Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development

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Masaka, Uganda via kindly anonymous
ciirduganda [at] gmail [dot] com

CIIRD Uganda is a community based volunteer led organization, that closely works with local people to improve their livelihoods using a community based resource approach. We work with women groups, youths, local farmers and institutions such as community schools. Our projects mainly focus on improving resilience of small holder farmers towards climate change, conserving the environment, life skills development, economic empowerment through promotion of village based entrepreneurship especially among women.

Mission: To alleviate poverty among smallholder farmer families through productive Climate smart activities and community capacity building to increase household incomes and social well being for self sustaining livelihoods.

Environment conservation.

In this project we promote conservation agriculture through environment friendly farm enterprises, the integration of trees on farmlands and soil and land management practices that enhance sustainability of smallholder farms and improve their resilience towards climate change. In this project, we are developing a network of model homes in the community to demonstrate the best conservation practices which will lead to higher adoption of the conservation practices and technologies in the community.

The program also promotes sustainable energy options among farmer families in the community that are environment friendly such as solar, biogas and improved energy stoves.

 Tasks/Duties:  Some of your tasks as a volunteer include the following; 

·         Designing and implementing conservation action plans

·         Share innovative conservation knowledge and skills with community groups.

·         Participate in conservation project implementation activities.

·         Share sustainable waste management solutions

·         Participate in field activities such sensitizations, tree planting campaigns, etc

·         Represent CIIRD in community meeting and workshop.

·         Any other environment related roles.

 Qualifications and skills:  

•         Sustainable land management.

•         Sustainable/renewable energy.

•         Organic gardening.

•         Other volunteers without specific skills are also welcome; it is all passion and enthusiasm that it takes!

 Economic empowerment.

In Lwengo district, many women and youth still don’t have employable skills and thus stay unemployed which sometimes results into unlawful acts especially among youth. This program seeks to improve the economic condition of Women and youth in and out of school especially the unemployed through skills development and access to affordable credit. Here women  collectively make craft handbags, baskets tablemats, paper beads, knitting and farming where they rear small ruminants, poultry and other small animals which they sell to earn income besides their domestic work. Women and youth still need capacity building to improve their locally made products and improve their farming skills to diversify their economic activities.

Tasks/Duties:  Some of your tasks as a volunteer include the following;

·         Organize / participate in organizing informational workshops in the community.

·         Share sustainable farming practices and tips on farming as abusiness.

·         Conduct community follow-ups on project beneficiaries together with the supervisor.

·         Share economic empowerment knowledge and skills with local women groups.

·         Develop a plan to attract market for the locally made products to both local and international markets.

·         Sharing business skills to improve their farm and group enterprises.

·         Represent CIIRD in community meeting and workshop.

·         Any other roles related to empowering local women and youth.

 Qualifications and skills:

·         Financial literacy.

·         Economic empowerment.

·         Ability to work in rural areas.

·         Fundraising

·         Other volunteers without specific skills are also welcome; it is all passion and enthusiasm that it takes!

Eco-schools  project.

This is a hands-on environment education program where we work with students/pupils in our Eco-schools; sensitize them about environment protection, climate change and its effects, waste management, conduct on school tree planting and in communities around their schools. Young people engage their leaders on issues affecting the environment in their community. We work with schools to actively engage young people in conserving our environment through outdoor conservation activities. Volunteer interested in teaching and sports coaching in these schools are also welcome.

Tasks/Duties:  Some of your tasks as a volunteer include the following;

•         Educate students/pupils on environment protection, growing healthier food in their school gardens and other best practices.

•         Establish orchards (fruit tree gardens) with the pupils in different eco schools.

•         Take students/pupils to explore natural surroundings

•         Interact with pupils to develop their English skills.

•         Develop an outdoor curriculum for sports, scouts etc.

•         Hold a cultural exchange session

•         Share sustainable waste management solutions

Qualifications and skills: No skills are qualifications are required for this program.

 Community outreach.

 This program mainly focuses on improving the social wellbeing of community members and their health condition. Community members are educated on key issues in their community that is; human rights and health

a)Human rights education. The people we work with especially the women and girls don’t know their rights and in many cases, their rights are violated in homes through domestic violence and school based violence. On top of this women are denied rights to land ownership, can’t make farm decisions and in many cases their land is grabbed by men and they are silenced helplessly among other issues.

 b)Water and sanitation. This community struggles with water scarcity especially during the long dry seasons. During this time, water can only be accessible from distant places which are usually located in valleys and thus hard for the elderly, women and children to fetch water home for their families. Water borne diseases and other disease like arise from the use of such water and poor hygiene in the community. Volunteers with knowledge in water harvesting techniques and proper sanitation management are highly welcome here.


Upon Arrival:
- Volunteers are welcome year round
- We will be available to welcome you from the airport. However, you will need to meet your own airport pick up or drop off costs. The project location is a 3 hour drive from Entebbe Airport.
- A Ugandan Tourist Visa for $50 USD is available at the airport upon your arrival at Entebbe. Please provide documentation of your vaccinations, specifically Yellow Fever, as this vacation is MANDATORY for all travelers entering Uganda.
- You will be receiving a cultural orientation about Uganda and villager lifestyles, and learn basic Luganda to converse with the locals.

Accommodation: You will be staying with one of our host families in the community where you will be working. Our host families are wisely selected and they also speak English. The distance to the community groups or schools you will be working can be accessed through walking, or by a motorbike.

Meals: Volunteers will be provided with three local Uganda meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). Fruit and bottled water are also included. We are also able to cater to special dietary restrictions or allergies.

Internet: Internet can be accessed through cafes and restaurants in Masaka town, or purchased with your smartphone through a Uganda SIM Card. Some volunteer tasks require a laptop, so it is encouraged that volunteers bring their own.

Project area: The villages or communities you will be working with are 12-15 minutes to Masaka Town, an urban center. We encourage you to spend your free time in Masaka to explore, as there are restaurants, small shops, and handicrafts.

Expected Duration: Volunteers are expected stay for at least one week. But please note that any period longer than two weeks will be more impactful for both the community, and volunteer.

Dress code: Uganda has beautiful weather conditions. It is recommended you bring a rain jacket or a windbreaker during the rainy season (August – December and April – June). For females, longer skirts/dresses/shorts are encouraged, as this would be considered as appropriate attire amongst our locals.

Free Time: You will have free time for excursions on most weekends and/or selected weekdays. There are many places to explore, such as parks, cafes, bars, or social functions. You will also be able to meet other volunteers from different organizations in selected spots in Masaka Town. Volunteers can also visit Uganda’s National Parks (Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, etc) to see many wild animals such as hyenas, antelopes, hippos, and much more! Lake Mburo National Park is located only 2 hours away from Maska. You can also visit Nabugabo Sand Beach, or take a trip to Lake Victoria. Volunteers are responsible for all expenses incurred from free time activities, as they are of additional cost.

We look forward to seeing you soon!


* 2-5 Volunteers can arrive at ago. * Volunteers needed are those passionate about they do and they should be 18 years old and above. * Volunteers with disabilities are also welcome as long as they can move on their own or need little help to move. * Volunteers can arrive as individuals or in teams.
Minimun time of stay is 2 weeks.
Volunteers with diverse skills are welcome although those without specific skills are also welcome. Skills include: Good communication skills Environment conservation Entrepreneurship skills.
Organising community informational workshops. Business skills training. Teaching on environment related topics Demonstrating improved farming practices Leading outdoor leaning sessions schools.
Depending on the length of your stay, volunteers are required to pay a small daily fee of $9 USD and this cost caters for your accommodation, meals and transport in the project area.

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Masaka, Uganda

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