Frequently Asked Questions

KENYA

KENYA
What are the requirements to volunteer in Kenya?

You do not have to be Christian to volunteer in Kenya. However, the orphanage and academy in Liavo are Christian based organizations and it is important to be respectful of their religion. Accommodations are provided at Janet Olang’s (Program Director for Kenya) home over the weekends for volunteers that do not prescribe to Christianity.

General Requirements for volunteering in Kenya:

  • Volunteers must be able to read, write, speak, and understand English.
  • Volunteer must be at least 18 years of age at the time of their placement in Kenya
  • Volunteers must be in good physical health and may be asked for a physical exam before being able to participate
  • Volunteers must provide at least two character references via the application form

 

 

My application was approved, what steps should I take next?

Once your application is approved you will need to take the following steps:

Step 1 – Login to your user account (https://internationalvolunteering.com/login/), which was created for you via the application form, to secure your placement. Secure your placement by selecting “Click Here to Pay Program Fee in Full” or “Click Here to Pay Deposit $250” via your user profile page. The full amount or the program fee is refundable. Terms & Conditions apply, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/terms-conditions/ for details.

Step 2 – After securing your placement, you will receive an email receipt for your payment that will also have links for downloading the Orientation/Information Booklet, eVisa Application Guide, Code of Conduct, and Dress Code.

Read the Code of Conduct & Dress Code, if you agree then sign, scan (or use your mobile phone to take pictures of the document if you do not have access to a scanner), and email to admin@acfvolunteers.org

Step 3 – Read the orientation booklet.

Step 4 – Book your airfare to Kenya. Then email your flight itinerary to admin@acfvolunteers.org so we can start organizing your transportation and accommodations upon arrival. Volunteers must fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It’s airport code is NBO.

Step 5 – Using the eVisa Application Guide as a reference, apply for a Kenyan Visa via Kenya’s online visa application (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html).

Step 6 – If you have not already done so, pay off the remaining balance of your program fee. The full amount of your program fee must be paid in full 30 days to arrival in Kenya. The full amount or the program fee is refundable. Terms & Conditions apply, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/terms-conditions/ for details.

 

Why is it not free to volunteer in Kenya?

There are a lot of expenses to host volunteers. Expenses like providing transportation, accommodations, meals, organizing programs, managing logistics, etc. If the ACF covered these cost for our volunteers, we would have to cap the programs at 10 volunteers or less per year. In addition, only individual with advanced medical degrees such as medical doctors, dentists, or optometrists could be accepted.

In order to bridge the gap, a program fee is required to cover each volunteer’s expenses. Our program fee is very low compared to other volunteer organizations and travel, medical, and emergency evacuation insurance is provided for each volunteer joining the program after April 1, 2017.

Are completely free volunteers placements ever offered?

Flights and Visas are always the responsibility of the volunteer. Occasionally, special group programs are offered at a set donation amount. The donation amount will usually be significant less that the program fee. When such programs become available, they are announced via our website, email. social media, etc. It is extremely rare to find a volunteer program that is completely free to the volunteer.

How much are program fees and what is included?

To find a list of our current program fees and what is included, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/program-fees/

How far in advance should I pay my deposit?

The deposit to secure your volunteer placement should be paid within 30 days or less from the date of your application. Otherwise your application will be consider inactive and you will need to reapply.

Is travel insurance included in the program costs?

No, travel insurance is the responsibility of the volunteer. Please research and purchase the necessary travel insurance for your trip. Travel insurance is mandatory. World Nomad Travel Insurance is highly recommend, extremely affordable, and provides great coverage. They rank as one of best “adventure” travel insurances on the market, such as, International volunteering.

World Nomad also donates a small percentage of the ACF’s volunteer premiums, which helps the ACF continue its mission. If you do decide to use World Nomad as your travel insurance provider, the ACF would really appreciate you using the World Nomad widget HERE or by clicking on any of the World Nomad links on this website.

Although we recommend World Nomad, the volunteer is solely responsible for evaluating and determining the type, extent, and levels of any insurance coverage they need or desire for their planned volunteer trip.

