Vaccination

Major FAQ Uganda

About Uganda’s volunteer program (In General)

How long has IFRE been working in Uganda ? Whom do you work with? Where are you located? What are IFRE's programs?

In Uganda , we have been running our volunteer programs for the last 5 years. We are presently focusing on 4 major volunteer service projects (working in orphanages, teaching English, HIV/AIDS-education, and healthcare). IFRE works with many local NGOs, orphanages, and community projects in hopes of offering meaningful placements for our volunteers in Uganda

IFRE has a well-established office in Jinja - giving volunteers equal access to numerous parts of the city. IFRE runs the first week's orientation in the Jinja office. Volunteer projects is located in Kampala .

Applying for the Volunteer Program in Uganda

(How can I apply? What happens when I apply? Do you guarantee placement? How long does it take to receive confirmation?)

Please read IFRE's 4-step application process

There are two options for applying to volunteer in our Uganda programs. You can apply online ( http://www.ifrevolunteers.org/apply-now.php  ) or you can simply download an application form, fill it out and mail it into IFRE's offices. Participants are required to submit their application with a $299 application fee plus the program fee for the number of weeks you choose. However to simply start the placement process, all that is needed upfront is a $99 deposit which will be deducted from the final invoice.

Once IFRE receives your application, we immediately forward it to country coordinator for processing. The in-country coordinator reviews the application carefully to determine the most optimal project for you while you volunteer in Uganda. Decisions pertaining to room and board are made at this time - depending on the location of the project. The vast majority of participants stay in fully immersed in-home stays.

IFRE receives the details of the participants' placements from the in-country coordinator.

The information is then passed on to the prospective participants along with a final invoice. Final payment is due six weeks prior to departure and, in expedited cases, as soon as possible. The placement details contain local contact information to be used when applying for a visa and/or to get in touch with the local staff and host family.

Preparation for your volunteer vacation in Uganda should include reading about travel to Uganda , immunization, acquiring a travel visa and booking airfare for your volunteer journey to Uganda. If you face any problems, IFRE's Program Manager is always available for any assistance.

IMPORTANT: Once participants purchase airline tickets, we request flight information be forwarded to IFRE's U.S. office by fax or by email. Participants' flight information will then be forwarded to the in-country coordinator in Uganda , who will then arrange an airport pick-up.

Airport and Arrival Information

Who will meet me in the airport? What should I do if I get delayed or miss my flight? When should I arrive?

The Entebbe International Airport in Kampala is your destination and arrival point, so please book your flight to arrive at Entebbe International Airport . Most of IFRE's projects are located in Jinja - a small town approximately 70 km outside of Entebbe . One of IFRE's local representatives will await your arrival at the airport. One of IFRE's representatives will await your arrival at the airport. Participants should ensure pick-up by sending their flight information to IFRE's offices - a follow-up call is suggested as your departure date draws closer.

In the event that a volunteer gets lost, our general suggestion is that they go to the specific contact hotel (provided within the pre-departure package) using a taxi service. Once participants make contact with IFRE's representative or in-country coordinator, they will then be transferred to IFRE's respective offices/homebase.

Volunteers arriving in Uganda are advised to arrive one day prior to the start of the program. The program fee will cover expenses beginning of the first day of the program (Usually first or third Monday) to the last day of the program. If you arrive before the first day of the program and/or stay beyond the last day of the program, expenses will be the responsibility of the volunteer (usually $30 per day for room/food in hostel).

Room and Food

Where do I stay during the one-week language program? Where do I stay during the volunteering period? What do I eat? What about shower and restrooms? Do you accommodate special diets?

Volunteers who enroll in our Language and Culture Program volunteers will stay with a local host family. During this week long program, three (3) local meals a day are provided. At the close of the Language and Culture Program, IFRE's local coordinators transport participants to their respective projects where they will be introduced to their local project staff and respective host family (if applicable).

The vast majority of our Uganda-based volunteers stay at our Uganda homebase for the duration of their projects. However, many volunteers participating in our orphanage project stay in the orphanage (where a separate room is set aside for international volunteers). Orphanage project participants are provided private room as well as three meals a day. The bathroom and kitchen facilities are normally shared with the host family and/or other volunteers. The Ugandan diet is primarily vegetarian, consisting of bread, vegetables, lentil soup, curry, and pickles. Except for vegetarians, we do not accommodate any special diets.

