustomed to answering questions and providing guidance. Volunteers also have access to our country coordinator's mobile number for emergencies. With longer assignments, our field staff visits regularly (every 2-4 weeks) to ensure the experience is meeting your expectations. Sometimes an assignment may be too far to visit physically, so staff members will touch-base via phone/email. You are also welcome to stop in the offices at any time. You are never alone.
Specific details regarding accommodations, food and contact details for our local coordinator will be provided in personalized volunteer placement documentation prior to arrival.
Occasionally, in most cases you will share a room with a same-gender volunteer. Please note your request and we will do our best to meet your needs.
In many situations yes, but please contact our office regarding your situation, since it may depend upon individual accommodation availability and time-of-year circumstances. Please be reminded that volunteers of different genders are often not permitted to stay in the same room, unless they are a married couple.
Yes, more often than not, but this depends on the exact assignment and accommodation placement. If you want to travel with a companion or group, we allow and encourage this option. You may be placed with different host families, but these residences will generally be located close (within one to two miles) to each other. Please be reminded that volunteers of different genders will normally not be allowed to stay in the same room, unless they are a married couple.
Bathroom facilities depend up on the location and project. Most of our host families have running water and western (or modern)-style toilets. However, in a few projects/accommodations there are varying toilet and bathroom situations.
Most likely your laundry will be washed by hand. It is your responsibility to do your own laundry.
Yes, but you will need an electrical converter. Information for different countries can be found on the Internet, for example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity.Your local small appliance specialty or travel retailer can advise you on plugs and voltage converters.
Global Crossroad organizes food and accommodations for the extent of your volunteer assignment.
Global Crossroad can provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. We cannot accommodate special dietary needs (i.e. diabetics). If you require a special menu beyond vegetarian/vegan needs, you will need to be responsible for your own meals.
In most developing countries, tap water is not safe to drink. We recommend that you purchase bottled water for your consumption, but make sure that the cap's seal is not broken! You can also request that your host family boil water for you each day for you to consume.
Specifics pertaining to availability of hot water will be included in participants' placement details.
No, the purchase of bottled water is a volunteer's responsibility.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
- How safe is Uganda?
- British Foreign Office Advice ( http://www.fco.gov.uk/)
- American State Department Advice ( http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html)
- Australian Government Advice ( http://www.dfat.gov.au/)
- Canadian Government Advice ( http://canada.gc.ca/main_e.html)
- What are the principle health risks in Uganda?
- Is the food safe if I buy it from a street vendor?
- What are the sanitary conditions in Uganda?
- Be prepared and never expect a clean toilet 100% of the time. Carry some tissue in case you need to use the public toilet.
- In Uganda, toilets generally do not do well when flushing large amounts of items or feminine hygiene products so do not flush them and throw them away in the trash.
- In some areas/restaurants, toilet systems are old, have very narrow plumbing and are easily blocked. In these cases, a small basket is usually placed beside the toilet (for your used toilet paper).
- Use hotel lobby toilets; these are everywhere and are tend to be clean. Still, they may not always have toilet paper.
Uganda has been home to some of the more gruesome atrocities in modern African history since its independence in 1962, particularly under the heinous dictator Idi Amin, but in the years since 1987 things have consistently improved. Today, the single party state is relatively stable after 19 years of stereotypically 'strong man' rule by Yoweri Museveni who seems torn between embracing more enlightened government and clinging to power (by amending the constitution to allow himself to serve a third ten-year term). A major concern for travelers in the northern part of the country, however, is the Lord's Resistance Army, who has been making the Acholi, Lango and Teso districts lawless and dangerous since 2002, although they have been active insurgents since 1989.
Travel north to Murchison Falls National Park is safe, but the north and east of the country are particularly volatile, so one is well advised to get the latest news updates before traveling there. Note that overlanders from Tanzania and Kenya regularly make the trip routing through Jinja, so the danger is nothing like travel in southern Sudan or the DRC.
As in any urban area, Kampala can be dodgy. One is well advised to remain in tourist areas, but sensibly garbed visitors not dangling the latest cameras, flashy jewelry or bulging bags are not likely to draw unwanted attention. However, any Caucasians walking in the street stand out and are likely to be stared at openly, which may cause discomfort to those unaccustomed to travelling in Africa. What little begging exists is some of the most polite and inoffensive to be found in African cities. Small children are sadly becoming a nuisance in some rural spots frequented by tourists doling out sweets and coins, but nowhere near the swarming throng one can attract in many cities around the world.
