Volunteer in Uganda


Be a part of community-based, Ugandan-led projects in education, childcare, health and wider social challenges. Ride to work every morning on a boda-boda and volunteer supporting Ugandan innovation and motivation.

My volunteering experience in Mukono, Uganda was exceptional! The opportunity to get to know and work with the others on the team was a pleasure. I was more than satisfied with all aspects of my time there. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and that goal was definitely met!

Simone | Uganda Volunteer


Uganda is a beautiful country in all aspects - the people, the landscape, and the rich culture all made our month there the most amazing experience. There are many diverse volunteer projects with GVN and their partner in Uganda scattered across the country.

Gillian | Uganda Volunteer


Just Choose a Project and Apply!


In Uganda you'll be living in an African homes. African homes are set up in a "compound" type setting; this means that each family puts up a wall around their home and grounds. These compounds are set up for the general security of those who live there. You are advised to bring a flashlight since power cuts are frequent in Uganda. As windows in Uganda are typically without screens, you may wish to bring a mosquito net.

Volunteers are provided with 3 meals each day. There are local shops where you can buy snacks (among other things). Meals will consist of local foods, such as matooke (mashed plantain), posho (corn meal), potatoes, and rice. Starchy foods are dietary staples so you'll have no shortage of carbs. They are generally served with beef, fish, beans, or groundnut sauce. Tea and bread are the usual breakfast. The country's tropical climate contributes to a healthy choice of fruits which include bananas, watermelon, papayas, mangos, jackfruit, and pineapples. Vegetarians can eat well here, but the variety of dishes will be limited and you may get bored of the "same old, same old". Your main sources of protein would be the beans at lunch/dinner and the eggs at breakfast.

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $500 per week (1-4 weeks), and $200 per week after this. (This includes accommodation, meals, coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up)

Remote Orphan Care

Remote Orphan Care

Are you big-hearted and willing to go the extra mile? Or even further? For volunteers wishing to work in a very remote area with HIV affected orphans, our partner works with a project in western Uganda, about 5 hours away from its other host organizations. This is the area where HIV/AIDS has most devastated Uganda. The organisation is focused on bringing aid, education, and love to the orphans of the area, many of whom have lost their parents due to AIDS related illnesses. Volunteers help with basic academics, feeding, organizing play, arts and crafts, hygiene and HIV/AIDS education appropriate to the childrens' age level (3 to 12 years).


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Village Teaching and Outreach

Village Teaching and Outreach

Can you reach out and help a community in need? Our partner works with a number of small community based organizations that provide counselling, care, and education for rural people and orphaned and underprivileged children. Some of these placements focus exclusively on teaching primary or secondary school. Others include both teaching and community outreach components. Please inform us if you wish to teach, do outreach work, or a combination of both, so we can best choose your program.

Volunteers in this project are able to volunteer for a minimum of two weeks, however please note that if you would like to work within a classroom setting, you will need to commit to volunteer for at least one month.

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Public Health Improvement

Public Health Improvement

Are you a confident speaker? Can you get important information across in creative ways? This is a project promoting general public health improvement through our partner in Uganda. Volunteers travel with and work alongside Ugandan counsellors in a variety of programs, directly benefiting 10 rural communities and 7 secondary schools.

Volunteers talk to people in village meetings, private homes, and churches. They design their own seminars based on predetermined subject matter. Basic training and educational materials are on site, but volunteers are encouraged to bring new materials as well.

This project requires walking long distances in the sun. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a sleeping bag, and protective clothing and walking shoes. Volunteers will be given a private room at the headquarters of the host organization as their home base. When work is done in surrounding villages, volunteers will be billeted short-term on site.

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Mukono Town Teaching

Mukono Town Teaching

Are you creative? Love kids and want to teach them about the world? Our partner works with four private primary schools in Mukono town that cater exclusively to the education, housing and feeding of needy children and orphans. Volunteers are involved in arts and crafts, structured play, music/singing, sports, health, and academics. The main focus is to provide children with a loving, creative, interactive environment in which to flourish. Volunteers choose which subjects and age groups to teach upon arrival. They work independently to plan lessons using government curriculum and textbooks. Please be aware that there will be few (if any) resources available at school. No teaching qualifications are required although volunteers should be organised and creative.


