student volunteering uganda

Student volunteering with Lively Minds is your chance to make a personal and lasting difference in a structured and supported scheme. You’ll work alongside our local staff, and each day travel to different communities where you’ll join in with the Mothers and children at our Play Schemes and immerse yourself in traditional community life. From our base in Jinja you can spend your weekends exploring all this spectacular country has to offer: go on Safari in Murchison National Park, watch the sunset while cruising the Nile, or visit the Gorillas in Bwindi.

Student volunteering in Uganda to change lives

We welcome gap year and students to volunteer with us in Uganda for the trip of a lifetime.  This is a chance to make a personal and lasting difference in a structured & supported scheme. You will work alongside our experienced staff and will be involved in planning, preparation and field work.  Each day you'll travel to a different village with staff and will work directly with Mothers and children at the Play Schemes.  You will gain first-hand experience of overseas development in some of the world's poorest communities - and you will be making a massive difference. You will learn new skills working with people from different cultures and learning to respond with flexibility to new environments.

What do student volunteers do in Uganda?

Depending on the length of your stay, you’ll get involved in the following tasks:-

  • Train mothers to set-up new Play Schemes teaching them how to make and play games using local materials, and how to manage and run the Schemes. These are women who will have never have been to school themselves and you’ll be giving them a second-chance learning opportunity.

  • Observe and support our existing Play Schemes and work with mothers and children to improve teaching and get involved in play activities

  • Deliver skills workshops for the mothers who run our Play Schemes. Workshops can be in topics such as health and hygiene, women’s empowerment and early childhood development.

To learn about what previous Volunteers have got up to, take a read of our Volunteer Blog

Why volunteer with Lively Minds?


Our scheme offers a unique and eye-opening way to experience life in rural Uganda. By volunteering for us you will give hundreds of children free access to sustainable education and health activities and will also enhance your own skills.  We're a small charity and your support will go straight to where it is needed and where it will have an immediate impact.

Our central philosophy is that we do not provide aid. We believe that people can only break the cycle of poverty if they are given the information, skills, and confidence to make changes themselves.You can be certain that by sharing your time, energy, skills and experience with the Mothers at our Play Schemes & with our staff, you’ll be making a sustainable difference to some of the poorest communities in Uganda for years to come.

Throughout the process, volunteers will have one to one contact with a Lively Minds staff member, and we will tailor the package to your individual skills and requirements.  You will work at all times as part of our team and so will be well supported and supervised.

I greatly enjoyed my experience but I mainly partook in this project because of its sustainable character. As I had mentioned in my previous blog entry, for me, finding the right organisation to go abroad to was essential. Lively Minds proved so; it is holistic, activity and community based, it uses local resources, promotes capacity-building, and very importantly is wide-reaching and scalable.

Susana (volunteer & student)

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Why volunteer in Uganda?


By volunteering with us, you can explore this beautiful and unique country in an ethical and sustainable way. Uganda is a hidden gem with so much to offer travellers.  

Our office and Volunteer accommodation is situated in Jinja, a town positioned at the source of the River Nile. With an abundance of restaurants, hotels, and activities such as kayaking, fishing, and horse-riding, Jinja caters for all travellers.

From our base in Jinja you can spend your weekends exploring all this spectacular country has to offer; go on Safari in Murchison National Park, watch the sunset while cruising the Nile, or visit the Gorillas in Bwindi National Park. Our staff in the UK will be on hand to help you to plan your trip, and our local staff in Uganda can help to make bookings and recommend activities.​

When & for how long can I volunteer?

You can volunteer for any length of time at most times throughout the year. We recommend a stay with us of between 3 days to 4 weeks. We also highly recommend incorporating your volunteering as part of a longer holiday in order to experience all Uganda has to offer.

Contact us to discuss dates of availability or call 0207 097 8636.

Anyone that is looking to help but also to learn how to really make an impact in developing countries should volunteer for Lively Minds! The involvement that you get in their projects allows you to learn skills that you will never forget. Plus, you get to work with their local staff which also allows you to get better knowledge of their amazing culture and traditions. After being in this project for 6 weeks I can honestly say that I see life in a totally different perspective.

Vania, volunteer

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How do I apply?

  • Please download and return your completed application form to us at

  • If your application is accepted you’ll be invited for a short informal interview (over Skype or phone) with our UK staff. This will be an opportunity for you to ask any questions too.

  • Successful applicants will be sent a volunteer agreement to sign which you must complete within 2 weeks to confirm your place.  

  • You will then have to fundraise the set amount for your visit.

  • We also require that you purchase travel insurance & provide us with a copy of your policy before you travel



I still have questions, who can I contact?

​Take a look at our FAQs  for more information about volunteering with us

Or contact us with any questions at or call 0207 097 8636

You can also read our Volunteer Blog to find out what our other volunteers have been doing

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