Volunteer project Smile
Smile! That’s what this project is all about, a smile. Many of the children who are welcomed at Smile have a bad history behind them. A large part has lived on the street as a street child and some of the children are only three years old.
At the moment, 31 children are being cared for between the ages of 3 and 18. The aim of the project is twofold; firstly, it is important to pick up the children from the street. On the street they get into contact with drug use and theft and once they have landed in this world it is very difficult to get them out of there. The second goal is to give them a safe home and all the means to succeed in their lives. They always try to get the children back with their family, but if this is not possible, they stay with Smile. With the help of sponsors they go to school until they are ready to stand on their own feet.
The project has a kindergarten and a primary school where children can be taught. They prefer to see all children go to a regular school but unfortunately, due to a lack of sponsors, the resources are not always available. The children who therefore can’t go to school, are taught on the project itself. The project is therefore very happy with volunteers who want to support the teachers in the different courses.
To keep the costs as low as possible, they try to be self-sufficient in many ways. For example, the project has a piece of land on which most of the fruit and vegetables they eat at the project are grown. They also make jewellery that they sell in markets in order to generate income.
There is a small group (four teenagers) between the ages of 12 and 14 who have never been to school. They can not or hardly read, write or count and they are too old to be admitted to a primary school. For this group, there is a good chance that they will face a very difficult future without these important skills. We are looking for one or two volunteers who want to teach this small group the basic skills of reading, writing (in English) and calculating. This will not be easy, but with this you can really make a big difference as a volunteer!
Volunteering at this project starts at $ 579 for a four week period (this is including accommodation)! Look for a comprehensive overview of the costs on the page Costs of Volunteering
If you want to come and work with street children or orphans, you will have to stay at least 8 weeks.
At Smile there are many different activities where you can help:
- Support the teachers at kindergarten and / or primary school. As a volunteer you help the teacher during the lessons, you revise homework and you help the children who have a little more difficulty with the curriculum.
- Besides study, sport and relaxation are of great importance. You organise or help with sports and games activities.
- House visits are important to get the children back in their home situation. Together with employees of the project you go to parents or family members to see if there is another possibility to have the child in his familiar environment and if this is not the case, what needs to be done to make this possible.
- The daily routine. This is very broad; you help prepare meals, work in the vegetable garden, play with the children and the activities on the project.
- Maintenance and expansion. There is always something to do in the field of maintenance and expansion. Every so often, for example, the classrooms have to be painted.
- As the project continues to grow, a new classroom will soon have to be built, where they can use the help of volunteers very well.
- Town walks. There are many street children who can not or do not want to be helped. Every week, the entire team goes into town for a day to see how these children are doing. Meals are handed out and the children are open for help and guidance. As a volunteer you assist if you feel at ease here.
Smile is a project where there is a lot to do. We expect a flexible attitude from our volunteers, but we want to emphasise that you are not obliged to do anything. Our Dutch employee is always at your service when you are involved or when you feel uncomfortable about something. Communication is important and together we always get out!
We do our best to provide all information about the projects as accurately and completely as possible. However, local conditions may differ slightly from the information as described here.
At this project there a several options regarding your accommodation. You can stay;
- with a host family
- in the Joeboentoe House
For more information about the different accommodation options, take a look at the Accommodation and Coordinator page.
The minimum age is 16 years and there is no maximum age associated with this project.
Conduct of good behaviour
To be able to help with this project, you need a conduct of good behaviour from your (local) government or Interpol.
The projects we work with receive an expense allowance that leaves no room for self-enrichment. We work this way because we prefer to see the projects being helped through improvements to the project instead of financial donations. Unfortunately we know too many projects where the donated money has disappeared into the pocket of a worker.
On this page on our Joeboentoe website you will find how you can best help the project. If you raise funds, Joeboentoe will take care of a responsible spending of the money.
Voluntary work with Joeboentoe
If this is the first time for you to volunteer or travel to a country like Uganda, you will probably have a lot of questions. Just click on one of the buttons on the right to learn more about that specific subject. If you have a question and you can’t find the answer on our website, feel free to contact us. The easiest way is to contact us through WhatsApp (+316-43050911) or Telegram (+25678-3686875) but of course you can also mail us!
If you are going to volunteer for the first time, you probably have many questions. Click on one of the buttons on the right to read more about the topics. If you have a question that is not answered on our website, please contact us. The easiest way is to ask a question via Whatsapp (+316 430 50 911) but you can also email us.