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Village Primary School Teaching, Uganda

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Meaningful, long-lasting memories with this great program

I volunteered through The Real Uganda in 2009. Sometimes, I can't believe it's been that long. The memories have stuck with me in large part because the program was/is so well run. In a way, this efficiency optimized my volunteer experience and made it even more wonderful. I have volunteered abroad through other programs and this one is at the top of my list. Leslie, who runs the program, is wonderful! I highly recommend The Real Uganda!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Just got back from an amazing volunteer experience with The Real Uganda

I just recently returned from 2 weeks in Uganda working with the Real Uganda. I did a ton of research on non-profits and chose this organization for several reasons. First - it is grassroots and when I spoke with Leslie the founder, I felt that her mission really spoke to me. She is not out to try to westernize Uganda or bring major change. She is simply trying to bring people together to inspire each other, learn about each other and lend a helping hand in the area of life that the Ugandans are taking upon themselves to try to improve. In addition, she places you with a host family in the village, so you are not on the periphery of a new and different culture, you are immersed in it! This was something that was a non-negotiable for me. I didn't not want to be placed in a volunteer hotel, and my family was wonderful, loving and I will be in touch with them always! Everyday here is different and you are not sure what they day has in store for you! I taught and played with little kids at a very underprivileged village school, made bricks with the boys, built a plate stand with a women's group and helped them with their garden. You work with groups of women who have banded together to try to be innovative and improve their lives. It is inspiring to be a part of! I came away with way more than I thought I gave and I am eternally grateful for this experience. In addition, Leslie makes sure you have the weekends off so you can experience all that Uganda has to offer!!! Don't think about this - just do it! It will be one of the best experiences of your life. The Real Uganda is HIGHLY recommended!!!!!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Positive, memorable experience teaching with The Real Uganda!!

The Real Uganda is a wonderful organization! Very well organized and set-up to create a positive experience! The founder is knowledgeable, helpful, and available to assist volunteers. She is thoughtful about how to provide support in a meaningful and sustainable way.

The organization, The Real Uganda partners with are also doing high-quality work. I taught in a rural school and had a positive and memorable experience! The kids and staff were wonderful! The level of support I received was tailored to meet my needs. I stayed with a host family and felt fully immersed in Ugandan culture. The Real Uganda founder also helped facilitate interactions with fellow volunteers working with different host organizations which was helpful to meet other people in a similar situation.

Overall, I would absolutely, without a doubt, recommend this organization!! And will volunteer again myself if I make it back to Uganda :).

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Village Teaching and Community Outreach

Through The Real Uganda, I worked with an organization called Hope Line. It had been a dream to volunteer in Africa for many years, and The Real Uganda not only made this possible, but also ensured that I had the most amazing experience. The support they provided throughout my experience was invaluable, and provided the groundwork for my volunteer experience to have the greatest positive impact on both the people I worked with, and myself.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Social Life

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

Returned Volunteer with The Real Uganda

My two volunteer teaching experiences with The Real Uganda, Fall 2007 and Summer 2010, had a pivotal role in my career path which has led me to pursue my Master of Arts in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. Director Leslie Weighill does an amazing job of placing volunteers in quality local NGOs and school placements, while providing support for volunteers while they are in country. My four months within Uganda opened my eyes to a different worldview outside of the U.S. context. I cannot imagine a better volunteer opportunity, particularly to gain an initial insight into Ugandan culture.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    9

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    9

  • Community Impact

    8

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Just what was needed

I couldn't have more fabulous things to say about Uganda or The Real Uganda. Organizational support was just what was needed, while I got to have the experience I was looking for--at least, to the extent that I knew what I was looking for.

Uganda's a hard country to not fall in love with, and I've been coming back ever since I volunteered years ago.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

The best experience of my entire life. Hands down!

About a year ago, I had a strong desire to go to Uganda. The only problem? I didn't know where to start. Thus, I did quite a bit of research. In my search for a quality organization to volunteer with, I found "The Real Uganda." The Real Uganda proved to be just that- and so much more. From Day 1, TRU (The Real Uganda) supported me in every way that I needed. As soon as I arrived in Uganda, everything that TRU had arranged for me went precisely as planned. I felt safe the entire time, and EXTREMELY welcome! The staff was much awaiting my arrival, and I soon became fast friends with them. In addition, they were superb at forming a community with all of the volunteers. TRU gave us great information on the best Safaris, Nile Rafting guides, and all other enter forms of entertainment. On the weekends, us volunteers would gather together from our separate volunteer location sites to take advantage of these African adventures. Since then, I STILL keep in contact with some of the staff and volunteers. In fact, just 5 days ago I traveled to see a volunteer that I got to know in Uganda! In addition, two Ugandan staff members came and stayed with my family and I when they traveled to the US for the first time, and my family and theirs are now good family friends. In fact, my dad and I are traveling back to Uganda in for 4 weeks to see them, and volunteer! I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!! I have missed it SO deeply since I left. I was located in a remote village outside of Mukono, where I taught/lived in an Orphanage and School. Never have I EVER been so humbled. Hilariously enough, I went to serve. However, what I didn't realize is that I would be the one who would be completely changed! Many organizations don't always properly distribute volunteer funds to the people who need it. However, with TRU this is NOT the case. TRU places volunteers at sites that TRULY need attention and funds. While I was there, the orphanage I worked at was able to have uniforms made for some students due to my volunteer funds. Unlike many western schools, it is pretty vital that students have uniforms at schools. Can you imagine learning in a raggedy t-shirt without pants on? No. Thus, I was so thankful that TRU knew exactly how volunteer funds need to be given.