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Uganda Application Form


Apply Now: Step 1 of 3



Why GVN?


Our vision is to connect people with communities in need, with a particular focus on vulnerable women and children. We do this by supporting the work of local community organizations in countries through the placement of international volunteers.

We are excited to get your placement under way where you will:

  • Be a part of GVN's efforts to inspire learning, innovation and action to unlock the potential of vulnerable communities around the world. Work with exceptional grassroots projects in community development, conservation and wildlife, personal development, fundraising and physical challenges.
  • Have the 24/7 support of a non profit with 14 years experience in placing 19698 volunteers that will provide you with an affordable and rewarding placement.
  • Volunteer with a world-class organization which is recommended by Bill Gates and CNN.
  • Be a part of progressive non profit that has raised over $2 million to help women and children in need.
  • Have the comfort of knowing that GVN staff have collectively flown over 1 million miles to ensure you get a quality placement.
  • Make a long-term impact in your community of choice - it's not just a vacation.




How GVN works...


The first step is to fill out an application to see if we have a place for you. Then if your application is successful you will be accepted and we will then get to work organizing your placement.

GVN is a registered Charitable Trust, so volunteers finance themselves, or can fundraise online with our unique GVN platform, with US donors receiving tax receipts. The Program Package provides you with all that is listed below, along with personalized support from our expert staff and the knowledge that you'll be working with a reputable and registered charity with over 14 years experience in the field.

At the heart of our work is the communities our volunteers work to support - we ensure that these communities truly benefit from your time in Uganda and that the Program Package fully supports you financially while you're volunteering.

Program Package

GVN Projects: Only $250 application fee + $500 per week (1-4 weeks), and $200 per week after this. (This includes accommodation, meals, coordination, supervision, training, airport pick up)

The Program Package also includes a project donation, which supports the work the GVN Foundation does in addressing nutrition, education and healthcare needs, as well as supporting longer-term development approaches, including income generation activities and microfinance.

Your program package includes:


  • Personal support from your Program Specialist throughout the preparation process.
  • Your Program Guide, with all the details on Uganda and your placement.
  • Fundraising strategies and access to our crowd funding platform where you can raise up to 100% of the cost your trip, with tax receipts for your US based donors.
  • Access to Your Own Online Journal: which helps you to communicate effectively and easily with your family and friends back home.
  • Opportunities for Preferred Pricing and Personalized Service when booking Airfares: through our travel partner GYT Flight Centre who go the extra mile to support GVN volunteers.


  • Accommodation: Home stay, volunteer dormitory or onsite at your project.
  • Meals: 3 meals daily.
  • Project Donation: Included.
  • Airport pickup: On arrival date.
  • Training: In-country orientation.
  • Supervision: In-country staff supervision.
  • Support: Pre-departure personal support from your volunteer coordinator, 24/7 in-country support from partner, and 24hr emergency line.


  • An opportunity to debrief and provide feedback
  • Free access to GVN Changemakers program which alerts you to future internship/job opportunities at GVN.
  • A Letter of Completion in Volunteer Service.
  • The opportunity to stay connected with your project.
  • Global advocacy and fundraising campaigns to continue your part of the movement for social change with an international non-profit that has granted over $2 million to our partner organizations.

The program package does not include: Flights, insurance, visas, vaccinations, departure from the program.

We recommend you allow a weekly budget of US $30 for your other expenses such as bottled water, personal items, beverages, and entertainment.




Tell me more about Uganda?

Uganda is a land locked country in East Africa whose land area of 241,139 sq. km shares borders with Sudan to its north, Kenya to the east, the Democratic Republic of Congo to the west, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south. 40 ethnic groups make up the 21 million people of Uganda, 90% of which live in the rural areas, undertaking subsistence agricultural activities. Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water body in the world, provides for the small-scale fish industry in the south and south-eastern region. In the drier northern region of the country, millet and sorghum are the staple foods, whereas the south and the western region feed mainly on plantain (matooke) and cassava.
Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income at US$ 276 and a life expectancy of 47 years for men and 50 years for women which is expected to worsen as a consequence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There are 9.1 million children under 18 years of age of which 1.9 million are orphans. The under five mortality rate is 156 children per 1,000 live births and 38.3% of every new born gets stunted due to malnutrition. For more information I suggest you purchase the Lonely Planet’s guide to East Africa.

