Are you interested in life changing and exciting volunteer experience? Are you a college or university student looking for internship opportunities? Do you like working and learning from other cultures? Do enjoy working with youth and marginalised people? Would you like to empower vulnerable girls and women? Would you like spending your holidays doing something creative and at the same time enjoying an African safari?
If your answer is YES then Youth As Volunteers Integrated Network Society (YAVINS) is the right place for you. We are looking for motivated and committed individuals to help us in our day-to-day practical activities of the organisation. We render maximum respect for the cultures in which we work for the sake of achieving our objectives. We do not command but we work with the local people. We do not pay volunteers because as a charity we depend on donations.
Opportunities are available for all ages and for all the people in the following areas:
- Social work and social development fields
- Environmental protection
- Nursing, public health and related medical fields
- Counselling and social science fields
- Rural business and project management, income generating activities for women
- Project proposal writing for funding
- Spiritual support and guidance with a Christian view, pastoral work for clients (see YAVIN Ministry website)
- Skills training and apprenticeship in areas of carpentry, building construction, tailoring, plumbing, mechanics, electronics, welding and foundry, cookery, etc
- Fine Arts, music, dance and drama, puppet shows
- Sports training and participation
- Trainers and teachers for marginalised youth
- Literacy improvement programs
- Graphic art and web maintenance
- African field studies
- Sustainable and community development
- Women’s affairs and women’s studies
- Youth crisis counselling and guidance
Most people find it hard to organise and visiting foreign countries due to a number of fears or limitations. As an organisation, we can help you in making arrangements at reasonably priced facilities. We can identify host families or book for you reasonably priced hostels or hotels and lodges that are reputable, clean and safe.
YAVIN Society collaborates with hostels, which are located in Kalisizo township-Rakai District. The society has a facility that is suitable for our volunteers. Our facility is a form of fund-raising and can be used by donation. Your donations help us to meet the facility utility bills and supporting the Organisation’s field programs. And it is equipped with recreation bicycles, beddings and kitchen utilities.
If you have limited funds, your participation with us is invaluable and we can still find accommodation for you with enough advanced notice and planning. In this situation we use host families, guest houses etc. Leave the accommodation for us to handle for you.
We can host individuals or groups of volunteers. Please do not feel you could not come and serve with us because of your group numbers. Your presence with the youth of the community is such a blessing, regardless of your group size.
There are only two kinds of seasons in Uganda, hot and wet. East African weather generally has temperature around 26 degrees Celsius in the hot season, and around 19 degrees Celsius in the rainy season.. You will have a chance of pausing for pictures around the equator as we travel south to the project area so bring your cameras along. Sometimes professional journalists may be handled differently in line with electronics. Read the country website about “visiting Uganda” (only journalists). The organisation activities are very close to Lake Mburo national park where you will have a chance to visit and see wild game at a reasonable cost from your expense.
Ugandan visas can be obtained at the port of entry in Uganda.
As in most parts of Africa, Ugandan people are very hospitable, welcoming and they will help visitors to get around. However, visitors need caution around strangers with some guidance from the organisational staff needed where necessary. All African food is natural and organic. Fruits, vegetables, and most food products are normally a day old from the garden, but are to be eaten washed and cooked fully before consumption. Malaria is a problem when traveling around Uganda however, it is treatable and preventable. Medicinal drugs can be bought across the counter in all pharmaceutical shops but a doctor’s consultation or recommendation may be necessary. Mosquito repellents are recommended. The society assists in malaria prevention by supplying mosquito nets.
It is an offence to deface or deform Ugandan currency notes, coat of arms or national flag. Carrying or smoking of illicit non-medicinal drugs like marijuana and all kinds of illicit drugs is illegal and punishable by law. Same-sex relationships or practices are illegal in Uganda. In rural areas, it may not be culturally or morally appealing to the locals, for the visitors to exhibit romantic relationships like kissing or caressing in public even though such acts are not illegal. Individual discretion is necessary at all times and in all places because life in cities and rural areas is very different.
The principal languages spoken in Uganda include English (the official language) and Swahili, but several Bantu and Nilotic languages are widely spoken as well, such as Luganda.
More information can be obtained at the debriefing before departure or after arrival in Uganda. Alternatively, you can send your questions to the directorate in Africa.
As “ambassadors” of change, we do not expect volunteers to publicly exhibit negative indulgencies in front of our trainees and minors such acts of smoking and drunkenness or intoxication. Privacy of these acts is the best alternative for those who cannot resist them. In Uganda, like in many African societies some of these are considered to be negative acts or bad influences towards young people. Personal discretion is highly recommended. Change is mostly achieved by example. Understanding foreign cultures is good in avoiding taking offence especially when it comes to language. For example, most Africans will never look at you straight in the eyes as it is in the western societies. Let us work together to avoid misunderstandings or misjudgements.
Carrying money to Africa is convenient but it is advisable to carry larger and newer bills of 50 or 100 American dollars for better exchange rates. Bank notes that are older than 6 years (years of manufacture) may be transacted at lower rates. Most of the international major currencies are exchanged in most forex bureaus in Uganda. These include, British pounds and European Euros. You can also use Visa credit cards and debit cards of your home bank is some ATM machines of major international banks like Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank and others, provided that you have a four (4) digit PIN number. You have to inform your home bank or credit companies about your anticipated or planned region(s) of destination and remember to change your PIN number to four digits. Failure to inform your monetary institutions may lead to failures of getting cash withdrawals in bank (ATM) machines.