The Real Uganda TRULY gave me the best experience of my life thus far. I could NOT have chosen a more perfect organization to go to Uganda with, and I will definitely be keeping the friendships and memories that I made with me for the rest of my life.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Amazing Experience

I volunteered with The Real Uganda for two months as an undergraduate. I had never been anywhere in Africa or even outside of my home country by myself before that. Leslie was an amazing administrator and made me feel comfortable and prepared coming into the program, answering every email I sent in the weeks and even days leading up to it extremely quickly. She works very hard to ensure that each volunteer is given the opportunity to do something meaningful and relevant to their interests and also to just experience life in Uganda. I was placed with an organization that focuses mainly on health and education which enabled me to get involved with a wide variety of activities, from helping with mobile health clinics and a peer mentorship program to reading with kids. Through The Real Uganda, I made Ugandan friends with whom I still keep in touch and had an experience that still influences the way I see and think about the world.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    10

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

fantastic volunteer experience on all levels

I am belgian and found the organisation online, I had little English knowledge when I arrived in Uganda, I had booked to volunteer in a remote setting for 6 months and this was in 2006. I was picked up by the director at the airport and her vibes, love for uganda an the projects and the way she talked about it just made me sooo excited. Then I was picked up by the program director of the project i was going to be living in Lugazi with Valence and Doreen, and what an experience, I helped building a school fro mthe first stone, we did the first registrations for the kids, made the uniforms, and you should see it now. they are building extra classes, the have bording school, primary and even secondary classes now, the kids get great grades and this is a fantastic school with amazing teachers. THE REAL UGANDA gives you this real experience, your money is spend on the project and it helps building lives, education and so much more. I reccommend it to everyone! I keep going back to uganda and I keep visiting my ugandan family. I love them very much and they are forever in my heart.

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    8

  • Program Administration

    9

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    8

  • Social Life

    7

Teaching and Outreach

The Real Uganda (TRU) is a small ugandan NGO with a very passionful impulse to change people's lives sustainable. Based in the small town of Mukono in Central Uganda Lesley & her partners support local projects with strong efforts, respect & humbleness. For me personal this is a perfect example for a meaningful and profound development cooperation. I hope and I am convinced that this will be the case today, tomorrow and in future. Those guys are diamonds in the sky for every single child, woman & man in this part of the world. Go on doing this!

Overall Rating

10/ 10

  • Volunteer Experience

    10

  • Program Administration

    10

  • Living Situation

    10

  • Community Impact

    9

  • Health and Safety

    10

  • Social Life

    10

Health Education Outreach

I cannot say enough good things about Uganda, The Real Uganda, and Leslie as a program director! I arrived in Uganda feeling completely prepared. I was provided with an email for any questions which were answered promptly and thoroughly, I had a checklist of things I needed (from bug spray to health insurance) and just enough information about the culture that I knew what to expect. Leslie encourages all of her volunteers to be extremely open-minded and honest with themselves about what they can expect out of your volunteer experience.

Leslie does a wonderful job about being aware of many of the concerns I had as a volunteer such as (Is this a sustainable program? Where does the money go? Am I going to be a drain on anyone's expenses or resources?) She was more than willing to sit down with me whenever I needed to talk about these issues. She provided me with stories and experiences she has had with the Ugandan people that have allowed her to approach things in a sustainable way that provides lasting benefits to the communities volunteers work with.

Personally I worked through The Real Uganda with two other grassroots organizations in the area as a Health Educator. The first two months of my experience I worked in several different remote communities "Educating Educators" on how to provide health education, limit the transmission of disease and promote overall health. The last month I worked throughout the same 4 community groups on rotation. Through these experiences I learned about being an effective educator in a culturally diverse population, worked with hard-working grassroots organizations, and gained a thorough understanding of the culture, people, food, travel, and problems of Uganda.

I consider this experience the most rewarding learning experience of my life and would 10/10 participate in any program as wonderful as The Real Uganda.