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Special Service Projects You Can Get Involved With In Uganda!

Posted by Jen King on 8/22/23 3:10 PM

LDS volunteer in Africa

We're really excited about all the ways volunteers can make an impact in Uganda. Of course you'll get the classic ILP experience of helping local kindergarteners learn English ... but there's so much more in store.

While the focus of our volunteer program is in the classroom, teaching and interacting one-on-one with students, we know that you love to serve in all sorts of ways (because we've seen it).

Each country has unique needs and so many ILP volunteers seek out ways to do more — we've seen volunteers in the Dominican Republic do so many things including visit a nursing home. Chandler offered to take a family's photo for their first time ever and Kaitlin got a room filled when you she offered to share her talents and hold a little concert for the neighborhood ... making it the first time ever to hear the cello for many of them. 

You can't get involved until you sign up though! 
You can get started by filling out this real quick application online

In Uganda, we've been overwhelmed at the ways our volunteers have been serving their local community (and beyond). There's an incredible team based in Uganda that you'll get really close to which can help you set up these projects and others. Here are just a few ways you can add to your service on your ILP semester! 

Ways you can get involved in Uganda:

Volunteer in Uganda

Clean Water Projects

This is one project that is we feel an urgency for. With no piped water in the majority of homes, families are required to trek to the closest well, spring, or pond to refill containers before making the walk back home.

Sometimes the closest source is 1-2 miles away, so you can imagine how time consuming and physically taxing the daily chore of finding and carrying home heavy jugs of water is for many people in Uganda. You'll often see children walking in the street with jugs of water, bringing it back home each day.

ILP Uganda

However, the real problem is when the closest water source isn’t clean. If it isn't a preserved spring or well, it's probably a standing pool, with trash rimming the edges. You might see a couple of dogs play in the pond or see a cow’s muddy hooves standing in the water before someone comes to fill up their 5-gallon containers. Drinking contaminated water is a major problem that many families deal with on a daily basis.

Case in point, according to the NCBI, diarrhea is the second leading cause of death in children under five in Uganda; 1.8 million die each year — a number that can be drastically reduced with access to clean water. 

With help, Eddie (your Local Coordinator that we love so much!) has been able to provide over 1,000 wells and piped springs to provide a clean and constant water source, and ILP is eager add to that number.

Here's where you come in:

Take a peek below to see the incredible transformation ILP volunteers are helping out with — 

ILP Uganda

ILP Uganda

Volunteering in Africa with ILP

ILP Uganda

Teaching English to kids in Uganda with ILP

It typically only takes a couple of weeks to build a new spring where thousands of families can access clean drinking water.  ILP funds these projects that you'll be a part of.

Shy, an ILP Volunteer, posted this during her semester:

"It's hard to imagine that people actually don't have access to clean drinking water, a basic necessity we all take for granted. I don't think it really hit me until a few of our STUDENTS, the kids we teach every day, walked up to fill their big yellow jugs full of water from the mossy ponds in the pictures. 

"My group had the opportunity to help work on two water projects during our time here in Uganda. One provided clean water access to around 2,400 people, and the other around 5,000."  

This is what a typical water source is for families before,  and then what it looks like after a well has been implemented! It's huge locals now have a way to access the water before it hits the ground and becomes contaminated.


Visiting Homes + Orphanage Centers

One of the easiest ways to serve is simply being a friend. You'll have opportunities to meet locals in your neighborhood, so don't be shy. After a few basic language classes with your ILP group you'll be able to greet neighbors in their local language as you pass by with a friendly "Gyebaley Ko" (sounds like Jay - Ballet - Koh). English is commonly spoken, but you'll really make an impression if you even attempt to learn another local language.

If you'd like to do more, we can help you arrange to visit neglected or orphaned children helping to feed them, playing with and singing to them, and helping to clean up (such as washing their silverware and dishes) are all ways to help. Coming every week is crucial to be as helpful as possible.

