We always welcome anyone who is prepared to come and assist us at the Sunbeam Project.
Trine, Troels and Line from Denmark volunteered their teaching skills
You will need to be adventurous and be prepared to live in very basic conditions. Don't expect hot and cold running showers here! Electricity and mobile telephones are a luxury that many people in the village have never seen, let alone dared to aspire to owning.
Nevertheless, spending time transforming the lives of children can provide rewards far beyond mere physical comforts.
Jennifer (right), a volunteer from USA shares a smile with the children, they taught them so much to do with their health such as brushing their teeth and washing hands.
Don't worry if you don't have specialist skills, there is always something to do.
We will provide you with cultural sensitisation and support but you will need to be prepared to come for at least a month and be prepared to pay for your own expenses.
Contact Us to as how you can help.
We can introduce you to a trusted tour company to arrange all of your travel requirements. But if you wish to arrange your own, the journey from Kampala is approximately 450 km and takes around 10 hours by road. It costs 30,000 shillings on the bus to Kisoro town. (All prices here are correct as at July 2013).
Alternatively a shorter route is to fly to Kigale, Rwanda which is 113km, takes around 4 hours and costs UGX 20,000.
A Sunbeam representative will meet you at Kisoro town to assist you with the final leg of the journey.
Where to stay
Very clean and comfortable accommodation can be provided for you in a new house. It has a (cold) shower, lockable storage and a flush toilet and will cost you UGX 10,000 per night bed and breakfast. Bed, mattress, blankets and mosquito nets provided.
The house has limited solar energy so it is possible to recharge phones, computers and batteries but cooking is either on a gas ring or over coal and lighting is generally by candlelight.
Meals and cost of living
Breakfast will be provided. Other indicative prices are:
Bottle of beer 3,000
Self-catering is also available.
What should you bring?
Bring warm clothing as Rubugiri is at an altitude of around 2,000 metres and it is cold at night. It will be 5 - 10 degrees Celsius at night and 25 degrees during the daytime. Sensible footwear is a must as the terrain is mountainous. Mobile phone and internet connections are available but imperfect so buy SIM cards for a couple of networks and a dongle for your computer in Kisoro.
Health and Safety
Uganda is politically stable and has been so for nearly 30 years. There is civil unrest across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) but this only affects the community by an occasional influx of refugees. Obviously it is impossible to completely guarantee safety anywhere in the world and we do require you to provide evidence of appropriate health and travel insurance.
There are wild animals in the neighbouring National Park but the law requires an armed ranger from the Uganda Wildlife Authority to accompany you if you enter it.
There is a Health Centre in Rubugiri that can provide most general medical support and it has a resident doctor. For more serious support, the nearest hospital is in Kisoro town which is a couple of hours drive away.
You will be required to sign a form indemnifying The Sunbeam Project in the unlikely event that you do fall sick, become injured or incur other costs.
Other than being responsible for your own living expenses as outlined above there are no additional costs payable to The Sunbeam Project. We will introduce you to a reputable tour operator to handle transfers and sightseeing but those dealings will be between you and the operator.
What can you do?
We are always looking for
- classroom assistants
- administrators/ office assistance
- health workers
- technical skills - building, carpentry, tailoring, agriculture, aquaculture, crafts, etc
you name it...
How long should I stay?
The minimum stay is by negotiation, dependent upon skills. For example, an optometrist might add value in a couple of days but people with less specialisation or engaged in project work (such as fish farming) should expect to take a period of time to familiarise themselves, to learn local customs and for us to determine where you can add value. For example a teaching assistant would be expected to stay for a minimum of two weeks.
Take the opportunity to go tracking the mountain gorillas as made famous by naturalist Dian Fossey in her book Gorillas in the Mist. A fee is payable to the Uganda Wildlife Authority and usually has to be booked months in advance, but it really should not be missed.
There are around a dozen National Parks in Uganda and the safaris and bird watching are legendary. See the tree-climbing lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park or go visit elephants, giraffes, leopards, hippos, all manner of deer, crocodiles, monkeys, chimpanzees, buffalo and anything else that could want you for breakfast.
Trusted tour guides will arrange this for you.
If this sound like something you would like to do, go to our Contact Us page and we can tailor a package just for you.