When should I apply for the volunteer projects in Uganda?
It is advised to apply for the project(s) at least a month in advance. The application requires you to state your desired start and end dates. Although, we will work with you if it is shorter notice.
How long will it take to process my application? And will my application be accepted?
Usually, it takes approximately 72 hours (3 business days) for the application to be processed and placement to be confirmed. We review your CV and documents requested to confirm your spot. Acceptance depends on the availability of spots in the project(s) as well as the eligibility criteria of the program (age, skills and experience etc.).
Are there any necessary requirements to participate in the Uganda Volunteer projects?
Volunteers must be 16 years or older at the time of joining the projects.
Clean criminal background check report for participants joining Childcare and Teaching projects is necessary. You can obtain this from your local police department.
Volunteers applying for the medical projects must be 20 years or older and must be either in a pre-medical, medical or nursing program. Medical professionals, such as doctors or nurses, will be required to submit their qualifications and licenses.
Volunteers must be in good health. We walk a lot in Uganda!
Can I volunteer as a part of a group?
Yes. We welcome families, friends, high school students, college/university and corporate groups to volunteer together.
I haven’t travelled or volunteered abroad before, can I still volunteer with the Saint Ann Foundation?
Yes. We believe every participant brings something new to the projects. If you do not have previous experience, we offer you the opportunity to have a great start with us. We make international volunteering easy offering you extensive support.
Can the Saint Ann Foundation provide a reference letter or certificate after completion?
Yes. We can provide a letter or certificate upon request. Please let us know prior to starting.
Where are the projects located in Uganda?
The Saint Ann Foundation projects are conducted in the suburban areas outside of the capital city of Kampala. Specifically, in the Wakiso and Mpigi Districts, which are approximately 16 km from Kampala. You can find up on Google Maps by searching “Saint Ann Foundation Uganda”.
When should I arrive in Uganda and what should I expect upon arrival?
Please arrive on your start date. If you wish to travel prior to volunteering let us know where and when to pick you up. If you are arriving by plane we will pick you up at Entebbe International Airport. We will coordinate pick up according to when and where you will be arriving and transport you to the Saint Ann Foundation volunteer house. If you have a contact number, it is very helpful to be in contact the day of pick up. Once you’ve settled into the volunteer house, our staff will provide an orientation of the facilities, school and program. We will cover local customs, safety, and any questions or concerns. Our home is your home, feel welcome!
How many hours a day will I volunteer?
Volunteers usually work for 4 to 6 hours a day depending on their project. You will have weekends off so you can travel and/or relax. However, volunteers need to be flexible, open minded and understand that work requirements can change.
Do I need a Visa and does the Saint Ann Foundation assist?
All participants traveling to Uganda can obtain Visa by applying at Ugandan Embassy/High Commission located in their country of residence. Citizens of some countries can also get the Visa on arrival. Please consult the Ugandan Embassy / High Commission for more detailed information. Participants can also apply for E-Visa to Uganda.
What airlines fly to Kampala, Uganda?
The closest International airport is Entebbe International Airport in Entebbe, Uganda. It is approximately 1 hour drive to Kampala and 1.5 hour drive to the Saint Ann Foundation volunteer house and school. Major airlines flying in and out of Entebbe are KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Kenya Airways, Etihad Airways, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, and Air France.
How safe is Uganda?
Uganda is a developing country in East Africa. Ugandans are warm and hospitable. In general, Uganda is a safe destination but you should practice regular safety precautions. You will be given safety precautions and instructions by the staff during orientation. This information can also be found in the volunteer guide.
Do I need any vaccines or immunizations?
All participants are recommended to consult their physician or travel doctor before traveling to Uganda.General list of vaccinations recommended for your travel to Uganda.
Do I need to buy health insurance?
Yes. For all participants it is mandatory to have valid travel medical insurance. Please email us a copy and it is advised you bring a hard copy as well.
What are accommodations like?
Volunteers in Uganda are provided accommodation with either a host family or at the volunteer house (subject to availability). Please let us know your preference and we will try our best to accommodate you. The volunteer house is shared, the rooms have bunk beds and there are two shared bathrooms. The house has basic facilities such as a gas stove, cutlery, and dish and cookware.
What are the food arrangements life?
Volunteers are provided two meals a day, breakfast and lunch, Monday to Friday. Breakfast is at the volunteer house or homestay whereas lunch is provided at the project location. Breakfast includes tea/coffee, bread, jam, fruit and one dish (eggs, porridge, etc.). Lunch is mostly prepared by local families or community members and typically includes beans, meat (beef or chicken or fish), posho, matooke, potatoes and rice. Dinner can be made at the volunteer house or at a local restaurant at your own expense. On weekends, breakfast and dinner would be provided at the accommodation. For lunch, you can try out some local restaurants. The staff would be happy to guide you to restaurants or food joints. Always be wary of local street food as most of the times it is contaminated or half cooked or made with unhealthy components. It is not advised to consume tap water directly, however for cleaning purposes like brushing your teeth, tap water is fine. You can purchase water bottles from a supermarket for consumption.
Can vegetarians be accommodated?
Yes, however, you must inform us in advance and also mention any dietary requirement in your application form.
How do I get to the project locations?
The project coordinator or a staff member will take you to the project location and introduce you to everyone, give you a brief orientation and tour. There will be an assistant program coordinator present at the program location. If the project location is within walking distance from your accommodation, then you don’t need to worry about transportation. But if the project location is not in walking distance we will coordinate transportation by car or boda-boda (motorcycle).
Will I have free time and can I do any sightseeing during volunteering?
Yes, you will have free time in the evenings and during the weekends. You are free to travel and explore. However, we recommend not staying out past 7 pm. On the weekends, you can go for the weekend trips like visiting the source of the Nile at Jinja or visiting the Entebbe Zoo or a trip to the equator. There are also safari tours. If you’d like to go on safari please let us know in advance so we can help coordinate.
Are there any cultural restrictions, especially regarding clothing?
We recommend bringing comfortable clothing like T-shirts, sweat shirts, jeans, skirts etc. Since the region is near to the equator, light showers are pretty common, and the nights are a little colder so carrying a jacket would be a good idea. Sports shoes and sandals are good options for footwear.The main idea is to be dressed comfortably and modestly. The country has a different set of customs and traditions and it is always good to be respectful towards their beliefs and follow the local customs.
Are there other expenses once I arrive in Uganda?
Your program fee does not cover your personal expenses, such as bottled water, local transport, telephone, shopping, sightseeing etc. This amount can vary according to your needs and excursions.
Where can I exchange my money in Uganda? And are there ATM’s in the city?
You can exchange money upon your arrival at Entebbe Airport. You can also exchange money at any of the banks near your accommodation or project location. We recommend not exchanging a large amount in a single transaction. Instead, we recommend you to exchange money after 2-4 days, so you have a better understanding of your spending needs. There is a very good network of ATMs as well.
Where can I get a local SIM card and are there internet cafes?
You can get a local SIM card from the local market. You can get it from a company store or from any shop selling prepaid SIM cards. You need to show your passport. Airtel and MTN are the leading telecom operators. There are internet/cyber centers in the main market if you wish to browse the net.