Volunteer

Long term volunteers must be 24 years of age due to the level of maturity needed and the abundance of older teenagers needing role models that are not closer to being their peers.

We also insist that you have a basic working knowledge of English so that you are able to contribute to the daily operations. The locals speak the local language - Ateso and some speak English, therefore, if you want to feel useful and productive you need to be able to communicate. This will make your experience much richer and you will appreciate your time here much more.

A work schedule of 22 days at the village and 8 days off allows for plenty of opportunity to explore some of Uganda's tourist sites.
You will be responsible for making sure you leave the country before the expiration of your visa. We recommend that volunteers travel together and always keep us informed of your itinerary.

The scheduling of your break will at times be shifted depending on the amount of volunteers on hand. You may be asked to delay your trip for a few days until other volunteers return for example. This will not occur though when you need to renew your visa. At times, volunteers cho ose not to use their week off and this is fine. If you want to bank your weeks off for a longer break, it is advised to discuss this with the volunteer coordinator so that scheduling can be properly arranged.

Please note that volunteers must be able to withstand basic living conditions: basic sleeping arrangements, cold showers, no television, no running water, no electricity,laundry done by hand, no air - conditioning, and basic meals.
There are snakes, spiders, scorpions, rats, and lots of mosquitoes, but also butterflies, and many pretty birds. We live in the remote area of Uganda.
Be honest with yourself and your comfort levels before you make the decision to work with us.  You need a positive attitude and optimistic outlook.

Important Items to bring:
Do not forget to bring a flashlight, rain gear, sheets and a sleeping - bag (for cold nights).  Although the climate is tropical, the temperature can drop during the rainy seasons of the year, especially at night. It is best to bring a sweater, trousers and waterproof shoes. During the day, the weather is usually very hot and so you should make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and light breath able clothing. There are many mosquitoes and so we recommend you bring insect repellent and buy a mosquito net here. Ladies, if you prefer to use tampons, it's advised to bring a supply from home as they are hard to find here and expensive.

VOLUNTEER POSITIONS
Your position with us will depend on the length of time you are committing to and the skills that you bring with you as a volunteer.

Cleaning and Maintenance
Volunteers are responsible for cleanliness and upkeep of their house. It is your obligation to leave the house clean and tidy before you leave. Generally there are cleaning schedules for the volunteers for the common areas and each person is responsible to keep their living space clean and tidy.

Volunteers are responsible for the cost of their cleaning supplies.

Please advise us as soon as you confirm your date of arrival and, if available, the date of your departure.
We are happy to arrange for your pick you up at the Entebbe as long you send us your flight details (flight number and carrier, and arrival time).
when you are arriving in the morning from the airport, we will take you directly to Olilim.  But if you arrive in the afternoon or evening, we recommend that you spend the night in Entebbe or Kampala so you are not making the long journey through the night.

FUNDRAISING FOR OLAFORENT
OLAFORENT is dependant of our fundraising efforts and welcomes the help of volunteers, past and present, to gather the funds we need to run the organization.
Any fundraising done is OLAFORENT’s name must be first confirmed by our administration and permission must be granted to use the information and pictures available on the website and social media pages.

This information is readily available to help you in any fundraising endeavours you may want to take on, we just want to make sure that intellectual property rights of our staff and volunteers are being adhered to when using their written or visual information.

If you are planning on fundraising before you arrive, please contact us so that we can let you know of any priority needs that we may have at the time or special projects that you can focus on. Please note that we do not allow volunteers to fundraise in the name of OLAFORENT to raise funds to cover their personal expenses for their flights or volunteer fees or living expenses while onsite. If you are going to raise funds for your personal costs from friends and family you must state that the funds are for you and not for the organization you are going to work with and no tax deductable receipts are available for these funds.

There are various ways that you can collect funds through your personal fundraisers. Some volunteers have sales, benefit concerts, silent auctions or online campaigns to help raise funds and awareness for OLAFORENT.

KNOW THE FACTS
Once you sign up to volunteer with olaforent you become a representative of the organization both inside and outside of the project. We want to do our best to keep you informed on the work we do so that you can responsibly represent our work and confidently do your part as a member of our team.

Olaforent is a grass roots organization that works with very limited administration costs. There is no large team of fundraisers, communications specialists, financial planners or HR managers. We rely on small donations from individuals, schools, churches, service groups and some corporations but do not have sustained funding to cover our budget in advance. We get by on what we have from day to day but that means that sometimes we have to go without some things. It is not a perfect system, but thankfully it has allowed us to keep our doors open and serve the under priviledged members of the community.

