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Volunteer Opportunities at ARCOS Uganda

ARCOS Uganda started its volunteer program in May of 2010 and we hope to invite more volunteers in the future. However, at the moment we are still a small family with few volunteer opportunities. Our project is still developing and volunteer needs and requirements will rapidly change as our family grows.  Click here to SEE PHOTOS OF PREVIOUS VOLUNTEERS

Working at ARCOS Uganda will require the volunteer to be utterly flexible and open-minded and to arrive with a positive attitude and willingness to jump in where needed. Many volunteer openings are combined positions, meaning that you will be asked to fulfill more than one position, depending on your abilities and schedule. All positions require English fluency.

Volunteer Application

This application is for individuals only. If you would like to work at the ARCOS Uganda with a group of people, please contact us for possibilities.

The application process is very simple, just email us your resume, skills, experience, age, country and references and reason why you would like to come and volunteer with us and for how long would you like to stay with us and which programs or projects you would like to be part of. This will provide speed for the application process and once we have received your application, we shall acknowledge it within 3days time.

Due to the isolated setting of the ARCOS Uganda projects and the stress of volunteering internationally, it is important for us to know about an applicant’s ability and health prior to beginning service. This information allows us to make a well-based decision in the interest of the ARCOS project and the applicant and helps us to support the volunteer during his or her service at ARCOS. All information is kept confidential.

Volunteer Program

The volunteer program at ARCOS Uganda is full of opportunities. We invite people of all backgrounds to participate in the endeavor to create a life of dignity for orphaned and abandoned children in the Uganda where we serve. We open this invitation to people who have the desire to be of service to the ARCOS community and who have an open heart and mind.

For the volunteers, our program offers a wide range of experiences from unique friendships and life enriching cross-cultural encounters to work experience rarely available in the outside world. The idea of having volunteers here at ARCOS Uganda is to support our staff members and to give additional attention to our children and projects.

Our volunteers have the opportunity to share their talents and knowledge while serving others. Often our volunteers are highly trained and skilled individuals whom ARCOS Uganda otherwise could not afford or find in the places where our projects are located. Volunteers always bring fresh ideas and perspectives that help meet the challenges of our daily operations.

What makes a good volunteer?

The most effective volunteers come to ARCOS Uganda with a positive life-loving attitude, a strong work ethic, flexibility, realism and a sense of humor. Typically, volunteers may arrive with the expectation that living conditions are more primitive than they are. However, they are often not aware of how hard they are expected to work.

We also seek candidates whose main motive is to help the children and be models. ARCOS Uganda volunteers are not rebellious to rational authority, disrespectful or insensitive to the cultures where we work and are guests. Please remember, we accept volunteers only if we are convinced that they will be good for the children. We are not judging them as people, only as models for children who need to be prepared for their lives beyond ARCOS.

We have numerous openings for long-term volunteers throughout the year and short-term programs from 2 weeks. We are sometimes able to accommodate volunteer groups such as school and church or youth organizations for short-term volunteering as well. See our volunteer requirements, volunteer opportunities

If you are interested in helping ARCOS Uganda in your local community by fundraising for their programs, please contact our office to find out how you can become involved. There are always positions available for translators, special event staff and office support.

Volunteer in Uganda with us

Volunteer in Uganda with us

Volunteer Requirements

Length of Service

Volunteers are asked to give a minimum of 2 weeks and may serve in a variety of positions, including school parents, nurses, physicians, therapists, teachers, secretaries, gardeners, kitchen help, librarians or assistants in the clinics. Because of the difficulties that surround training, language and accommodations for short-term volunteers, most positions require a strict commitment to One month of service.

There are short-term (2-3 weeks) volunteer opportunities, summer projects may involve volunteers in teaching English, music, dance, athletics, and arts and crafts.


Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and in good health.

Language Requirements

Volunteer placement in Uganda will depend a great deal a minimum knowledge in English and this also applies to our technical work and manual labor.

The children and staff at the orphanage in Uganda speak Luganda, while English is taught in the schools. At the Office, a minimal knowledge of English is needed to communicate with others and staff upon arrival. Luganda is not a difficult language and each volunteer is expected to study and learn some few words of it during the first week in Uganda. Most volunteers can learn enough Luganda in their first two weeks to communicate with the children and staff.


Volunteers are expected to pay travel expenses to and from the country where volunteering, Accommodation, Transport from the Airport and food

Program fees: - After the Volunteer Coordinator has accepted you into the project, and then you will have to pay a non-refundable booking fee of USD$ 100 paid in 2 weeks’ time upon acceptance into the program, our program is pretty popular, so try to book as soon as possible. Since we started, the numbers of volunteers applying has increased by each year. Unfortunately only a third of those who promise that they will come, have in fact arrived. The wastage in Volunteer Coordinator’s time and the fact that volunteers who could have come were refused due to holding the space for someone else who didn’t turn up, has forced us to implement this. We hope that by implementing the fee only serious volunteers will thus secure the chance to volunteer in our projects. The booking fee will go towards paying for communication expenses incurred by the Coordinators to keep in touch with you and the projects, and website maintenance.

                              1 week- USD$200

                              2 weeks-USD$250

                              3 weeks- USD$300

                              4 weeks- USD$350

The program fees can be paid upon arrival or before departure for proper preparations of your placement.

Additional Fees: USD$ 75 Airport pickup for arrival paid upon arrival.

Program fees covers:

  • Pre-service (e.g. culture, health talk, program orientation, training etc);
  • 1 day sight-seeing guide fee around Kampala or Jinja, Equator, world heritage sites, (e.g. game parks, zoos, museums, rivers etc)
  • Accommodation, Laundry and food during placement with a host family (3 meals a day);

When a volunteer arrives in Uganda, our Coordinator meets them at the airport and brings them to our orientation place in Mukono. From that point our volunteers spend between 1 to 3 days in our orientation program.  This training provides volunteers with a very detailed understanding of how to be acquainted in Uganda’s Life and culture.

The program fee excludes the following:

  • Airfare, Visa and Visa extension fee
  • Transportation during weekends travel
  • Personal travel and sightseeing (trekking, jungle safari etc);
  • Internet access, telephone, drinks or other costs accrued during training and placement;
  • Gifts to project staff and host family, if you wish to buy any;
  • Should you wish to spend more time in Uganda pre and post placement period, please remember to budget accordingly!
  • Travel and medical insurances, immunization, health expenses;
  • You will also need a weekly budget of up to US $50-100 to cater for all your other expenses.

Medical Coverage

 Due to the fact that ARCOS Uganda is a small organization with very little resources we expect the volunteer to meet his or her medical coverages during their stay, but we recommend that volunteers call their public health service for any required shots or medical advice for living in Uganda.

You will have the opportunity to try different roles and projects, dependent on your interests and skills. These volunteer opportunities do not require specialized skills (although these would be an advantage), and we accept volunteers for both short and long-term placements, all the year round. Volunteers certainly gain an amazing life experience from their participation in our placement program. On first arrival, most volunteers sample all the projects before selecting the tasks that suit them best.

You just have to let us know where you want to go and we will take you there and information is available for you. The type of work you are involved with will be dependent on your interests, abilities, level of experience as well as your comfort levels.

One of the advantages of the Community Development project is that you are not limited to one job role and will have the opportunity to ‘sample’ other roles during your placement. To become involved in another projects simply inform a member of staff who will happily make any necessary arrangements.

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Tags: Development, Gayaza, Kalisizo, Kyotera, Orphanage, Rakai, Rural, Uganda, Volunteer


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