In the gorilla tracking region of the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park near the border with the DRC there was one incident in the late 1990's in which bandits attacked a group of tourists and killed several people. Since then there have been no incidents and all groups now go out with armed guards (which was not the case before). There is a visible security presence in the region, but this is a preventative measure rather than a response to anything specific Source: Wikitravel.org
NOTE: Global Crossroad's volunteer projects in Uganda are located in the southern region of Uganda. This region is near to Kenya and Tanzania and is considered safe. For further details concerning safety issues in this region, please contact Global Crossroad or the US State Department.
Any international travel requires caution and awareness. We suggest that all volunteers consult their own government advisory office before participating in a Global Crossroad program. International travel does present risks, especially with the modern-day threat of international terrorism. The U.S. State Department issues travel warnings and advisories in many countries for American travelers. These travel advisories and warnings change frequently as situations in each country transform.
These links provide travel information:
We use the Center for Disease Control traveler's health recommendations www.cdc.gov. You should also consult a travel doctor who will be knowledgeable about current epidemics, health risks and recommended vaccinations.
No! Uganda is still considered a developing country and you should be cautious. While you are in Uganda, food safety should be a major consideration. You can hardly resist the tempting novelty of street vendors and their food variety, but you should abstain. Our suggestion is to avoid eating on the streets until you get familiar with the general situation. The food will likely taste quite different from anything you have had before. Food safety problems can range from chemicals and contaminants, to bacteria as well as some other diseases. In Uganda, poor food cooking, preparation, and storage, as well as improper cleaning and disinfecting of cooking supplies is very common among street vendors. Therefore, we do not suggest buying food from street vendors.
- Are ATMs easily available while I am on my volunteering trip in Uganda? If yes, which debit and credit cards are accepted?
- What is the local currency, and how do I know the exchange rate?
- Where should I exchange my money?
- How much money should I bring with me when I volunteer abroad in Uganda?
- Is it safe to carry cash with me?
Major cities have ATM machines, will accept international cards. You can withdraw cash from most international banks from ATM machines, but $2-4 USD surcharges apply for each transaction.
MasterCard, Visa, Cirrus/Maestro and American Express cards are usually only accepted at the more expensive restaurants and hotels. Use caution when paying by credit card, as there is potential for fraud.
Ensure that you have notified your home bank of your intent to volunteer abroad in Uganda. This will provide you the necessary information and alleviate any confusion at your home bank regarding international transactions, which can result in a cautionary freeze on your account in some cases.
The local currency is the Ugandan Shilling (UGX). You can find current exchange rate information at currency websites like www.xe.com, or by looking in a newspaper like the Wall Street Journal.
Money exchanges by cash or traveler's checks can be made at various bank branches found throughout Uganda - primarily in the major cities.
Remember, you may have to present your passport whenever you change currency or traveler checks.
Global Crossroad manages food and rooms for our volunteers throughout the assignment; therefore, you will not need more money to pay for these expenses. However, if you plan to take part in activities outside of our organization or buy some souvenirs, you will need to bring extra money.
On a side note, you must also remember the fee for visas, which can range from US $50-100 depending on the length of stay. There may also be an airport tax that you pay upon your departure from Uganda. You will want to determine the amount of extra money you bring based on these factors.
Carrying cash is not always safe during your volunteer work in Uganda; therefore, do not carry a large surplus of cash with you. It is highly recommended that you carry cash in a money belt with some additional stashed in your wallet.
- How do I contact the Global Crossroad's local coordinator while volunteering in Uganda?
- How do I contact my family and friends once I arrive in Uganda?
- How can my family members contact me?
- Can I bring my telephone from my home country?
The contact details of our Uganda in-country coordinator will be given in final placement sheet. You can contact him or her by email or telephone. We suggest that all volunteers talk with country coordinator before they arrive.
Your cell phone is the best way to contact your family. Please unlock it and use the local sim card
International Direct Dialing from Uganda is available in cities. Phone cards are widely available and calls can be made from post offices, hotels, and phone booths on the streets. In hotels, local calls are generally charged at a nominal fee. Internet cafes are available in most towns.