We ask that you try to see the bigger picture of just how much it costs to run an organization of this stature and we invite your questions about our operation costs and fundraising practices so that you can better understand how we function.

The labor that the volunteers accomplish is impressive. The volunteers are the backbone of Olaforent and without them this project would be much harder to run

Though you might have great ideas on how things could be improved, volunteers cannot make these kinds of decisions on their own. Any feedback you have is welcomed but no decisions or changes can be made without permission from the administration.

Your contribution is very significant to us, but the Organization is above the individual or collective thoughts of the volunteers.
Olaforent doesn’t count with a steady income, fixed donations or any Governmental support; only with the effort of a few obtaining the funds to support the project, we continue our work year after year.

Thankfully, the proof of the labor of all the people that collaborate as volunteers and fundraisers collecting funds for the project from around the world is that OLAFORENT continues to provide food, healthcare, educations and love to the children in our care day after day.

Because of all of the above, it is of vital importance that all of us, who are part of OLAFORENT, understand the importance of loyalty, professional ethics, discretion and respect of the authorities. This NGO functions like any other organization with a large group of people working in it.

Please respect the rule and regulations of the organization and the manner in which it is run. Volunteers are welcome to present proposals as to how we could better run certain programs and seek out the funding for these programs if they are approved by the administration however the current priorities of where the funds go are already set out and funds and efforts cannot be easily diverted from the programs as they are currently planned out.

Remember you are a volunteer of OLAFORENT, all of the community will have their eyes set on you; please don’t give them areas
on to generate a negative opinion that could lead to the undervaluing of the job you are doing with the COMMUNITY.

We accept your participation in this project, with full trust of your good judgment and loyalty to the cause. We expect you to refer to the administration about any queries you may have with the management of the operations, the distribution of funds and the fundraising practices before making uneducated comments or assumptions.

The spreading of negative rumors is not acceptable and the administration is open and available for any questions you may have about the organization and its management.
However, we want to make sure that our volunteers trust the organization that they have chosen to work with and that they understand the reasoning behind the decisions that are made.  We hope that if you are facing a question about the system of this NGO, you will feel free to express your concerns and doubts to the administration and directors of OLAFORENT.
Every decision we make has a reason why, just like in any other enterprise.  Please make sure you have all the pertinent and correct information before making an incorrect judgment or assumptions that can lead to a negative mistrust of the system in which you are involved with.

COUNTRY ORIENTATION/PERSONAL SAFETY
Uganda is a wonderful country, but just like the rest of the world there are always wrong doers. There are increasing issues with security though the majority of crimes against foreigners continue to be petty crimes usually involving theft.
The US Embassy and the British high commission publish travel advisories on their websites we recommend you take a look at it just to ensure that you are aware of the risk involved and the reality of the situation. This is not to scare you or deter you from our project but to give you a better idea of the environment that you are coming to.

Uganda is a beautiful country and the people are generally good, hard working, and friendly people.
We require that all of our volunteers register with their Embassy or Consulate upon arrival for their own safety and protection. We advise our volunteers to refrain from displaying their computers or fancy cell phones in public and encourage them to read up on the current events occurring in the country both before arriving and while travelling through the country. We do not advise that you keep large sums of money on you.

As a volunteer you will have a chance to travel to Uganda's tourist sites of your choice during your week off each
month. We encourage volunteers to travel in groups or pairs and to keep us posted on your whereabouts. For this reason we ask that you let us know your planned itinerary and date of return.

There will be many people or groups that will try to approach you with good intentions, but also some with not so good ones. You must never forget that you are still in Uganda and that the people’s mentality is different from other more developed countries and the people’s reactions could be surprising to you.

Healthcare is an important factor in your personal safety. It is required that all volunteers have personal health insurance from their home country with ample coverage for their foreseen time in Uganda. Since malaria is an issue where we are located you may want to consult your doctor on medications that you can take to avoid this disease as well as which vaccines are recommended for the region. For an extensive list of options see the CDC page for Uganda travel: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/Uganda.htm

Even if you are unable to volunteer, we hope you will consider a donation to our programs.
All of OLAFORENT’s finances are carefully accounted for and we are prepared to forward financial reports at your request, so you can be sure that your money will be well spent.
Welcome aboard!
Thanks again for your interest and hope to see you here soon!
Jane Frances Amuron
Exective Director

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