5 Things I Learned Volunteering in Uganda
Madison from the United States had the opportunity to spend almost three weeks volunteering in Uganda at an organisation called Another Hope. Having sponsored children and supported projects for five years prior to that, and having met past alumni in the U.S. three times, it was her heart’s desire to visit them and see the work in Uganda personally. She was not disappointed a bit.
Here is how she found the experience and why she recommends you do something similar.
1. So Much Inspiration Work Being Done
I consider it a great gift from God to have actually visited Uganda. What I experienced was an inspiration to me—seeing the love showered on vulnerable children and members of communities, as well as their love and care for one another; seeing the educational and life skills, leadership opportunities, and spiritual development being made available to them; and seeing the broader impact that Another Hope is having in the villages surrounding their compound. It is a thing of beauty that God is doing here.
2. Seeing Everything With Your Own Eyes in Incredible
By being there in person, everything about the the staff, the culture, and the overall ministry came alive to me. After volunteering with children I know so much more “about” the children I had previously sponsored , the staff, and the overall thrust of the ministry. Now I really “know” them—their faces, their smiles, their daily work, the sounds of their voices while working and playing and worshipping. I know the children who need special love and prayer.
I know the dreams and gifts of many of the older ones. I can close my eyes and see them in their own setting, their own culture, with all of its beauty and all of its challenges. It was unexpectedly emotional for me to meet and spend varying amounts of time with all six of our sponsored children, as well as one who has “graduated” out of the ministry and is doing so well in life. My love for them has become much more deep and personal.
3. Anyone Can Make a difference
When the door was opened for me and my two friends to make a trip to Another Hope, I didn’t really know how I might volunteer and serve there. I had no illusions about being a great help to them. I desired only that they would be blessed somehow by my coming—showing them that they were important enough to God and to me that I would invest my time, energy, and money to travel to them. If I can go and help anyone can, going to volunteer in Africa is life changing!
4. Local People Are So Welcoming
We were so hospitably cared for in the guest house at Another Hope by Auntie Rhema and some of the older girls. We felt so welcomed and honored by all the children, they are being taught well and will be good influences in their society. And, of course, Daniel and Ruth and the rest of the staff provided safe ground travel, guidance, encouragement, and opportunities, as well as answering countless questions, which I greatly appreciated.
5. I Want to Encourage Others to Get Involved
My other main reason for going, I felt, was so that I could come back to my circle of influence and be able to personally vouch for the integrity and effectiveness of Another Hope’s work. I had no doubt about those things in my own mind, even before going. However, I felt that by observing and asking questions and personally understanding more of the nuances of the situations on the ground there, I could come back home as a more effective pray-er and advocate for the work there in Uganda.
Whether or not I ever get the chance to return to Another Hope, I’ll always be grateful for this life-impacting visit. There are so many incredible volunteer organisations in Uganda doing such amazing work, I urge you to go see it for yourself and inspire others too.
- Community volunteer programs
- Volunteer in Kenya
- Rwanda volunteer programs
- Volunteer work in Tanzania