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Urban Medical Mission Trips - Uganda

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Making a difference in African with ABA Foundation

Volunteering with ABA Foundation in Uganda helped me to make a difference in some of the world's poorest communities, living and working alongside local people on ABA Foundation's projects of long term value. As a volunteers I joined ABA Foundation at different stages in my life and with different passion. Yet I wanted a challenge and I was united with them by my determination to make a difference! Typically, I walked away with a broad set of skills that help me to make progress in my personal and professional life and carry on making a positive contribution to the causes that I really care about! I learned a lot of skills. These skills included the ability to negotiate, to motivate, to listen and learn from other cultures, to plan and manage budgets - and so much more.With ABA Foundation, everyone can be part of this experience too – and show others what you're made of. I deeply thank God and I thank ABA Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to serve the hurting people of Africa.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Raising awareness on health and hygiene issues

In Uganda, I did a lot of awareness raising on health and hygiene issues with ABA Foundation, to children and village communities. We carried out surveys and research on issues affecting the local community and sought ways the ABA Foundation could offer solutions to these problems, such as when we built toilets in villages where there previously had been none. I believe our team were able to achieve all our goals. Thanks to good communication which was helped by translation between local community members and the ABA Foundation volunteers. What I most enjoyed about being able to speak English was the social times when I could translate jokes and create a good atmosphere and conversation between people. It also proved useful to gain more in-depth explanations on issues such as local politics, culture, traditions. I picked up on some interesting new words in English as Uganda is a English speaking Country. So I was able to add to my vocabulary, which was especially valuable when I returned to visit Uganda. I would absolutely recommend everyone to volunteer with ABA Foundation – it is invaluable for learning great skills in so many ways, including languages. I lived in Uganda for six months and so continued to develop my language skills. I still speak English every day and use it to stay in touch with friends, including those I met in Uganda. My team mainly participated in projects supporting self-help groups - small groups of people, generally with low means of living, who join together and get some small agricultural projects to work on with the same goal of developing their skills and become self-reliant. I also got an opportunity to get involved in projects concerning primary schools. I helped to train teachers in IT as it's my field of study. Before volunteering at ABA Foundation in Uganda, I was working for a packing company and then as a credit officer for a micro-finance company. I had started to get involved in my community, working in particular with young men to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS. The experience made me want to apply for volunteering. Since volunteering with ABA, my whole mindset has changed. I now want to put all my skills and energy towards helping my community and this has guided everything I have done since. Young people are assets for change in their communities and for the world as a whole. They can be strong people in society with the energy to speak about issues that they are passionate about. I’m especially keen on doing work supporting those with HIV/AIDS, and raising awareness of sexual health issues and gender discrimination. These are areas that really resonated with me, as a result of my volunteering experience in Uganda. It would be easier to list the things I didn’t learn or improve upon during my ABA experience. In terms of experience and new skills, volunteering ABA Foundation is the single most valuable thing I’ve done. If I had to highlight just one skill that I’ve learned as a result of my ABA experience, it would be the ability to conceive, plan and organise a big event, budgeting for it and hastily adapting when things inevitably go wrong. Thanks so much to the management of ABA Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to volunteer and make a positive difference in local community and needy groups!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • The Adventure

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Cultural Immersion

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The pinnacle of my volunteering memories

I wanted to do something outside of my comfort zone. Volunteering with ABA Foundation was one of the best decisions I could've made! The bond between the villagers and the ABA Foundation Organization made our legacy greater! It's not for the faint-hearted, but it is exciting, ever-changing and incredibly rewarding. The pinnacle of my volunteering memories at ABA Foundation was managing the preparations for the food bank that I was given temporary charge of for the last two weeks. It became fully stocked, organised and ready for its opening. We received donations from nearly one hundred individuals and two local newspapers wrote articles about it. I had never been involved in anything like this before. The closest thing I’ve ever done was helping to lead a team of students assisting people coming out of nightclubs and drug addicts while at university, but that was just a few hours each week, not all day every day. The whole dynamic is different when there’s enough time to form proper relationships, suddenly a quick fix won’t do, it’s all about long term change. Aside from all the practical skills I picked up from renovating the building (how not to spatter yourself with paint while using a roller, how to fit a sofa through a slightly-too-small door frame etc.) I’ve learned a lot from loving people I’m ashamed to say I may have previously avoided. I now have friends who are homeless, friends in prison and friends who are alcoholics, and I now understand their difficulties so much better. I am now an active member of my community in a way that I wasn’t before. Having volunteered at the ABA Foundation, I am now so much more aware of the problems faced by the community that I cannot ignore them as I did previously. I don’t see this as yet another chore though, I find the work well done through the ABA Foundation and I am delighted to be able to make a difference. From being involved in the ABA Foundation volunteering projects, I have decided that caring for people is something I’d like to do for the rest of my life, but I’d like to have a bigger skill set than good intentions. I could be tempted to return to local or international community development in the future. For anyone worried about or daunted, I would say it is best to get as involved in your local community as you can, depending on the amount of time you have to give.