When most people first think of volunteering in Uganda, they’re mostly picturing images of young children, and helping mold the minds and lives of younger generations. But what about the older generations? Why not become volunteers for elderly care and support today?
Beacon of Hope Uganda Eldercare volunteers provide day-to-day support for senior citizens at nursing homes and their homes in Uganda. With increasing economic pressures and shifting family roles in Uganda, traditional ways of caring for the elderly have become difficult to maintain, leaving many senior citizens without a support network.
Volunteering as eldercare is an incredible, life-changing opportunity. Often forgotten by society and not given the attention they deserve, the elderly are in desperate need for volunteers to dedicate themselves to elder help.
Although certainly a challenging volunteer opportunity, being an elderly care volunteer gives you a chance to work with some of the most valued members of society. Imagine the wealth of knowledge, history, and culture these older generations hold! As an eldercare volunteer, you’ll be the caretaker of an invaluable resource to community in Uganda.
Volunteers spend time with nursing home residents, teaching them English, learning their language, sharing stories, and playing games. Volunteers also provide support for local staff, assisting with meal preparation, cleaning, or laundry. In the process, volunteers build relationships and gain unique insights into the past, present, and future of Uganda.
Few things can replace the privilege of listening to someone tell their life story. Senior citizens will talk about the “old days” you’ve only seen in movies or read about in books.
On one hand, volunteering in Uganda with senior citizens gives you the opportunity to make them feel appreciated again while also improving your communication and social work skills. On the other hand, it gives you the opportunity to help contribute to that evolving support system.
Assisting with eldercare is one of the most meaningful ways for volunteers to connect with communities in Uganda.
Role of a Volunteer
Depending on your interests and experience, you can get involved in any of the following areas:
- Volunteers can read to needy elders, play cards or just offer a comforting presence.
- Homemaking Duties. Volunteers can assist elders and their families with homemaking tasks and outdoor work.
- Run Errands. Volunteers can help run errands.
- Volunteers can take sick old people to doctor appointments and deliver supplies.
- Volunteers can sing, play musical instruments or play CDs for elders’ musical enjoyment.
- Life Review. Specially trained volunteers interview senior citizens about their lives. The conversations are recorded and given to families as a gift for a long-lasting memory.
- Story Book. A specially trained volunteer assists the elder by recording the reading a story that can then be shared for generations to come. The family are given the CD and the book for a keep sake.
Volunteers must be:
- Willing to work with elderly people.
- At least 18 years or older at the start of the program.
- Have an open mind and flexible attitude towards working in new and different environments.
- Prepared to do some manual work in their placement.
What do we provide?
Airport Pickup/ Transportation:
- Volunteers are picked up from the Entebbe International Airport by an appropriate BoHU representative.
- Volunteers who will already be in Uganda will be met by a staff member at a pre-arranged location.
- For volunteers arriving by bus from neighboring countries, meet and pickup will be arranged at agreed bus stop.
Orientation Day in Uganda:
All volunteers are provided with an orientation covering topics such as safety and security, transportation, language, local culture, project details, staff as well as a one day guided city/community tour.
Volunteers are provided accommodation in a volunteer house or in a homestay accommodation managed by the local coordinating team. The accommodations are neat and clean. Accommodation is shared amongst volunteers on the ‘same gender sharing’ basis rooms. Wifi internet, warm water is not guaranteed. ( private room can be provided by prior arrangement.)
The homes are close to useful amenities like banks, ATM’s, currency exchanges, restaurants, cafes and shopping places. All placements are around 10 – 30 minutes from the accommodation. Over the weekends or evenings, participants are free to eat out and explore the different delights that Uganda has to offer.
Some volunteers are also provided accommodation in the project premises itself. For example – Volunteers working in orphanage project can be provided accommodation in the project premises itself in a separate room that is allotted for volunteers.
Three meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) are provided to the participants from Monday – Sunday. Breakfast served is hearty and well balanced. It includes tea and coffee, bread, jam, fruit and a main dish, depending on the wish to prepare that day (Ex. eggs, bacon, pancakes, French toast, cereal, porridge, etc.).
Lunch is typically the main meal of the day in Uganda and volunteers will often eat their meals on-site, prepared by local families or community members. If not, Project Leaders will bring volunteers to a local restaurant, which will offer several traditional options. A typical Ugandan lunch features beef, chicken or fish coupled with potatoes, rice or beans (usually rice).
Dinners at BoHU offer a vegetarian and non-vegetarian option each night.
Always be wary of street vendors’ food, which is more susceptible to contamination, undercooked meat and raw fruits or vegetables. DO NOT drink water straight from the tap. Brushing your teeth with it is usually fine, but, for personal consumption, be sure to buy bottled water from a store or boil tap water before drinking (though the later is far less practical).
The project placements are located across Uganda, and you will be placed according to your interests and chosen program. Program regions include: Central, East, North and Western regions of Uganda. Regardless of where you are placed, you will be placed in a program run by Beacon of Hope Uganda.
It is essential that volunteers are able to speak English.
24 hour support is provided by our staff members. Once you arrive in the country you are in the care of BoHU, so try to follow guidelines, tips and utilize all support provided.
After being accepted into the program, payment of booking and placement deposit all participants are provided with a pre-departure information booklet by e-mail which will contain all the vital information about your program, such as: details of the country, project location, Visa requirements, Immunization requirements, details of accommodation, contact information and suggested packing list.
What you are paying for?
The program fee, placement booking and airport transfer fee is used to provide a professional and welcoming volunteer program, as well as providing some financial support for the project you will be supporting.
The following are included in the cost:
- Pickup from the airport, transport to your placement.
- Project donation
- Sightseeing guided tour.
- Comprehensive Pre- Departure Information.
- 24 hrs Assistance and support from BoHU Staff.
- 2 T-shirts
- Ground Transport
What is not included?
The following costs are NOT included in the above fee and will need to be covered by the volunteer:
- Airfare / travel to Uganda
- Visa and Visa extension fees. Tourist
- Any personal expenses
- Any other donations