Beacon of Hope Uganda

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8.7 / 10 after 23 Reviews Based on overall, support & value average ratings

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Arriving in Uganda was a bit of a whirlwind for the Australian volunteers myself, Heyrold, and Abba. After a 36 hour journey spanning 3 continents, we arrived exhausted at the Mukono Volunteers Guesthouse, the home of Beacon of Hope Uganda in Mukono town, Mukono District. Within ten minutes of arriving, 3 other volunteers gathered in the dark (the power was off, something we'd experience continually throughout the month) to listen to the Director Isaac tell us about his achievements and what will be our work in the next couple of weeks, although it seemed like an eternity because we were so exhausted, it was a great experience learning more about him, and meeting other volunteers.

The next couple of weeks were enjoyable, 6 volunteers living, eating, bathing, washing and working together was a pretty a good experience. We learnt about Beacon of Hope Uganda’s objectives and more in particular about sexual reproductive health and livelihoods in the Ugandan context. We all made friends pretty steadily and every morning, afternoon and evening was a continuous stream of greetings "Yee, how are you? Oli otya, how was your night? Are you fine?" Our food consisted of matoke (stewed savory bananas), soup, G-nut sauce (purple coloured peanut sauce), a 50 cent-sized piece of chewy meat, the same amount in cabbage, sweet potato, pumpkin and potatoes. Our diet was always varied and the accommodation was always clean and a mosquito net was provided and clean sheets. Although at some point, I fell sick, Isaac and team were always available to rush me to a local clinic. We stayed for 2 weeks in Mukono and then we'd found out we will be going to Rekai in south-western Uganda, staying and working with Rev. Cornelius a community volunteer and we shared home with his family. As we ended four weeks of volunteering (teaching classes, community outreaches, sustainable organic farming techniques, club formation in schools and conflict management in rural Rekai) we were all ready and prepared to go back home. It was a great and educative experience, I learned more than I could deliver!

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Posted: December 24, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: anna2014
Age:
21

I’ve always had a keen desire to explore the world and Africa had always intrigued me.

I began searching for volunteer programs but it was not easy. I read about so many different programs but none of them felt right, until I read about the Beacon of Hope Uganda. The main reason I was attracted to Beacon of Hope Uganda was that it is a non-profit organization run by Ugandans. I have seen and experienced first-hand that the most successful community development projects are those run by natives themselves.

Isaac is the founder and main director of Beacon of Hope Uganda (He refers to himself as the “Independent Rural Development Expert”), indeed he is… he has a genuine understanding of the needs of the people in Mukono, which makes the organization sustainable.

My experience with Beacon of Hope Uganda was so incredible that it’s hard to find words to give justice to everything I gained from working with the people in Mukono. I had a countless of experiences while volunteering with Beacon of Hope Uganda that were very passionate for me.

The family was so lovely and welcoming. Despite the hole in the ground (pit latrine) which was the toilet and the bucket of water for bathing, I always felt at home. It was a special place full of comfort and love.

Most of my volunteer work was in the field. We would journey out to neighboring villages, sometimes walking for hours through banana plantations, to do community outreach. We visited the family homes of the children who attended the after-school program, where I also taught.

The most significant change was that my purpose and understanding of my role as a teacher became clearer. I no longer saw myself as a teacher with restrictions or limitations. I realized that I am a teacher not just in my classroom but in this world. I realized that teaching is about exploring, learning, and embarking on a collaborative journey of knowledge with both the people and environment that surround me. Being a volunteer in Uganda with Beacon of Hope Uganda made me realize this. Thank you Isaac and thank you team Beacon of Hope Uganda.

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Posted: December 21, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: hilda
Age:
20

Uganda is a beautiful country in all aspects - the people, the landscape, and the rich culture all made our month there the most amazing experience. Although technically a very small organization, there are many diverse volunteer projects with Beacon of Hope Uganda scattered across the country. My volunteering experience in Mukono at the construction site was exceptional! The opportunity to get to know and work with the others on the team was a pleasure. We did a lot, in just a short period of time, Isaac is an inspiring young man in just mid-twenties but very creative and hard-working. He is very smart and committed to total development of his country and I was more than satisfied with all aspects of my time there.

I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and that goal was definitely met!

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Posted: December 19, 2014
Overall:
9
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: jeremiah
Age:
35

I wanted to travel, experience, and learn about a developing country through the eyes of a volunteer. I wanted to travel somewhere and have an experience abroad that was meaningful. I didn't want to be a tourist, but be someone who could bring something to a community in need and gain something from the local community members as well.

I soon decided that Uganda, the Pearl of Africa, was where I needed to go as a volunteer. Beacon of Hope Uganda was the perfect organization to go with and it was indeed. My experience volunteering at the orphanage with Beacon of Hope Uganda was wonderful.

On my first day as a volunteer I was taken to an orphanage which is part of Beacon of Hope Uganda. As we pulled up to the orphanage, all the children ran out to greet me, fighting to hold my hand. I spent some time playing and interacting with the children and then spoke with the Director of the Orphanage Robert. I learned that most of the children were found on the street or in garbage dumps and brought to the orphanage. The woman who cares for all the orphans, Aunt Ritah, is a wonderful woman and she has beautiful heart. I was both happy and sad after I left the orphanage as I saw both happiness and sadness in the eyes of the children. My mind was flooded with a mix of emotions. When I came back home, I felt nothing but pure happiness. Thank you Beacon of Hope Uganda for this great experience and can’t wait to see the children again.

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Posted: December 19, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: zamba
Age:
23

Very awesome organisation. It is very well organized. GREAT concept! I hope that you get my point!.

Before leaving for Africa Isaac answered all questions in a very timely manner. The airport pick up was excellent!! We arrived late as our flight was delayed but Isaac was still there waiting to great us!! We didn’t have to wait at all.The placement was fantastic.

I had the opportunity to take part in/see things I wouldn’t normally get to experience at home. Our host family was amazing!!

Living with a true Ugandan family forced me to learn the language, culture etc that I most likely wouldn’t have done otherwise. I would definitely recommend this to other students or non students. It’s a great experience however you have to have an open mind and a” go with the flow” mentality. Isaac was amazing. He was helpful and reliable.

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Posted: December 16, 2014
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10
By: timothy
Age:
24

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