Advocacy Volunteer Program
Many people in rural areas lack access to timely information, are often uninformed about their rights, lack access to legal assistance and are unaware of government policies and programs both at local and at the national government level. Our volunteers work with community members as advocates of social justice and inclusion through public awareness programs that raise the public’s level of understanding about human rights, government policies, accountability issues and development issues.
How do our volunteers work towards social justice and public awareness?
Our Advocacy Volunteer program trains youth to be the voice for human rights in the community, to educate and inform people on their civil rights and local services that they are entitled to. In order for our volunteers to be effective advocates, we give them the knowledge to:
- facilitate participation and equal access to justice and services
- ensure public access to information
- strengthen public institutions
- advocate for non-discriminatory laws
- promote peace
- form multi-stakeholder partnerships at every level and
- serve as vehicles of civil knowledge in Ugandan communities.
By building awareness, the volunteers help to create the kind of environment that the government need in order to take action on issues, and work towards creating well-informed communities with knowledge on issues that impact them based on local, national, and global interconnections.
Our Advocacy Program enriches the volunteering experience
The Advocacy Volunteer Program helps volunteers to understand the prospects and unique challenges that rural residents and their communities face. The hands on experience they gain during our training makes them particularly well suited to advocate for resources, regulatory changes and new legislation that will improve the quality of life in rural communities. Because there are no set hours or times for these roles, the volunteers can often advocate for important issues as they live and work alongside the community.
Health and Hygiene Volunteer Program
Many of the sicknesses faced in rural areas are caused by inadequate (poor) domestic or personal hygiene and unhealthy lifestyles. Our volunteers work towards better health and hygiene by helping people in their communities to change their everyday habits that affect their health with a focus on prevention and a healthy lifestyle.
How do our volunteers improve rural health and hygiene?
Our volunteers engage in programs and projects that aim to fight diseases by educating the communities about awareness and prevention of disease and the various health issues ranging from malaria control, family planning, to HIV/AIDS and healthy eating practices. Our youth volunteers are trained to:
- Use health educational resources from the Ministry of Health and other international health organisations to improve the health literacy levels of communities
- Organise health workshops, seminars, health camps, and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programs in villages, in collaboration with other health providers
- Improve the sanitation of rural people through activities such as clearing of drinking wells, building of dry racks and digging of latrines
- Educate communities on healthy life styles to reduce the disease burden
By promoting good health and hygiene practices such as brushing teeth, sleeping under a mosquito net, drinking clean boiled water, washing hands, there is a potential to prevent at least 10% of communicable diseases, and 5% of all deaths.
Why join our Health and Hygiene Volunteer Program?
The training we offer enable our volunteers to gain an understanding of community health and safety issues. The program also gives an opportunity to those trained in the medical fields to carry out medical tasks that are in great demand, and make a big impact on health and hygiene. Evidence suggests that healthier communities are more productive, which is an essential factor to lifting people out of poverty.
Education and Training Volunteer Program
Rural schools face challenges in attracting and retaining qualified teachers, limited financial resources and over 70% dropout rates of students. The youth volunteers placed under education & training program focus on improving the quality of teaching to children in rural communities. The volunteers can choose from placements in a traditional classroom setting to teach Maths, English, Science or other subjects in a rural school, or placement in less conventional settings such as tutoring at a local orphanage or providing vocational training for adults.
How do our volunteers improve student achievement in rural schools?
Our volunteers, who are passionate about education but not trained as teachers, are equipped with teaching, management and leadership skills, to make them effective teachers that personalise the learning for their students. Through our training our volunteers can;
- Influence young lives by supporting the local teachers to develop academic excellence in rural children
- Offer guidance and counselling to encourage students to learn
- Facilitate sports and other co-curricular activities to enable
students participate and instill pride in their schooling
- Work with schools to conduct functional adult literacy programs
- In so doing, the volunteers contribute to the academic development of rural schools and the students in order to provide the best opportunity for the children and adults to receive quality education.
Why volunteer in a rural school?
The education and training volunteer program help volunteers to be effective classroom leaders and offers them excellent communication and instructional skills. The impact of the volunteers is assessable in relation to the number of students in rural schools whose learning outcomes have been transformed—increase in enrolment, changes in student and teacher attitudes and in the longer-term improvements in students’ academic performance.
Rural Economic Empowerment Volunteer Program
Despite some earlier progress, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) household survey report 2017 showed that poverty went up by about eight percent (8%) in the country. Under the rural economic empowerment program, our volunteers put focus on helping communities to improve food security and nutrition, agribusiness, livestock rearing, value addition, marketing and micro credit, with emphasis on increasing capacity of farming communities for sustainable agriculture.
How do our volunteers promote rural economic empowerment?
Our trained volunteers help to build the capacity of local communities to gain the skills and abilities needed to generate income, in order to eradicate poverty, through:
- Training people in income generating activities and business management skills in partnership with local public and private training providers
- Helping households to both mobilise savings and provide loans to themselves on a sustainable basis
- Providing the necessary post-training support, for example, facilitating access to markets and credit.
- Facilitating workshops on financial literacy
- Identifying employment and income generating opportunities at the community level
- Empowering fellow youth with entrepreneurship skills, resume writing, job searching, applications, basic computer skills, and interview preparation.
Why volunteer under our rural economic empowerment program?
The volunteer program improves the employability among the youth involved, since the skills gained in these volunteering roles may lead to employment. The skills taught could also lead to entrepreneurship opportunities. Volunteering under the rural economic empowerment program offers a chance to expand the skill set of those living in poverty, by putting in place sustainable economic programs that allow people to increase their economic opportunities, and thus enjoy fulfilling and prosperous lives.
Youth-adult Partnership Program
Sadly, many youth in Uganda today, lack access to positive role models and mentors and, as a result, do find it challenging to navigate the path to adulthood. The youth-adult partnership program actively brings together younger and older persons (including professionals and retirees) in mentoring activities.
How does the youth-adult program operate?
The goal of the program is to offer both parties a chance to learn from each other and to build understanding across generations, culture, citizenship and backgrounds. The youth are supported and provided with opportunities to gain the skills and knowledge needed to participate positively and constructively in economic and social life. The mentors, who are practicing professionals in their respective fields, can contribute to the program by:
- Strengthening the social skills and self-confidence of the young people involved
- Helping the unemployed find job or create jobs.
- Helping young people to gain initial contact with, and getting closer to the labour market
- Enhancing young people’s learning skills and help build resiliency and self-control
- The youth-adult partnership program works toward solving community problems and ending youth unemployment by drawing into service volunteer mentors with special talents and expertise. Mentors are the role models, coaches, and beacons, who will be a crucial part of developing our young volunteers to change their communities, enhance their leadership skills, cultivate their talents and creativity, and become global citizens. Youth are more likely to succeed in life when they have the additional support of a caring, consistent adult mentor.
Benefits for mentors
Youth mentoring positively impacts on the lives of young people and mentors. On the part of retirees and professional workers, volunteer work increases their sense of purpose, which leads to greater self-esteem; they learn new ideas from the youth and gain awareness about issues affecting them. By spending time mentoring a young person, a mentor has a chance to transfer knowledge, skills, and values to the next generation. This program also allows a retiree to continue being involved in the community – to give off their time and knowledge in exchange for the personal satisfaction that comes with volunteering.