Are there additional costs, other than the program fee?

The following is a list of items volunteer program fees do not cover.

Kenyan visa (U.S. $51) > Flights to Kenya > Vaccinations > souvenirs – safaris – tours > Travel to the Liyavo Children’s Home on Sunday evening & Travel to Janet’s Home on Friday evenings, which costs approximately $4.50 one-way > Travel into town for any shopping or outings which costs around $4.00 one-way > Bottle water, which cost approximately $1.00/2 liter

Do I require a visa to travel to Kenya?

Yes. You will need a visa for Kenya in order to volunteer with the Abandoned Children’s Foundation (ACF). Visas are required for almost everyone visiting Kenya. Volunteers should obtain a Tourist Visa. Volunteers should not engage in business or accept employment while volunteering. Engaging in business or accepting employment requires a different type of permit. If you are traveling to Kenya for business and volunteering after you have conducted your business, you will need to speak with your employer about obtaining a work permit. The ACF cannot sponsor volunteers for work permits.

Kenya has started a new online Visa process in an effort to reduce lines at the airport, collect fees online, and know who will be entering Kenya before they arrive on a flight into Nairobi. Obtaining an eVisa online will limit you to a Single Entry Tourist Visa. Unless you are planning to visit other countries, a Single Entry Tourist Visa will be all you need.
There are two other tourist visas: Multiple entry Visa and East Africa Visa; which allows travel between Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda. These visas are issued from your home country’s Kenyan Embassy or Consulate. If you require one of these visas and applying from the United States or Mexico, visit www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html. If you are not applying from the United States or Mexico, visit http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-of/kenya for a list of Kenyan Embassies and Consulates World Wide.

eVisa Online Application Process:
The following steps will instruct you on applying for an eVisa:
Go to www.evisa.go.ke and click on create eVisa account
Once Logged in, Select Deparment of Immigration services.
Select submit Appplication.
Select Kenyan Visa.
Select the type of Visa and read the Instructions Carefully.
Fill in the application form.
Pay Using visa card, Mastercard and other debit cards.
Await approval via email, then download and print the eVisa from your eCitizen account.
Present your printed eVisa to the immigration officer at the port of entry.

eVisa fees:
Single entry eVisa costs $51.00 USD
Visit http://evisa.go.ke/evisa-faqs.html to find answers you might have about the eVisa process.

How can I fund-raise for my trip?

Crowd funding is always available for volunteers to raise funds. Soon, the ACF will deploy our own crowd funding platform that will allow volunteers to raise funds for their program fees only. Sources such as Gofundme.com will still need to be used in order to raise money for flights.

Are there any security or health concerns I should know about?

There is a current travel alert issued by the U.S. State Department

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens residing in or traveling to Kenya that general elections are scheduled for August 8, 2017. Candidate selection for national and county offices will take place throughout the country in April, followed by nationwide campaigning. This Travel Alert expires on August 31, 2017.

Rallies, demonstrations, and protests may occur with little notice and even those intended to be peaceful can escalate into violence. As with all large events, there is also the opportunity for criminal elements or terrorists to target participants and visitors. You should avoid areas of gatherings, protests, and demonstrations, and exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of any such events.

Generally there are always U.S. Department of travel warnings for Kenya. These warning exist because of Kenya’s northern boarder, mainly the boarder of Somalia and Southern Sudan. These are areas where our volunteers will never travel to. They are far too dangerous. The area where volunteers are located is very safe. The U.S. Department of travel also lists Nairobi as an area of concern because Nairobi is extremely crowded and pickpockets and spur of the moment crimes can happen. The only time our volunteers are in Nairobi is when they arrive into Kenya. Other than that, we try to keep our volunteer far from Nairobi. Volunteers often travel to Nairobi for sightseeing and to take a safari. For the most part, Nairobi is safe – you need to be aware of your surroundings and do not travel with flashy jewelry, cell phones, laptops, or tablets in view of others. If you do travel with these items, make sure to keep them out of sight and in a backpack that is tightly fitted to your body. You should bring a small padlock to bind the zippers of your backpack together. You will also want to bring a sturdy padlock to secure your items at a hotel. Even if the hotel seems nice, you should still lock up your items.