VISA Information

IFRE requires that you obtain a tourist visa prior to departure. Please phone our office or contact the local Uganda embassy to learn more about the proper steps in receiving a visa, visa fees, and visa extensions. You are solely responsibility for getting your visa. Obtaining a visa prior to departure saves time, any associated paperwork hassle and the long immigration lines at the airport – plus at-airport approval is not always guaranteed. Your visa supplements your passport and is your entry permit for Uganda – without which you may be denied access – a risk IFRE suggests avoiding at any and all costs.

Volunteers work with a tourist visa. Please use the name and address of our in-country coordinator and office (provided your personal placement sheet and in the Uganda pre-departure booklet) as a contact address in Uganda (for visa application purposes.)

Health and Safety

Being informed is your first defense against disease and safety risks. We recommend visiting some of the following websites for health and safety information:

WHO website for international travelers ( http://www.who.int/csr/ihr/en/ )

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention 

1600 Clifton Road, NE 

Atlanta , GA 31333 

(888) 232-3228 

(888) 232-3299 - fax information service

Health Canada Online

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Travel Report

U.S. State Department & Consular Information Sheets 

Room 4811 

2201 C Street NW 

Washington , DC 20520 

(202) 647-5225

Travelers' Health

Immunizations/Vaccination

IFRE closely follows the Center for Disease Control's traveler's health recommendations ( www.cdc.gov ). Discuss your travel plans and personal health with your health-care provider to determine which vaccines are necessary.

The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa - including Uganda

Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of Hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.

Hepatitis B especially if you might be exposed to blood or bodily fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. The Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years of age who did not receive the series of vaccines as infants.

Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa , including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to East Africa .

Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June, (see see Map 4-9 on the Meningoccocal Disease page ).

Rabies , pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.

Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors

As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria measles , and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

Required Vaccinations

A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain countries in East Africa . For detailed information, see Yellow Fever Vaccine Requirements and Information on Malaria Risk and Prophylaxis, by Country . Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

Money

  • You may need $5-15 per day for personal expenses such as water or soft drinks, taxi fares and shopping. The best way to make purchases is using a debit card or cash from an ATM machines, which are readily available (in airports and major hotels) and you can withdraw local currency. Another alternative is traveler's checks which are secure and can be cashed at local banks, during business hours.

In Uganda , people of US or European descent are considered wealthy regardless of personal financial circumstances. This will make you a target for pick-pockets and scam artists (”fly catchers”). Participants are advised to be cautious with their money when traveling through Uganda . Please remain alert and remember these suggestions:

  • Avoid external money pouches, dangling backpacks and camera bags.
  • Limit the amount of jewelry worn.
  • Don't flash money or your wallet.
  • Travel in pairs or groups to the ATM.
  • Remain aware of the exchange rate and actual cost of items.
  • Take requests for hand outs or donations lightly.
  • Store money in a secure, well-hidden place or safe at your accommodations.
  • Carry money in different pockets and places on your person.

Field Support and supervision

How will IFRE continue to help me when I am in the field? How can I maintain communication? Do you visit me?

Once your volunteer program begins, our local staff members stay in constant touch with you. Volunteers staying at the Uganda homebase will see our coordinator and staff daily. In Uganda , our projects are approximately 10-25 km from our offices (and usually located in rural settings outside of the cities). Our coordinators stay in touch with volunteers via personal visits, telephone calls or emails. The director of each project will serve as participants' immediate supervisor. IFRE's Uganda coordinator maintains a mobile phone so participants are able to reach him with questions and concerns.

We recommend that you ask questions and make comments regarding your experience. Many minor issues can be avoided with a just little extra communication before they develop into major issues. Your project will have local staff members in addition to our in-country coordination staff. If your project is located a great distance from our offices, then our local staff will communicate via email and/or phone. We are available for you at the local office via email and phone before and during your trip. It's our job to make sure that you are safe, healthy and happy.

Communication

How do I communicate with my family? IFRE staff members? Is there internet?

