The Real Uganda Participant Reviews
My first experience ever!
Submitted by Joshua biernacki - Fleming college , Peterborough campus | March 21, 2017
My first time traveling EVER was to volunteer with the real Uganda in Uganda and let me say how happy am i to have had this opportunity, at the age of 25 I was a bit nervous but ever so happy to just get out and see the world & different cultures and it's because of Leslie that my experience went so smoothly, if i can recommend any organization to travel abroad it would be with The real Uganda, during my stay i helped plant hundreds of plants & trees and does it ever feel satisfying afterwards to stand back and see with your own eye's what you've helped accomplished,after working in the Garden until noon i sometimes helped at the school in the yard playing with Frisbees and the odd game of football soon as i was finished having my butt kicked by all the kids i was given spare time to venture out and explore my surroundings which was just fantastic! and it all couldn't have been done without the knowledge of Leslie,Robert & Judith. I'm forever in their debt, This organization truly deserved the full 10 ratings on EVERY question because in simpler words it truly did exceed far past my original expectations when traveling for the first time to a foreign country and because of that i plan on returning march 2018, see you guys again soon :)
Program: Community Outreach, Uganda
Eye opening, mind changing and simply wonderful
Submitted by Margarida - Mannheim Germany | February 13, 2017
The only thing I have to complain, is that I spent way to little time there (roughly 2 weeks). However it gave me a good insight into the diversity of Uganda. Both socially as well as into the natural beauty of the country, and the bustle of its cities. The project I was included gave me the chance of contacting with village communities, health directors, company managers/owners, business women groups, and even former government leaders.
The whole logistics was admirably coordinated, and Leslie (and Sophia) makes you feel at home from the minute you arrive in Mukono... actually, even before that, since she might even "help" you pack your bag by suggesting what to bring or not for your stay in Uganda.
I will never forget the taste of the mangos or the pineapples. And since my stay in Uganda, a Rolex never meant an expensive watch never again, but was substituted by the delightful thought of a tasty wrap made on the street in front of you.
The dignity and friendliness of the people was overwhelming. Being called a Mzungu always made me laugh. Distributing condoms to young guys was really fun! Learning how much people are actually informed about AIDS and similar diseases was eye opening.
Loved it... wanted to go there again... will do it some day, and take my son along.
Program: Community Outreach, Uganda
Meaningful, long-lasting memories with this great program
Submitted by Carolina Vila - Medford, MA United States | October 16, 2016
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!
The adventure of a lifetime
Submitted by Daniel Loura - Moorpark | October 14, 2016
That whole "don't judge a book by its cover" mess that your parents told you is true (who would've known). The people in Uganda COULDN'T POSSIBLY be more kind than they already are. The people love outsiders, especially the ones who come not as tourists.
Program: Community Outreach, Uganda
Just got back from an amazing volunteer experience with The Real Uganda
Submitted by essmans - Solana Beach, CA United States | August 03, 2016
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!!!!!
Program: Community Outreach, Uganda
Positive, memorable experience teaching with The Real Uganda!!
Submitted by Rachel Jones - Traverse City United States | April 11, 2016
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 :).
Village Teaching and Community Outreach
Submitted by Kristen - Wilfrid Laurier University | June 20, 2015
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.
Returned Volunteer with The Real Uganda
Submitted by Stephen M Weiland - SIT Graduate Institute | May 20, 2015
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.
Just what was needed
Submitted by Julia - Atlanta | May 13, 2015
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.
The best experience of my entire life. Hands down!
Submitted by Alissa - Waco, Texas | May 12, 2015
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.