Is there an Emergency evacuation plan in case of an emergency?

Yes.

Please Note: An emergency evacuation is highly unlikely and the following evacuation plan would only be enacted if a volunteer was unable to get to their country’s embassy.

An emergency evacuation due to political, tribal, or terroristic threats are highly unlikely. In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, the ACF would arrange for transportation that would take you to Malaba, Kenya (the boarder of Kenya). You would meet a representative for the ACF that would take you to Kampala Uganda, where accommodation would be provided until you arranged your return home. Malaba, Kenya is approximately 4.5-hour drive from the orphanage.

What airport should I fly into?

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. Airport Code: NBO

Who will pick me up from the airport?

Generally, volunteers are met at the airport by Janet Olang, our program director for Kenya. If other arrangements have been made for your arrival, you will be notified in advance and provided the details of the individual picking you up from the airport.

How will I identify my airport transportation?

The individual picking you up from the airport will be holding a sign with your name on it. He/she will be standing outside of the international arrivals terminal in the parking lot. There will be several other individuals with signs as well. Simply look for your name and chances are high it will be Janet.

What are the Accommodations like Nairobi?

To view photos of the accommodations in Kitlae, The academy volunteers teach, and the orphanage volunteers help at – Click Here

What are the Accommodations like in Kitale?

To view photos of the accommodations in Kitlae, The academy volunteers teach, and the orphanage volunteers help at – Click Here

Which meals are provided to me through my program fees?

Volunteers are provided Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner as long as the volunteer is at their designated volunteer placement. Meals are not provided when volunteers are touring the country or away from their placement on a day trip, etc.

What is the food like in Kenya?

Kenyans are very friendly; do not be afraid to ask questions about any food you come across while in Kenya. There will always be someone around to advise you. Bottled water is readily available in Kenya and volunteers should budget approximately $10 – $15 USD per week for this.

Breakfasts generally consist of Chai (tea), eggs, bread, fruit, and sometimes mandazzi (deep fried dough).

A typical lunch can include meat, vegetables, rice, and fruit.

Dinner usually sees traditional food such as ugali, chapatti, mboga, meat, vegetables, and rice.

Breakfast is taken in the morning, followed by lunch, which is served at about 1 PM. Dinner/Supper is then served at 7 or 8 in the evening. If you have special eating needs, please let us know ahead of time so that we can make arrangements for you. However, we need to stress the point that you should not expect to eat as you normally do at home. We will do our best to see that you are well taken care of, but as a volunteer there is also a need to be flexible.

How many hours, per-day, will I be volunteering for?

You should expect to volunteer from 8am – 5pm. The hours you volunteer are not set in stone. If you would like to volunteer more or less then we will accommodate your needs.

How many children are in the orphanage?

There are 42 children in the Liavo orphanage.

What can I expect on the Orphanage Program?

Our orphanage placement is located in the town of Kitale Kenya. Volunteers are placed with the ACF’s orphanage (which is still under construction and volunteers are currently sent to a neighboring orphanage) or with one of our neighbor’s orphanages. The ACF has been helping support orphans in Kenya since 2008. The tasks volunteers are involved in depend on what projects the orphanage are involved in at the time of your placement. There are several daily tasks that need to be performed, such as, cooking and cleaning. In addition, your involvement really depends on your desire to get involved.

ACF Orphanage: Volunteers will be placed in the Orphanage in Kaisagat Village very soon. This orphanage is currently being built. It is a short walk away from Janet Olang’s home. It will house approximately 60 orphans. And contains rooms for volunteers to stay in if you prefer a more immersive experience living with children.