Volunteers are requested to bring their unlocked mobile phones. Upon arrival in Uganda , participants can purchase and change SIM cards as there are 2-3 electronic shops in the Entebbe International Airport . The SIM card is placed into almost any internationally capable cell phone and can provide service in Uganda . Participants are encouraged to confirm that they are bringing the appropriate telephone. This is the perfect way to stay in touch with your family and IFRE's office. Internet cafés are widely available in most areas of Jinja and Entebbe.

Climate

Uganda 's various topographical regions experience distinct climates.

Generally, the hottest temperatures occur between February and March; with the coolest temperatures occurring between the months of July and August.

Higher elevation areas within the highlands receive much larger amounts of rainfall. The Lake Victoria basin in western Uganda is generally the wettest region in the country, particularly the highland regions, where average annual rainfall ranges from 1,740 mm (70 in) to 1,940 mm (80 in). Average temperatures in this region range from 14° to 34°C (57° to 93°F) in January and 14° to 30°C (57° to 86°F) in July.

The average annual temperatures in the main areas are:

  • Nairobi : Max 25ºC, Min 13ºC
  • Entebbe (coastal): Max 30ºC, Min 22ºC
  • North Plainlands : Max 34ºC, Min 23ºC
  • Rainfall occurs seasonally throughout most of Uganda . The coast, eastern plateaus, and lake basin areas experience two rainy seasons:
  • The "long rains" extend occur from March to June
  • The "short rains" last from approximately October to December.
  • The highlands of western Uganda have a single rainy season, lasting from March to September.

All parts of the country are subject to periodic droughts, or delays in the start of the rainy seasons. Uganda 's climate has had a profound effect on settlement patterns, as for centuries population has been concentrated in the wettest areas of the country.

To check the current weather condition of Uganda , please click here .

Materials to Bring

What should I bring with me?

Usually, items of daily use are available in Uganda at a cheaper price than in your country of origin. However, we suggest volunteers pack the following items:

  • Camera
  • Mobile phone (“unlocked” participants can use mobile phones after changing SIM cards)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun-block/sun-screen
  • Work gloves (if participants are joining conservation or construction projects)
  • Map of Uganda
  • Toiletries
  • First-aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Electricity adapter/converter
  • Sunglasses
  • Footwear (for work and travel)
  • Towel

Gift

What gift should I bring for my project?

It is a common courtesy to bring a small gift for the staff who will be your hosts. You are not required to do so, but if you choose to bring a gift it can simple. We suggest a box of chocolates, a t-shirt with a hometown/country logo, pictures of your family and local post cards.

If you want to bring gifts for your project and if you are working for an orphanage or a school, please bring pencils, pens and paper, art supplies like markers and construction paper pads, as well as games for the children to enjoy. Remember that every child will need these items so you may wish to bring enough for a number of children.

Immunizations/Vaccination

  • IFRE closely follows the Center for Disease Control's traveler's health recommendations ( www.cdc.gov ). Discuss your travel plans and personal health with your health-care provider to determine which vaccines are necessary.

    The following vaccines may be recommended for your travel to East Africa - including Uganda

    • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG). Transmission of Hepatitis A virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; through exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish harvested in contaminated water; or from fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are eaten uncooked and that were contaminated during harvesting or subsequent handling.
    • Hepatitis B especially if you might be exposed to blood or bodily fluids (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, or be exposed through medical treatment. The Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11-12 years of age who did not receive the series of vaccines as infants.
    • Malaria: your risk of malaria may be high in all countries in East Africa , including cities. See your health care provider for a prescription anti-malarial drug. For details concerning risk and preventive medications, see Malaria Information for Travelers to East Africa .
    • Meningococcal (meningitis) if you plan to visit countries in this region that experience epidemics of meningococcal disease during December through June, (see see Map 4-9 on the Meningoccocal Disease page ).
    • Rabies , pre-exposure vaccination, if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas, such as might occur during camping, hiking, or bicycling, or engaging in certain occupational activities.
    • Typhoid vaccine. Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected. Large outbreaks are most often related to fecal contamination of water supplies or foods sold by street vendors
    • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria , measles , and a one-time dose of polio vaccine for adults.

    Required Vaccinations

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