Balamu Community Outreach

Organization Description: 

Balamu Community Outreach Program (BACOP) was founded in 2012 by Moses Wambale. It is a group of scouts and non-scouts dedicated to improving the livelihoods of local communities through education, skills development and provision of health services. BACOP is an independent, indigenous, registered non-profit organization. It works in partnership with volunteers both nationally and internationally. They serve the sub-counties of Kabembe, Kiyunga and Kyampisi in Mukono District. We have made siginificiey in our communities through provision of clean water by constructed unprotected water sources, provision of medicine in the communities, working in partnership with each community. In this time we have built a strong foundation of trust, community involvement, listening and accountability. As a Volunteer what I can do at BACOP Just, anything. Whether you are looking to develop professional skills or to learn new ones, we can accommodate you. We need trades people, teachers, scouts photographers, farmers and public health professionals. If you want something in particular please feel free to email us,so we can work on developing a position which will utilise your expertise. As a BACOP volunteer, your main activities will include a combination of the following: 1. Orphan and vulnerable child care: ? Teaching in our partner primary schools (arts/crafts or academics, you decide); ? Training music, dance & drama to vulnerable children in the community; ? Organizing health camps for children regarding health & sanitation. ? Team building Activities/ Games ? Scouting in case you have the knowledge and skills but this shouldn?t worry you if you are not a scout. 2. Health Services: ? HIV&AIDS Patient recording, Drug distribution and counseling; ? Malaria prevention and control; ? Building and maintaining water sources; ? Teaching hygiene and sanitation in schools, clinics and community centres.

3. Conservation: ? Organizing school clubs to promote environmental conservation and tree planting; ? Organizing camping trips for school kids to learn scouting values and environmental awareness.

4. Community Outreach: ? Organizing women and youth empowerment workshops and seminars: ? Training women and youth in entrepreneurship, including craft making, computer, basic accounting and small business development skills; ? Developing credit and savings culture among local community members; ? Work in community health centers as regards family planning and antenatal classes for women. Through Balamu?s work, local people receive education and training resulting in a diminishing need for outside help. Volunteers complement local staff, and provide cultural exchange and skills to all levels of society. Your presence and care not only builds self-worth and confidence in adults, but gives kids a chance to have some fun and express their creativity through sport and art programs. We?ve found it?s not always what volunteers teach, but how they teach that makes the impact. Come prepared to give encouragement, creativity, and love to everyone you meet. Don?t stress yourself about the actual day to day work. Just practice your patience, flexibility and public speaking. Everything will fall into place, it always does. Once you?re here, you?ll plan your weekly schedule with Moses and his staff. If you have any games/small business/public health/teen issues/psycho-social support materials you want to make use of, you should bring them with you. If you need some time off for tourist activities, let your hosts know. They?re flexible and sensitive to the fact that you?ve come a long way and wish to see some of the country during your short stay. Your main challenges will be dealing with Africa as it relates to time keeping, lack of money for the simplest things, and never really knowing your daily schedule ahead of time. However, patience and respect for local ways will make your stay very rewarding. You are in a unique position to help a local organization grow. What do I expect from the community and BACOP? With no doubt you will receive orientation and the necessary training of the activities you will do in the communities plus all the necessary printed information when you arrive here before you start your work, at the start you will work together with experience staff of BACOP. Volunteering in a developing country is often an overwhelming experience, and your perspective of the world and your life may go through some significant change. It can be as challenging as it is rewarding, but it all depends on your attitude and how you approach things. Know that if you move around with a smile (even if you don?t feel like it sometimes) you will be welcomed wherever you go. Ugandans people will tell you they are the friendliest people in the world and welcome all visitors to their country. ?Uganda is a country where a stranger is treated as a friend? They have a great sense of humour and are just as prepared to make fun of themselves as they are of you. Be ready to laugh a lot. It has been very rare for us to have a volunteer who has not left saying it was one of the best experiences of their life. Having said that, it does help if you can prepare for a few things. Expect to see pervasive poverty and to experience conditions which you feel may breach a number of human rights conditions. Expect not to agree with some community polies, and to even not agree with every decision BACOP makes. It is important to keep in mind that everything needs to be assessed within an African context, and remember that what might be effective in your home country, may not work here. Many things do need improving in a big way. But it is also worth considering whether things are really worse, or just different? For example, you will notice in Mukono and in the villages that many females will kneel in front of men when they greet them. Girls to smoke and dressing very short trousers or skirts its very rare (not excepted) Do not expect things to happen in Uganda in the same way they do at home. The first thing to know is that everything takes longer in Uganda. Don?t be surprised if it takes someone 40 minutes to make a sandwich to take away, or if people are two hours late for a meeting. If you are going to be late for something it is a good idea to let someone know, but don?t expect others to do the same. When it rains a lot people in the villages will not go for work or turn up for the community outreaches. You will be the centre of attention in Mukono and in the villages, and this can be overwhelming. People do not have regular access to foreigners, and they will stare at you and approach you. No matter how you feel at the time and how overwhelming it is, try your best to be polite. People are mostly just excited and fascinated by you. Know that you are a very welcome visitor, and if you treat people with respect, they will treat you as an honoured guest. But, keep in mind that BACOP is always open to new ideas and likes to have open dialogue with its volunteers. So please let us know if there is anything you feel uncomfortable about, or if you have any thoughts or ideas to share with us. In 2012 Lonely Planet rated Uganda as one of the top places to visit. It is home to some of the friendliest people in the world, the highest mountain range in Africa ? the Mountains of the Moon in the Rwenzori National Park ? and some of the best white-water rafting on the planet. It has the highest concentration of primates on earth, including the extremely rare mountain gorilla. Uganda is also home to tree climbing lions. Although lions do not normally climb trees, they may do so sometimes when being chased. The exception to this is in the Queen Elizabeth National Park where one can find Tree Climbing Lions resting in the afternoon when the sun is high.

P.O.Box 412,Mukono Uganda
Mukono, 256
Mission Statement: 

To empower communities with knowledge and skill to improve their welfare

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Are more than one-third of the participants in your organization/programs low income (below 150% of the poverty level)?: 
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International Volunteers: 
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