In addition to teaching, here's what one ILP added to their schedule of service: "Each week we go to the orphanage for babies ages 0-5. We go on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-6:30 PM. We play with the babies, feed them, and put them to bed. On Mondays, we often go visit one of the Junior High Schools to hang out with the middle school ages girls, sing songs, dance, braid hair, etc." 

Other groups have also taken an afternoon to visit elderly in their homes. Again,  just the gift of your time and love is all you need to really impact someone's day! Trust us, these are the experiences you'll always remember.

Help with Project Period 

This is a project several ILP groups have felt passionately about helping with. Like many areas of the world, there are women and girls in Uganda without access to appropriate (or any) feminine hygiene products. In severe cases, this results in girls not being able to attend school while on their period. 

Help with this project looks like a few different things, but past groups have cut pads out of bright pink fabric, gotten them stitched them together, then handed out these period packets to girls in surrounding suburbs. 

Here's what Allison, an ILP Uganda volunteer said about this service "We are also working with Project Period. We do the cutting and fundraising (we hire someone with our fundraising money to sew the pads) to make sanitary pads to bring to remote villages to help young girls stay in school. We also get to go to the villages and teach the girls how to use the pads, and how to clean them, and eventually, our goal is to teach them how to make it so it can be 100% sustainable." 

Uganda Service Project, Tracing fabric

ILP Uganda

Uganda, Service Projects

Clean Up Projects 

Some ILP groups have connected with local church efforts to clean up neighborhoods by gathering trash. In the past, groups have worked with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to travel to different villages or nearby markets and collect trash to help clean up the community. 

Community Service Outreach

If you're interested, we can get you teamed up for a variety of projects. You'll be able to help teach about how to prevent health and hygiene related issues happening in this part of the world.  You don't even need any special education — you'll work alongside an organization that makes these causes their purpose! There's a number of ways you can offer your help.

A main focus here is fighting the battle of malaria, which is a leading cause of death ... especially in children under five. You'll learn about ways to combat this problem by supplying and teaching about mosquito nets, which greatly reduce the instances of malaria infection.

Another area of concern is having clean bathrooms available. The organization you'll be teaming up with has completed projects building new bathrooms in the past! This was an area that really needed an upgrade as it was in an area of high use. This is the new bathroom after project completion — looking pretty good, but more importantly, it's clean and functioning.

ILP adventure

Support Other Organizations With Important Causes

There are a number of organizations in Africa that are doing amazing work. Especially while you're traveling and participating in excursions anyways, you can seek out and opt to go with the companies who focus on preservation and support. 

Support The Local Wildlife

The Uganda Education Wildlife Centre is focused on rescuing and rehabilitating your favorite safari animals, like elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, and some of the country's rarest birds. A "behind the scenes" entrance ticket allows you to help with animal feeding and health — that may mean sharing breakfast with a baby elephant.  Your contribution also helps to maintain the Centre's rehabilitation projects. Here's all about the Education Wildlife Centre, so you can plan your weekend visit! 

Help Chimpanzees 

When you check out the chimpanzees, you can help by choosing The Chimpanzee Sanctuary and Wildlife Conservation Trust — they rescue orphaned and confiscated chimps and provide them a home where they can peacefully recover from previous trauma.  You get to see these chimps while also helping fund a safe home for them, just by visiting; win-win. And bonus ... it's on an island on the lake near your home so you can visit any weekend!

Choose Where You Shop 

Even where you shop can make a difference. Check for fair trade certificates for companies who are interested in getting ethically sourced ingredients or supplies for their products.

There are also places who sell locally made pottery, baskets, jewelry and other souvenirs where the money goes back to artist. We love the artists at The Craft Market (and love supporting them even more). 

ILP Uganda

Want to get involved by volunteering in Africa for a semester?

Join ILP's Humanitarian Program in Uganda! We are currently accepting applications online and have a spot waiting for you. Come join a group ready to teach English, help in the community, and experience this incredible country. 

Discover Uganda


Topics: All About ILP + Volunteering, Africa

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