Communication options depend on where you are placed. Most placements will have access to a post office, so mail and postcards are an option. If you are in a city placement, there are many places to make international phone calls or access the internet. These details will be provided prior to your departure to Uganda, so you can share communication options with your family and friends before you depart.
Yes, but it may or may not work. You will want to contact your mobile phone provider to make sure that your phone will work while you are in Uganda, but remember that roaming will apply and those charges can be very, very expensive. To avoid them, you may be able to buy a local SIM card to use in your phone. Research and confirm this information before traveling.
CULTURE & CUSTOMS
- Is there a special dress code that I should follow while volunteering in Uganda?
- Average Daily Temperature
- Average Rainfall
- What should I know about religious conduct in Uganda?
- How do I respect the people of Uganda?
Volunteers should dress conservatively when at their assignments. Jeans and a t-shirt are acceptable. No short-shorts and tank tops please. Remember to consider the regional religious beliefs of Uganda, which may be extremely conservative and revealing clothing is unacceptable - shorts and skirts must be at least knee-length and no one should show their shoulders.
Please note: When entering temples, mosques, or buildings of religious importance always check what dress attire is required. In most cases, covering your head is required also take off your shoes and be dressed conservatively.
Uganda respects different cultural backgrounds, religious beliefs, and moral concepts. You may practice on your own accords. Approximately 85% of Ugandans are some denomination of Christianity. The second most popular religion is Islam. Other religions include, Hinduism and Judaism.
Be inclusive and show respect of their culture.
Uganda's culture is rich in customs and traditions. People of Uganda enjoy sharing their customs and traditions with foreigners so feel free to take part with them. You can go with your host family on outings if they ask you to or invite them along with you to go on an outing. Simply helping your family do household chores will be another bonding experience that you can enjoy.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT UGANDA
- What is the weather like in Uganda?
- When will be the official holidays in Uganda?
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- January 26: Eid Al Adha; Liberation Day
- March 8: International Women’s Day
- April 6-9: Good Friday to Easter Monday
- May 1: Labor Day
- May 17: Constitution Day
- June 3: Martyr’s Day
- June 9: National Heroes’ Day
- October 9: Independence Day
- December 24: Christmas Eve
- December 25: Christmas Day
- December 26: Boxing Day
- December 31: New Year’s Eve
- What are the necessary supplies for volunteering in Uganda?
- Mosquito net
- Padlock and chain
- Sleeping bag liner and sleeping bag
- Pillow case
- Water purification tablets
- Wet wipes and no-water washes
- First-aid kit
- Waterproof pouch
- Tea-light candles
- Collapsible water bottle
- Waterproof poncho
- Gaffer tape
- Universal bath plug
- Towel and personal bath kit
- Mesquite repellent
- Regular Medicine
- First aids kit
- Hand sanitizer and other necessary supplies
Official Uganda Holidays:
Necessary Supplies for your Volunteer trip to Uganda:
NOTE: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is generic information and should not be used as a definitive travel guide. Travel information and situations abroad change constantly. Participants should consult Global Crossroad or their personal travel advisors to verify this information.
Mr. Innocent Isaac and Mrs. Irene Ouma
A native of Uganda , Mr. Innocent Isaac is a social activist who runs various community projects. His passion for serving his fellow Ugandans has inspired him to open an orphanage in addition to other social projects which benefit the local children and the communities they reside in. A well-educated man, Mr. Isaac is deeply-respected within his community - serving as a member of numerous social organizations - and has worked with many international volunteers.
Mr. Isaac strongly believes in world peace, humanitarian missions, and cultural exchange - all raising the awareness of problems facing not only Uganda , but the global community as well. Eager to contribute to the success of your volunteer experience in Uganda, Mr. Isaac and his wife, Mrs. Irene Ouma welcome those possess a willingness and passion to help other. Mrs. Irene Ouma, also very well-respected within their respective community, helps her husband to ensure that those volunteering in Uganda have a memorable and life-changing experience. Mrs. Irene greatly enjoys working with international volunteers in hopes of helping those who wish to help others gain and acknowledge a global concept of the world.