|Community Concerns Uganda (CCUg)|
|Community Concerns Uganda (CCUg) is a legally registered Community-Based Organization primarily working in Eastern Uganda in Jinja and Mayuge districts. It has been in existence since 2012 and this is the sixth year. The organization focuses on delivering education and skills training as a means of reducing poverty among women, children and youths. Our core programs include:|
• Sponsorship of several Group Savings Programs (GSP) to train and develop women as micro-business entrepreneurs in communities where we work
• Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) education for adolescents and youths
• Educational sponsorship of Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) enabling them to go to school
• Adult literacy and skills training programs for illiterate women, many of whom are caregivers for sponsored OVC
• Food Security and Nutrition programs for OVCs, aimed at providing resources and agricultural training to enable families to become food-secure
• Youth skills and vocational training for school-drop-out youths
• Crafts program to provide a source of income for women.
The CCUg vision, mission and strategies are listed below.
Vision: An educated, healthy and productive community free from poverty.
Mission: To increase access to education, essential health-related information and skills acquisition as tools to reduce poverty among women, children and youth.
Key Strategies of CCUg
In general, CCUg employs a three-fold strategy to achieve its mission:
1. Provide education, skills / vocational training and related information-based programs to women, children and youth:
• Promote literacy as an effective tool to enhance productivity and reduce poverty
• Increase access to information and resources in support of Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
• Provide vocational and skills-training plus basic resources as needed to allow program beneficiaries to boost household income and improve the livelihoods of their families
2. Work in partnership with government programs related to health and community development.
3. Influence policy makers to be more responsive to the needs of women, youth and children in the organization’s areas of operation.
Who can volunteer
While most educated adults with at least a high-school education and some skills training would find our volunteer opportunities rewarding, individuals with teaching experience and / or with knowledge of and interest in providing instruction in the following areas are particularly welcome:
• Computer and skills-training classes (other than basic computer literacy in Microsoft Office products, no specific skills or prior knowledge is needed; we will teach our volunteers all the information they need to know to conduct skills-training classes)
• Entrepreneurship and leadership training
• Health education, including HIV/AIDS awareness, nutrition, and basic health and hygiene
• Agricultural training
Specific areas of expertise that volunteers may have include (but are not limited to) the following areas:
• Project administration
• Fundraising experience or with willingness to take on this challenge
• Grant and proposal research and writing
• Social workers and mental / emotional health counselors
• Public health educators
• Agricultural specialists, gardeners and hobbyists.
Support for the child educational sponsorship program:
• Mentoring of school-going orphans and vulnerable children
• Counseling children, youths and women
• Conducting home visits to the supported children
• Documenting children’s personal information and / or educational progress
Support for adult literacy and skills-training programs
• Teaching computer, entrepreneurship and other vocational skills to participating youths and women
• Providing instruction in basic health education
• Teaching the basics of financial literacy and how to run a micro-business
• Gardening / farming
General administrative support
• Organization, coordination and administration of various projects and tasks
• Conducting research and report writing
• Writing project proposals
What to expect
We are based in a rural community. However, we have easy access to a main highway for easy transportation to next towns. Meals are shared with the host family.
We are a small community organization with limited funding. However, we use the limited funds efficiently to maximize its impact in the community. As a result we have a small staff.
A volunteer works on multiple projects to have a broad experience of community work - to understand the struggles people have and the collaborative spirit in the community as we seek solutions to address these challenges.
Our program is flexible and we can accommodate the interests of a volunteer based on your skills and experience.
Our Current Projects
Our current projects include the following:
• Education support: CCUg pays school fees and provides scholastic materials to orphans and vulnerable children who otherwise would not be able to attend school. These children live with their families and their caretakers are typically illiterate and often struggle to feed their families. We aim to assist the entire family by providing adult literacy classes, implementing group savings programmes and offering agricultural resources and training through our Food Security and Nutrition program.
• Health Education; We provide basic health / hygiene education, and conduct sexual reproductive health and rights education in partnership with local public schools. We also teach and provide resources for menstrual hygiene management to reduce absenteeism and drop-out rates among post-pubescent girls. We also conduct safe water- and sanitation-related projects.
• Skills Training for Women and Youth: Beneficiaries of these programs are engaged in jewelry-making and other hand-made arts and crafts, adult literacy, computer training, hair dressing and tailoring. Crafts workers earn a wage for the pieces they produce, and CCUg sells the items they make to raise funds for the organization. We also sponsor group savings programs (GSPs) to provide cash for investing in small businesses and short-term loans to provide financial resources to allow women to send their children to work, obtain health care or to address emergency situations.
• Mentoring support: This activity involves one-on-one mentoring, counseling and psycho-social advice for children who are going to school and are under our care. Specific activities include help with homework / school work, guidance and assistance with the various social, spiritual and academic issues they face on a daily basis.
• Family support: Most of the children we accept for educational sponsorship come from severely economically disadvantaged families. CCUg delivers emergency food in the case of actual starvation. Once the immediate crisis has been addressed, we deliver basic literacy classes, agricultural training, nutritional counseling, group savings and loan opportunities and other fundamental resources needed to strengthen their financial resources and help them to become food-secure.
• Farming: The organization runs a small farm where we grow cash crops to financially support our programs and provide a source of emergency food for families in food crisis.
Brenda Doreen Nakirya is the Executive Director of CCUg and Michael Nangulu is the Programs Director who directs the work of our volunteers. Brenda and Michael work closely together to see that volunteers have meaningful work to do in support of organization goals, and that they are exposed to Ugandan customs and cultural activities as well as local natural attractions while staying in Uganda. We view our volunteer opportunities as having a dual purpose: first, as a means of delivering vital education and training to help project beneficiaries lift themselves and their families out of poverty; and second, as a means of providing a hands-on cultural introduction to Uganda and an experience of lasting value to the volunteers who partner with us.
CCUg has a few host families that we know well and have worked with in the past to host previous volunteers. Volunteers stay in their homes and experience daily life as they experience it. These families offer sleep accommodations, a breakfast and evening meal during week days and three meals on weekends. The cost to provide these accommodations is listed below based on your length of stay:
Period of Stay Description Cost
Less than one month Covers stays for up to 3-weeks US $250
First month Covers stays for up to 4-weeks, or the first full month of a longer stay US $350
Second month Covers up to an additional 4-week stay after the first month, or the second full month of a longer stay US $250
Subsequent months Covers up to an additional 4-week stay after the second month, or additional months of a longer stay US $150
Accommodation & Food cost
In addition to the costs described above for lodging and food costs, volunteers will need about US $10 per week for transportation costs. Spending money for personal items, tourist attractions and other travel expenses are not included in the amounts shown here.
Community Concerns Uganda is located in Wairaka at old Kakira Road, Kakira Town Council, Jinja District. Our offices are located in a somewhat remote area despite the fact that we are not far from Jinja town. It is about 500 metres distance from the main town of Wairaka, so volunteers will need to take public transportation to go to and from Jinja as needed / desired.
Jinja is located on beautiful Lake Victoria, and is situated at the point where the lake forms the headwaters of the Nile River. There are many other natural sights to see and cultural activities to enjoy in the area as well as in Kampala, the capital city which you will pass through en route from the international airport in Entebbe. Jinja is the largest town in southeastern Uganda, offering opportunities to relax and enjoy time off from volunteer activities.
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