Unlike many organizations, Beacon of Hope Uganda strives to be transparent about how its volunteer contributions are spent. After all, you will have worked hard to raise the funds for your project or expedition and we think you are entitled to know how we operate. Whilst it is impossible to give you an exact breakdown in each individual case, we can give you an idea about the type of things on which your contribution is spent. First of all though, we would like to explain how volunteer contributions are NOT spent!
BoHU is one of the few organizations operating in the field of ethical and gap year travel which is a not for profit company. This means that volunteer contributions do not end up in shareholders’ pockets, nor do we buy company cars, rent trendy offices or appoint flashy public relations consultants or advertising agencies. As a not for profit organization we allocate your funds to the essential costs associated with running our locally renowned projects, our modest office, researching and developing new projects, building partnerships with local NGOs, developing the skills and capacity of our hardworking and popular teams.
Because we don’t have to allocate profits to shareholders we are able to invest more in project development and we’re able to offer you an unparalleled selection of top quality opportunities at the most competitive prices – no other organization comes close. We can also invest more in our existing projects, providing them with better resources, the best staff and equipment and widening the scope of their activities and improving their impact.
Let’s take a look at where your project contribution does go. This largely depends on the type of project you choose to join.
BoHU Community projects
BoHU Community projects are operated by BoHU in collaboration with long-term partner organizations in four regions across 30 districts in Uganda. These are:
- BoHU- Western region – (Kabarole, Kasese, Mbarara)
- BoHU- Northern region- (Serere, Soroti, Kitgum, Pader, Lira)
- BoHU- Eastern region- (Jinja, Tororo, Kamuli)
- BoHU- Central region- (Kampala, Mukono, Wakiso, Masaka, , Kayunga, Buikwe, Buvuma)
These projects are run by BoHU field staff, carefully selected for their experience and expertise, along with highly skilled staff from the partner organizations in the host district. The projects are exclusive to BoHU and are not available through other organizations. Entry to BoHU projects is competitive and follows an application. Most BoHU projects have research, conservation and development components and most have separate teaching activities. When you join a BoHU project, your contribution will go towards developing and sustaining that project. Although we keep all project costs to an absolute minimum, we always ensure that value for money is not achieved by compromising on your health and safety, such as contracting poor quality services for camps or by selecting inappropriate staff for projects.
While working on a BoHU project, you may typically be living and working with a group of 2-10 volunteers, all carefully selected by us. This will vary dependant on season, location and the nature of the project: for instance, teaching projects will typically utilize smaller volunteer numbers of between 1 and 3.
BoHU Community projects incur many additional costs not applicable to our BoHU supported projects. Below is a list of expenses to which your contribution may be applied. It obviously depends on which project you choose and not all projects will have every item on the following list:
BoHU supported projects
After establishment of our eco-volunteering and ethical gap year travel, BoHU has been approached by many organizations in Uganda for assistance with conservation and humanitarian projects within Uganda. The needs of these organizations vary from project to project. They may require funding or resources, additional man power in the form of hard working, carefully selected volunteers, and specialist skills or perhaps simply they need to build awareness of their activities by advertising themselves internationally and nationally. At BoHU, we are very careful about the organizations and projects we partner with and you can be confident that all projects supported by BoHU meet our highest standards and endorse BoHU’s mission.
Without BoHU’s national standing, wealth of experience and support, many of these small scales, local community run projects would find it hard to promote themselves nationally and would fail to reach new and enthusiastic audience. They would be unable to develop and extend their valuable and often highly innovative programs. And many worthy causes would fall by the wayside. By working with these host district organizations, we can give them a chance to flourish while at the same time offering volunteers a wide range of exciting projects and adventures in new environments with diverse cultures and languages.
As well as offering competitive rates to our volunteers, we also ensure that our partners receive a fair payment to cover their project costs and we work hard to provide partners with additional benefits such as our expertise in marketing where we apply the knowledge developed over 6 years of working in the volunteering and ethical gap year travel sector. As a BoHU volunteer, you will receive the benefit of advice from our dedicated team of experienced gap year travel advisors who will help you find the perfect project. You will receive pre-departure support and guidance from our professional volunteer coordinators.
Working on a BoHU supported project gives you the chance to contribute directly to a host district community initiative: it is a more intimate experience offering you the chance to immerse yourself profoundly in the daily lives of your hosts absorbing the details of their lifestyles, customs, cultures and languages. You’ll be living with the host community either independently or in a small group of local or international volunteers who may have been recruited directly by the partner organization. You may be living with a carefully selected and hospitable host family where you will have a private room and probably a shower or you may be in a volunteer house or local hostel where you may be sharing with other likeminded volunteers. Catering arrangements will vary between projects and you’re likely to be introduced to a wide range of local cuisines and delicacies.
As with any organization, we must spend a certain amount of money on office costs. We only have one headquarters in a small building in Mukono. As well as rental costs, we must also pay for overheads such as electricity, phone calls, stationery, postage and computers. There are also ongoing costs such as maintaining our website, advertising and marketing (internet) – all essential to keeping BoHU up and running. We strive to get the best value out of everything we buy – for example we use every computer for as long as possible and after they are no longer suitable for intensive office use they are refurbished and sent to our field camps and project sites where further use can be made of them.
We hope that by now you will have a better idea of how we apply your hard earned money and we hope that you will approve of the decisions we have made to make our expenditure more efficient and environmentally and socially sustainable.
Although it is difficult to give you an exact figure, somewhere between 10% and 100% of your contribution will be applied directly to supporting your project through a financial support. We also provide a non-financial contribution to projects in the form of such things as staff, marketing, scientific expertise or equipment.
With our wealth of experience developed over the last 6 years and with our dedicated project development team, we are able to source the very best, the most valuable and worthwhile projects for you to support in Uganda.