Liyavo Children’s Home: Volunteers will be placed in the Liyavo Children’s Home in Liyavo village. This is a larger orphanage with roughly 60 children. To reach the orphanage from Janet’s house, you will take a combination of motorbikes and matatus. However, there are accommodations for volunteers to stay at the orphanage if they choose to. We prefer volunteers stay at the Liyavo Children’s Home Monday – Friday and return to Janet’s home on the weekends, because traveling to the Liyavo Children’s Home from Janet’s home every day could become exhausting and expensive. The cost for travel back and forth from Janet’s home to the Liyavo Children’s Home is an additional cost for the volunteer because accommodations are provided for you at the Liyavo Children’s Home. It will cost approximately 450 Kenyan Shilling each way, which is approximately $4.50 USD. In addition to the home, there is Academy or primary school affiliated with the Liyavo Children’s Home, where volunteers can teach.

Your supervisor at the Liyavo Children’s Home will be Bishop Johnathan and Pastor Ken, who are the directors of the orphanage. In addition, the caretakers of the orphanage speak English and will be able to assist you in getting accustomed to the orphanage.

Please note: The Liyavo Children’s Home itself is a Christian organization and that there is church service on Sundays for the children and community. We ask that those who do no prescribe to the religion of the home to respect it and if you are not comfortable with attending service on Sundays you are welcome to return to Janet’s home in Kaisagat on weekends.

What can I expect on the Teaching Program?

Currently, all teaching volunteers are placed in Kitale Kenya. After arriving in Kitale, Janet will introduce you to the directors of the Academy and possibly the head teacher of the school. This school is staffed with a teacher for every class, so essentially you will be assisting with the teaching and helping around the school. The teachers and the school are very flexible with our volunteers and enjoy having you. Let Janet know if you have a skill set you would like to pass on to the students. We have had volunteers who are dancers, sports teachers, etc. and they setup after school programs to teach children their skill set. During the summer, school usually ends around late July and picks back up in August, in this time volunteers may coordinate with teachers for summer teaching programs or more extracurricular activities for students

Will there be any language barriers?

The national language of Kenya is English. However, the universal language is Swahili and not everyone will be able to communicate with you in English. All of our staff speak English and will be available to translate for you if you run into a situation where you are unable to communicate with someone.

Can I volunteer with a group?

Yes, please indicate on your application that you will be volunteering with a group and list the members of the group you are volunteering with.

Can I volunteer with a friend(s) or a partner?

Yes. Please indicate the friends or partner on your application form.

I have a child under 18 that wishes to volunteer. Can they?

If the minor is volunteering as part of a group with a family member, guardian, or parent/caregiver then it is fine. All we ask is that when they apply they note on their form the name of the person they are volunteering with.

Minors are not allow to volunteer alone.

Do I need specific skills or qualifications to volunteer?

Not necessarily. Individuals accepted to volunteer will be contacted before departure to create an action plan for their time spent volunteering. Each action plan will specifically represent the skills of the volunteers and/or needs of the orphanage. We simply want to learn more about your skills, goals to be accomplished, and help you create your “Action Plan”.

What vaccinations will I require?

The vaccinations you may need to receive when traveling to Kenya can change from time-totime. This is why it is important to visit the CDC’s website; (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya) and inform yourself on which vaccinations you should receive.

Rabies and TB vaccines last for 10 years and it is recommend to get both Rabies and TB vaccines if you have not had them within the last 10 years.

 

Is the YELLOW FEVER vaccine required?

Usually Yellow fever is not necessary. You would need it if you are traveling to Kenya from a country that considers Yellow Fever to be an epidemic. If you are planning to visit other African nations after your volunteer placement, you will need it to return to Kenya for your departure. Also, Most African nations require it when entering from Kenya.

Do I need to be able to speak the local language?

No, the national language in Kenya is English and all of the Abandoned Children’s Foundation International Volunteering staff speaks English. However, there are many Kenyans that only speak Swahili or their tribal language. This should not affect you as our staff will be able to translate on your behalf.

Can I take time out from volunteering to go sightseeing?

Of course. It is appreciated to give some notice to the local staff in Kenya before leave. Especially if you started a project that others may be expecting to help with.

Is the Abandoned Children’s Foundation a Tax Exempt Non-Profit Charity?

Yes. To view the ACF’s current exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Click Here

Is my Program Fee Tax Deductible?

Yes. Program fees are a donations, which vary depending on the number of weeks of volunteer service.