What is the climate like in Uganda?

The best times to visit are December-March and June-September. It can be somewhat rainy then, but not as rainy as in the rainy season, March-June. December-February and June-July are the driest times, when things can even be a bit dusty. Although the country lies astride the equator, most of Uganda is on a plateau 3,600-6,000 ft/900-1,830 m above sea level.
Temperatures in some parts of the country can be quite cool owing to the country's high altitude, despite its position on the equator. The mountain areas become much cooler, and the top of Mount Elgon is often covered with snow. Other parts of the country are much warmer.

What kind of volunteer work is available?

We have a number of projects offered by our partner in the Mukono and Jinja area. The programs are aimed at providing primary and secondary education to needy children, orphan care, community outreach and counseling, and adult literacy. Many of the projects will involve a flexible schedule of various community-based activities. Volunteers will be contributing to community-based development at the lowest local level.

Do I have to be from New Zealand?

No, you can volunteer through the Global Volunteer Network from any where in the world.

What age do you have to be to volunteer?

You must be 18 years old and above. There is no upper limit. You just have to be in good health.

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About Uganda



The Republic of Uganda is located on the eastern African plateau 800 km inland from the Indian Ocean. It has a total area of 236,000 sq km including 44,081 sq km of inland water. There are several fresh-water lakes (Victoria, Albert and Edward) which are shared with neighbouring countries and make up the basin for the Upper (White) Nile. The country has an equatorial climate, modified by altitude. Uganda is bordered by Sudan to the north, Kenya to the east, Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, and Democratic Republic of Congo to the west.

Uganda has ten national parks, ten wildlife reserves and seven wildlife sanctuaries, some of which are acclaimed as being amongst Africa's best.

Development in Uganda

Throughout Africa, the AIDS crisis is placing serious strains on societies in a number of ways. First of all, it is draining the already limited health services as greater numbers of HIV patients become in need of care. HIV/AIDS has also increased the mortality rate of healthcare workers making their already depleted numbers in even shorter supply.

HIV/AIDS is also affecting the young adult group in society who are the prime income earners for their household. When young children lose their parents, they are often forced to leave school in order to work. Households with one or more HIV patients have to spend a greater amount of their meagre income on care and funeral costs and cut back on basic necessities and, in order to cope, they may be forced to borrow from other households and use up their savings. This causes many families to fall into further poverty.

Due to high birth rates and excess mortality as a result of AIDS, half the population are made up of children aged 0-15. 

Uganda is one of the poorest countries in the world, with per capita income at US$ 276 and a life expectancy of 47 years for men and 50 years for women which is expected to worsen as a consequence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The under five mortality rate is 156 children per 1,000 live births and 38.3% of every new born gets stunted due to malnutrition.

Volunteer Impact

Volunteers provide assistance to disadvantaged socio-economic groups within Ugandan communities, focusing primarily on orphaned children, HIV/Aids groups, and school children.

As a volunteer in Uganda you can provide love, affection, education and support to orphaned children.  You will help to improve education in schools ensuring children learn and flourish.  As a volunteer you can practice and teach preventative healthcare, hygiene and HIV/Aids care.  You will also provide education, inter-cultural exchange and understanding in Ugandan communities.

Most projects have little or no resources, so foreign volunteers with different ideas and experiences are highly valued.

What else can I do in Uganda?

Volunteers in Uganda have no shortage of opportunities to take in the natural treasures of the country. 

Start by white water rafting on the Nile, settle into a boat ride at Murchison Falls National Park, or take an amazing trek to view endangered Gorillas in the jungle.  Then spoil yourself to a spot of shopping at the Kampala market and while you’re there enjoy great coffee at any of the wireless internet cafes in town.  If you’re lucky, you can catch a Ugandan wedding and don a traditional Gomez to look the part!


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