Read what past Volunteers have said about their experience.
Visiting Uganda three times (aged 16, 17 and 20) to volunteer and gain medical work experience was an amazing opportunity. I was able to shadow doctors on the wards, in theatre and in an outreach clinic and was given the opportunity to assist in theatre and give vaccinations. Being given the opportunity to be hands-on in a medical environment gave me a massive confidence boost.
It was incredible to be able to explore the country at weekends. Personal highlights included playing with children at the Deaf School where I stayed, hiking to the top of the breath-taking Sipi Falls and seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat in Western Uganda after my time of volunteering.
Teso is a beautiful area of Uganda that is often missed on the typical tourist trails. The landscape is like nowhere else on earth, with beautiful swampland teeming with rare birds (including the impressive Shoebill) and dramatic rocky outcrops, that when explored offer ancient cave drawings and spectacular views of the surrounding area. The locals are incredibly friendly and it feels like a safe place to stay and explore.
I would recommend travelling to Uganda to anyone. It was the most memorable experience of my life and I can’t wait to return.
My two visits to Teso (aged 16 and 17) were centred around gaining veterinary experience. Most of my work was carried out working alongside local people in order to provide veterinary care for the community. Due to poverty in the area, the community depends greatly on their few animals as a source of income, so veterinary care is vitally important. My experience was very enjoyable as I was able to see how agriculture works in a developing country and was able to perform many more procedures than I could possibly dream of doing when working in the UK. My highlights were performing castrations on a piglet and a goat kid on my own! The people of Uganda are friendly, welcoming and passionate about their country and culture. Anyone who travels there will see that the people just want to show you the best of their country in all its glory which leads to a very exclusive and enjoyable experience.
Travelling to Serere in Teso (aged 18) was an eye opening opportunity for me, allowing me an insight into life in a poor community and the healthcare services available to the Ugandan people. I got experience in a variety of rural hospitals and clinics, working alongside dedicated healthcare staff of all disciplines. Everyone in Teso was incredibly generous and accommodating, welcoming me into their homes and work, so I could truly experience their culture and see how people live in the developing world.
I learnt more in that month – about Ugandan society, wildlife, tropical medicine and myself – than I have on any other work experience or adventure. Uganda is a stunningly beautiful country with such a range of landscapes, scenery and nature. It was a trip that will stay with me for life and I can’t wait to return to Uganda and see all my new friends again.
My desire to visit Teso in Uganda began in 2011 when I started working on a GCSE project that aimed to give young women the skills to start a business and break out of the poverty cycle. I met Margaret who gave me an understanding of the situation in Teso and helped me establish a link with Ngora High School where we based the project.
In April 2017, aged 20, I went to Teso with Margaret and three other girls. I spent time volunteering at Ngora High School and Ngora School for the Deaf, met some amazing people, enjoyed a weekend safari to Murchison Falls National Park and saw some incredible sights including Lake Victoria, Sipi Falls and the River Nile.
Volunteering at the schools in Ngora was such an eye-opening experience. Everyone was so welcoming and kind to us and there was a lovely sense of community in the schools. The students were so dedicated and grateful for the education that they had and were so interested in hearing about where we were from and what the schools are like in the UK.
Whilst at the schools we observed classes, took parts of lessons and marked the students’ books. I won’t forget how happy the students seemed to have us there. Some children sent us little notes thanking us for visiting.
My trip to Teso, Uganda, when I was 20, was unforgettable. We volunteered at different hospitals during the weeks and visited tourist destinations at the weekends. Volunteering was an invaluable experience – I learned an immense amount about tropical medicine, but more importantly was able to bring medical supplies and try to help out where I could. I would encourage anyone to get involved with volunteering as it can make a professional, but also personal, difference to both the people you are helping and yourself. Highlights of the trip included visiting some incredible places, such as Sipi Falls. These are sights that are truly once-in-a-lifetime. The people of Uganda are unfailingly generous and some of my fondest memories are playing cards with families who hosted us, and eating rice and beans. I was even given a chicken whilst out there that has hopefully provided some money (through laying eggs) for the family I stayed with and passed it on to!
I spent three weeks in Uganda spending time in hospitals in Teso and travelling around the country generally. The experience in hospitals was invaluable in understanding the health system and its limitations and successes in a country less economically developed than the UK. It also gave me experience of tropical disease which is obviously something that we see very little of at home. I would recommend this experience to anyone in healthcare (or prospective students) for broadening horizons and coming into contact with an entirely different way of working compared to home. Uganda is also an amazingly diverse country to travel around, the people are exceptionally welcoming wherever you go and there are beautiful sights to see across the country. A brilliant experience that I would recommend to anyone.