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Come and volunteer in a local school in Uganda close to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and experience rural life in this beautiful remote area of the country, home to the last Mountain Gorillas in the world. We are a local school hosting about 400 students (of whom approx. 200 are boarding). We need volunteers who are keen to teach extra-curriculum subjects to our students (ranging from 3 to 14 years old), such as music, art and craft, sports, helping with English writing and pronunciation and much more. You are also welcome to help with gardening, setting up a poultry farm, helping with computer skills or building - we will be happy to discuss any other idea as long as they benefit the students and our school in general. You will be staying with a local family or in a local lodge in a private room with private bathroom and shower, experiencing authentic local living and food. Three meals per day will be provided, usually made with locally sourced ingredients and traditional food such as beans, matoke, posho, potatoes... Bwindi village is walking distance from the school and accommodation and has a small local market and supermarket if you need to buy any extra supplies. There is also a local hospital nearby and of course, the main gate to the gorilla trekking expeditions in the forest.
Help with Computers / internet
Working with children is the most satisfying part of the volunteering experience with our school as you can learn a lot from them and the Ugandan school system in general. If you are up to it, you can also give the local language (Rukiga) a try.
Bwindi's remote location also allows our volunteers for a deeper cultural immersion within the school and the village as children and locals only rarely interact with foreigners so this is a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to experience the local way of life in a rural village. During festivities or special occasions or during religious rites it is not uncommon to assist to cultural performances such as traditional dances and songs with traditional dresses.
Volunteers have the opportunity to stay with a local family or in a local accommodation, tasting the great local cuisine and real Ugandan hospitality. You will have the opportunity to get to know Ugandan culture better and have an intimate look into their family life.
Last but not least, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest is just at your doorstep and gorilla tracking is a very popular local attraction which is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity!
PLEASE NOTE THAT, FOR LOGISTIC REASON, ALL VOLUNTEERS MUST START ON THE FIRST SATURDAY OF EACH MONTH.
Volunteers will be helping at our local school in Bwindi village. Our official language is English.
Our students are approximately 400, ranging from Nursery (3 to 5 years old) to Primary classes (between 6 and 14 years old). Approximately 200 students board at school (there are 2 dormitories and a kitchen). The classes can host up to 45 students and are basic with wooden desks, a cupboard for books and a chalkboard. Every student has one notebook for each subject and they do not have printed books.
Volunteers can choose to teach to all or only some class levels and help local teachers during scheduled lessons. Volunteers' help is much needed especially in subjects which are extra curricular such as Arts & Crafts, Music, Dance, Drama, Sports, Reading & Writing, News / Debate (which focus on public speaking). Teaching material at school is very limited, if non-existent, so please bring with you any material you might like to use during classes (please check with us beforehand).
We would also appreciate help with computers usage and website update - at date we only have 3 computers, shared among the directors, accountant and headteacher, however, anything you can teach us would be really helpful.
Teachers will be also really appreciative if you would like to spend some time with them and teach them alternative teaching methods or simply focus on improving English pronunciations and vocabulary. Any idea would be welcome and would be discussed on your arrival with the teachers.
We also have a medium-sized garden and would benefit from the help of volunteers who know a little about gardening. One of our future projects is to build a poultry farm to become even more self-sufficient with the school's food requirements.
In our future plans we would like to expand one of our dormitories and to build a main hall where children can practice Physical Education or any extra-curricular activities which require more space, and where we can hold big meetings and debates. Please let us know if you are interested in building and we can update you on our projects.
Accommodation in a host family in a private locked room with ensuite bathroom - ideal for single person or a couple.
For more than 2 volunteers we can arrange a stay in a local lodge in your own private room with ensuite bathroom (you can share it with another volunteer if you feel comfortable doing that).
Three meals are provided per day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). In the local family meals will be prepared using all locally-sourced and fresh produce (typical dishes are Matoke, Posho, Sweet Potatoes, Yams, Cassavas...) and local fruits (such as passion fruit, bananas, papayas, pineapple, watermelon...). In the local lodge we can arrange for you to have meals at the lodge or at our school canteen.
We can help you in organising transportation from Entebbe International Airport to Bwindi on your day of arrival. Please be aware this is a 8 to 9 hours drive.
- Village walks - stroll around the quiet village of Bwindi and take in its relaxed atmosphere and the locals' friendliness. There are some local shops and a Saturday market and the village is surrounded by lush green hills with banana, coffee and tea plantations.
- Bwindi Impenetrable Forest - the main attraction in the region is definitely the Gorilla Tracking which is a once-in-a-life-time close encounter with these amazing animals in the deep of Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park
- Rent a bike - ride along the unpaved red roads of Bwindi and enjoy the rural landscapes and villages along the way
- Visit a Batwa village - Batwa are hunter-gatherer local pygmy tribes who are believed to be the first inhabitants of the area. You can visit their village and get to know their ancient culture and way of living
Bwindi can also be a base to explore more of the West- Southern regions of Uganda, including Queen Elizabeth's National Park (for safaris), Kibale National Park (for chimpanzees) and the Ruwenzori Mountains (for hiking).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week (flexible)