|it also means an outstanding opportunity to develop your personality and to experience life-enriching moments.
In order to better understand our work, we ask you to carefully read the information on this page.
There are two options for volunteering with AINU:
1. Volunteer vacancies
We often have vacancies for volunteers with specific skill sets who are able to commit to working with us for specified periods of time. Please contact us and we send you the volunteer form.
2. Propose your own project
In addition to our existing vacancies, we are always on the look out for volunteers who can make a contribution to the welfare of children and communities in a manner consistent with our vision.
We have an open mind when it comes to project proposals: perhaps you are an expert in public health? Maybe you have experience in water sanitation?
If you have a particular set of skills and you can envision using them to improve the lives and futures of communities Uganda, please let us know how you think you could apply your skills by filling in the “Propose your own Project by requesting a form.
Please note that all volunteer application and project proposals mentioned above have to be sent to; email@example.com
We strongly recommend that you submit your application to us AT LEAST 3 or 8 WEEKS before you want to start your placement, but the earlier you send your application to us the better. We need enough time to process your application properly, and you need enough time to organise your flights, arrange your vaccinations (some of which need several weeks between injections), and prepare for your journey.
Before you apply, please make sure you know how much it will cost you to join our volunteer programme. Therefore, our volunteer programmes are free and accommodation is also provided free. We also recommend that you do some thorough research about Uganda, including transportation, healthcare, etc. — there are several excellent websites (and guidebooks — and speak seriously with friends and family about the opportunity. If you are then still genuinely interested, please we shall send you application for volunteers for you to complete and return it to us by e-mail.
What Happens Next
Following receipt of your application, we will assess where your skills best fit in with our projects, and we'll contact your referee for a personal reference for you. Once we've received a positive response from your referee, we'll email you with an offer of a placement on our volunteer programme. The e-mail will either ask you to confirm the dates you would like take up your placement, or it will give the dates for which your placement is provisionally booked. In addition, we will attach a document comprising a volunteer agreement, a checklist of things to do before you go and what to take with you, instructions on how to get to Uganda in general and to AINU in particular, details of the introduction programme once you have reached AINU, important health and cultural information.
Important Note: Please do not book your flights until you have received a placement offer from us.
Fundraising and Donations
Your deposit go directly to funding the projects in Uganda but, as you'll appreciate, there's always a need for extra money so that AINU can continue with its existing projects and embark upon other special projects, such as constructing additional buildings at the secondary schools, community learning centres, etc. we don’t charge volunteers with any fee. This means we can provide you with accommodation and our local food for free.
We encourage all our volunteers to do fundraising prior to their departure, and a number of former volunteers have raised in excess of US$1,000, Computers and clothes. We've created a fundraising leaflet to assist you with any fundraising you do for AINU. We can also supply pictures of life in the districts we work to help you with your fundraising as well, if required. When you arrive, you'll see that any money you have raised is much appreciated and put to good use.
We know that your life will be touched forever by your time at AINU — it is very special place — and we hope that, on your return home, you'll continue to be involved with AINU by helping with fundraising and recommending future volunteers.
Orientation and Volunteering
When you reach Uganda, you will be introduced to AINU projects and the volunteering opportunities. Although there will be guidelines and some structure, there is a high degree of flexibility, and we encourage individual volunteers to use their initiative.
What to Bring
Laundry can be done daily at no charge if soap powder is provided. Therefore, only the basics are needed: a few pairs of shorts, T-shirts, a hat, lightweight long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt for mosquito protection, a fleece or jumper and socks for the evenings, and a good rain jacket and sturdy shoes for the rainy season.
While working at the schools or health centers, skirts are essential for women and long trousers advised for men. Although poverty is extreme, Ugandans pride themselves on dressing nicely and have little respect for looking people. People are incredibly modest and although laws have changed regarding dress codes, traditions definitely haven’t. Apart from the beach and in cities, women are expected to wear skirts that come down to below their knees with respect for local custom. Banda’s law forbidding long hair for men has long been abandoned but, in general, having tidy and reasonably clean long hair will get you a lot further with Ugandan nationals in terms of respect than any length of scraggly or dirty hair.
A Petzl Tikka or Zipka series headtorch is a must, together with a supply of good. (It really isn't worth buying a cheaper make of head torch as previous volunteers have found that they have broken early on and then they've been left with nothing.)
- A Pacsafe Travelsafe in which to keep your valuables
- Mosquito repellent and/or coils
- Sun protection cream
- All medications, including malaria prophylaxis, and a simple medical kit
- Multi-vitamin supplements (as the local diet can sometimes be limited)
- Special sauces, spices, etc.
- Spare camera battery, lots of memory cards, and a 4GB flash stick to store your pictures on — you will take many more pictures than you think!
- Magazines and books (although you can become a borrowing member of the library).
- Spare padlocks and keys for your chalet, luggage, and bicycle.
- A sleeping bag, although not essential for where you will be placed, is useful whilst travelling.
- An umbrella if you're volunteering during the rainy season
All items that are not absolutely essential should be left at home. Only take things that you can replace or you can live without.
Hospitals and Medical Care
There are several different types of medical facilities in Uganda. Rural health clinics, including those at Kangulumira, Kyankwanzi, Kalangala, Kasese, Wakiso and Mukono are about every 3km-20km throughout the country. These are free of charge and services range from distributing aspirin to delivering babies. However, they are very poorly stocked, and you should not rely upon them for any medication you may need. The District Hospitals in Kasese, Kalangala, Mukono, Kiboga, Kayunga, Kampala, are slightly more sophisticated.
For any serious problems, we recommend our volunteers are taken to the district hospitals. These are well equipped facilities with qualified doctors, clinical officers, and trained nurses. Although you will have to pay for any tests or treatments, the sums involved are very reasonable compared to private hospitals. Dentists and a psychiatrists, and private rooms with en suite bathrooms are available. Larger hospitals with more advanced testing facilities are also located in Kampala.
It is essential that you take out travel medical insurance which will cover you for medical emergencies and repatriation. You must seek medical advice from your doctor about vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis. In addition, we recommend that you take a basic First Aid course prior to travelling to Uganda. Please note that you may need a Yellow Fever international vaccination card if you are travelling to other African countries from Uganda, or vice versa.
Malaria is very prevalent along the lake shore, and it is crucial that you have the correct malaria prophylaxis. We advise that you always sleep under a mosquito net (these are provided by AINU), and either dress sensibly at dusk or use a good insect repellent containing at least 50% DEET.