Voluntourism in Uganda
Volunteering and tourism, when they are joined it becomes voluntourism and this is a common form of international travel that allows you to contribute to sustainable development while exploring a new country and culture.
It is similar to volunteer travel or volunteer vacation and many people find that doing volunteer work while also participating in exploring the country’s beauty remains a great way to get the best from any holiday.
Voluntourism offers unimaginable chances to participants to explore new destinations and its unique attributes, and learning about the culture first hand and play a vital role in the community.
Since most of the volunteers live with local host families, so in addition to the worthwhile work they do at their projects, they also experience the depth of cultural immersion and exchange which is impossible for typical tourists. The host families usually welcome volunteers into their homes and help them become part of the community by acquainting their traditions and customs with volunteers and some volunteers have even found themselves celebrating birthdays and weddings with their host families.
The time a volunteer decides to take a step to join voluntourism program, they are joining a global network of volunteers who live and work with diverse cultures on projects that have positive impact. Volunteering in Uganda receives volunteers all over the world and this helps them to share their passion for giving back and the desire to broaden their horizons.
The most common form of voluntourism in uganda is by visiting animal orphanages and zoos. Volunteers can work at animal orphanages, for example; Ngamba chimpanzee sanctuary that deals in rescuing and rehabilitation of wild animals that have been injured, rescued from poachers or abandoned. Volunteers assist with feeding, handling, cleaning cages, assisting staff with providing medical care to these animals and much more. Volunteers do not need any veterinary knowledge or special skills, just a deep caring for animal welfare.
There are many animal centers, or animal orphanages in Uganda, including – Uganda wildlife education center, Ziwa Rhino sanctuary, Entebbe snake park, Reptile village, etc.
Volunteering and tourism has supported Ugandan communities in various ways;
When volunteers promote to a well-run and sustainable volunteer project, they be helping to implement long term development. Volunteers use skills, time and energy to make a difference that will last long after they have returned home. Volunteers also help local teachers improve their teaching and classroom skills via various teaching projects and in this case volunteers indirectly impact on schools / institutions. And when a volunteer helps a struggling entrepreneur get their business off the ground at a microfinance project, the volunteer is helping support an entire family for years to come.
Voluntourism participants play a great role to the development of local economy because in their free time, they get opportunities to go sightseeing, undertaking game drives, island tours, trekking, boat cruises and many others.
We all know that Uganda relies heavily on the income from tourism and so voluntourism is a way of generating revenue to the county’s GDP as well as supporting local businesses.
Voluntourism companies give employment to the communities and in most cases workers have the opportunity to receive further training and education.
Voluntourism in Uganda is increasingly becoming common but it is extremely important to first research about the organization you are considering to travel with. Sustainability, experience and financial responsibility are essential to the running programs that truly benefit the population.