Uganda Hands for Hope offers volunteering positions and internship opportunities to all. In particular, we welcome students and recent graduates with an interest in international development or social work. However, no matter what your professional interests are, we place our volunteers and interns in programmes that will use and improve their skills, including areas such as education, medicine or nursing, accounting, marketing, micro finance and IT, and our staff is always available to give assistance.
Volunteer OpportunitiesThe volunteer opportunities within UHfH are varied. Involvement can range from full-time (Monday to Friday, (9am – 4pm) or a couple of days a week, or anything in between. Every person has a different skill set and because of our small size we try and utilise every volunteer who walks through the door to their full potential. The skills you’ve acquired from other jobs, volunteer placements, life experiences, and educational achievements can all be used here in some capacity. Many of the programmes and activities we now deliver were initiated by volunteers and we are keen to support volunteers to come up with their own ideas of how we can develop and grow our work. [tabs] [tab title="Short Term (Day Visit - 2 Weeks)" start=open] Our short-term volunteering programme is available to anyone with an interest in helping vulnerable children and their families. Positions vary from teaching in our nursery school or assisting our social workers, to administrative work. Volunteers will gain experience working with a non-profit organisation, as well as having an exciting time in Eastern Africa. [/tab] [tab title="Regular Volunteer Placement"] Hands for Hope has a fully staffed team, however there’s room for anybody looking to volunteer their time and energy. Due to our emphasis on personal community engagement our volunteers can get as involved as they wish. This includes time spent in the field - the slums of Namuwongo - and in the office. Our goal is to create a well-rounded experience of what it’s like to work for a small organisation on the frontlines of development work. Opportunities include teaching or assisting in our nursery school, Saturday Reading Club, or Holiday Programme, the afternoon programme, visiting and interviewing families of potential families who have perhaps received a small loan from us, and of course, office and clerical work. Areas of expertise that would be extremely beneficial include social work, education, medicine, working with children with disabilities, marketing/fundraising and promotion, accounting and livelihood programmes. [/tab] [tab title="University Placement"] For undergrad students studying international development, politics, social work, or conflict resolution looking for a practicum or volunteer internship placement, UHfH has a lot to offer. Involvement in community visits, household interviews, and project management will be more intensive and greater responsibility will be eventually given to the volunteer to run projects or even start their own. We expect commitment and involvement from our practicum placements but will assist you 100% of the way with what you’re doing until you feel comfortable going it on your own. With few aid and development resources in Namuwongo there’s a vast need for assistance and always room for new ideas and new projects, granted they are sustainable. An open mind and forward-thinking attitude will make the most of your placement with us. We try to give all of our volunteers as much of a well-rounded experience as we can, so that means not just data entry or sitting in office all day – although there may be days when that will happen. Usually an hour of field work means an hour of paperwork so be prepared to write reports, create spreadsheets and file folders as a break from the midday heat. [/tab] [tab title="Volunteer & Holiday"] For those who want to combine fun and work, we can tailor 'a volunteering holiday' package. For example, you can volunteer Monday-Tuesday in our nursery/helping out the social workers in the community and spend the rest of the week traveling to the Source of Nile in Jinja, Uganda's many national parks (to see lions and gorillas) or hike all the way up to Rwenzori Mountains in the Western Uganda. Uganda has a lot to offer to all the people who come to visit this wonderful country! [/tab] [/tabs]
CostsAs a grass root organisation volunteers/ interns are expected to cover their costs associated with the programme placements whilst working with UHfH. It may seem strange that you have to pay to come and volunteer, but all we ask is that volunteers cover the costs associated with their stay (just as if you were volunteering somewhere in your home country, to cover the costs of accommodation/ food.)
Fundraising before volunteeringAlthough not compulsory, we encourage all of our volunteers to fundraise some money at home before they come. The reasons for this are as follows:
- It is extremely rewarding for our volunteers to feel like they’ve made a difference not only through donations of their time, energy, and skills, but also through finance. Bringing a donation from friends and family back home to Uganda is unique in that you will immediately and directly see where that money is going. Donating money through a pledge drive on television is one thing but to raise your own funds, physically bring it to a project site, and see it being used in the best ways possible creates greater engagement between those who donate and those receiving the donations. From time to time volunteers have come with both money and an idea for a new project or programme that can be started with the funds they brought. It’s a great way of leaving a lasting impact on the community.
- As a small, local organisation, our funds are limited. Hands for Hope sets a budget for our activities: livelihood projects, health awareness days, days out, medical fund, craft materials etc. However, if you would like to develop these projects, or take the children swimming for instance the extra costs would have to be covered by your fundraised money. To support ourselves we have relied upon the donations of individual donors/sponsors – friends, family and visitors in Kampala – and small fundraisers held in Canada and the UK. Small funds brought by our volunteers go a long way in keeping our established programmes running and in starting up new ones.
- Each year Hands for Hope hosts an annual HIV/AIDS awareness day. This offers free testing to the community as well as counselling, and distribution of information and leaflets. This day is completely funded by volunteers and costs in the region of £600 / $1000. If you would like to give a portion of your fundraised money towards this project it would be extremely gratefully received.