Volunteering is a wonderful opportunity to learn about other cultures while being part of an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of others. You will find working in the developing world challenging and demanding yet rewarding and fun, knowing the time you spend with the children will have a lasting impact on their lives. Volunteers can be postgraduate students or professionals offering a few weeks of their time a year to help in the development of our schools and children’s homes.
Jinja is a thriving, bustling town which is home to many charities so you will no doubt cross paths with plenty of their international and local employees and volunteers. There are a number of guest houses used by other NGOs and where many of our student volunteers like to stay, typically costing around £12 per night. Others often stay at Casa Mia, which is about £25 per night for bed and breakfast and is located adjacent to a lovely Italian restaurant in a quiet residential area close to town.
There are plenty of shops and inexpensive restaurants in Jinja as well as opportunities for tourist and adventure activities both within and outside town.
Some volunteers come to us after they have finished university and are perhaps taking a gap year so they make their stay part of a longer trip they are taking.
Teachers, doctors, nurses and dentists are among those who often come for 1-3 weeks as part of their annual holiday. They offer invaluable expertise which can contribute to greatly improved programmes and services in schools and clinics.
The busiest times, when volunteers have the most to do, are during the school terms. We do have a few projects that are year-round but work there is usually very limited. Schools close in May, August, December and January, so these times are best avoided.
Our Country Manager will identify possible areas and projects where you can work. Ideally, they will discuss this with you both before and upon your arrival in Uganda so you can decide together where you can bring the most benefit and gain the most valuable and varied experience.
You will need to bear in mind that despite the best laid plans, situations can change rapidly. Circumstances outside our control may mean we have to adapt those plans as we go along so it’s important for all our volunteers to have a flexible, patient attitude and a can-do approach! We will of course look after you the whole time you are in Uganda but our volunteers need to be proactive and as independent as possible – we’re a very small team so have limited time and resources.
If you are interested in volunteering with JET, please contact Sue Symonds, a trustee of the Jinja Educational Trust, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please include a brief introduction to yourself, the skills and qualifications you can offer to the Trust, your interests and what you are looking to get involved with plus how long you wish to volunteer for.
You should consult your doctor or a health professional at least 4 weeks before you travel for the latest information on any vaccinations needed and to check that you are fit to travel to Uganda. Ensure you carry with you any medication you normally need as it may not be available in Uganda. You must also ensure you have adequate medical and health insurance for the full duration of your stay.
For further info on travel in Uganda, check your Foreign Office website. For UK nationals you can find this at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/uganda.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us if you would like to know more about this wonderful country, its people and our work.