The following information are referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services”

Although you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services,
  • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and
  • Not personal, living, or family expenses

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Are donated items I bring for the orphanage tax deductible?

Yes. In order to recieve a tax deductible receipt for clothing and household items, you will need to provide an itimized list of the items, the items condition (Excitement, Good, Fair etc.), and the fair market value. For more information on determining fair market value Click Here

According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled:

“Charitable Contributions”

You can’t take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better.

Exception. You can take a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or a household item that isn’t in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return.

Household items. Household items include:

  • Furniture and furnishings,
  • Electronics,
  • Appliances,
  • Linens, and
  • Other similar items.
  • Household items don’t include:
  • Food,
  • Paintings, antiques, and other objects of art,
  • Jewelry and gems,
Is the purchase of my flight and travel expenses tax deductible?

Yes.

The following information are referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Are my volunteer hours tax deductible?

No, unfortunately. According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled: “Charitable Contributions” you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization.

UGANDA

UGANDA
What are the requirements to volunteer in Uganda?

Due to integral relationships with the church, currently, only individuals that are Christian (accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) will be accepted to volunteer at SOH in Uganda.

Requirements to volunteer in Uganda:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age or older.
  • You must be a Christian that has accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
  • You must not use tobacco products and be able to refrain from taking alcohol while serving as a volunteer in Uganda.

 

 

My application was approved, what steps should I take next?

Once your application is approved you will need to take the following steps:

Step 1 – Login to your user account (https://internationalvolunteering.com/login/), which was created for you via the application form, to secure your placement. Secure your placement by selecting “Click Here to Pay Program Fee in Full” or “Click Here to Pay Deposit $250” via your user profile page. The full amount or the program fee is refundable. Terms & Conditions apply, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/terms-conditions/ for details.

Step 2 – After securing your placement, you will receive an email receipt for your payment that will also have links for downloading the Orientation/Information Booklet, eVisa Application Guide, Code of Conduct, and Dress Code.

Read the Code of Conduct & Dress Code, if you agree then sign, scan (or use your mobile phone to take pictures of the document if you do not have access to a scanner), and email to admin@acfvolunteers.org

Step 3 – Read the orientation booklet.

Step 4 – Book your airfare to Kenya. Then email your flight itinerary to admin@acfvolunteers.org so we can start organizing your transportation and accommodations upon arrival. Volunteers must fly into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. It’s airport code is NBO.

Step 5 – Using the eVisa Application Guide as a reference, apply for a Kenyan Visa via Kenya’s online visa application (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html).

Step 6 – If you have not already done so, pay off the remaining balance of your program fee. The full amount of your program fee must be paid in full 30 days to arrival in Kenya. The full amount or the program fee is refundable. Terms & Conditions apply, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/terms-conditions/ for details.

 

Why is it not free to volunteer in Uganda?

There are a lot of expenses to host volunteers. Expenses like providing transportation, accommodations, meals, organizing programs, managing logistics, etc. If the ACF covered these cost for our volunteers, we would have to cap the programs at 10 volunteers or less per year. In addition, only individual with advanced medical degrees such as medical doctors, dentists, or optometrists could be accepted.

In order to bridge the gap, a program fee is required to cover each volunteer’s expenses. Our program fee is very low compared to other volunteer organizations and travel, medical, and emergency evacuation insurance is provided for each volunteer joining the program after April 1, 2017.

Are completely free volunteers placements ever offered?

Flights and Visas are always the responsibility of the volunteer. Occasionally, special group programs are offered at a set donation amount. The donation amount will usually be significant less that the program fee. When such programs become available, they are announced via our website, email. social media, etc. It is extremely rare to find a volunteer program that is completely free to the volunteer.

How much are program fees and what is included?

To find a list of our current program fees and what is included, visit https://internationalvolunteering.com/program-fees/

How far in advance should I pay my deposit?

The deposit to secure your volunteer placement should be paid within 30 days or less from the date of your application. Otherwise your application will be consider inactive and you will need to reapply.

Is travel insurance included in the program costs?

No, travel insurance is the responsibility of the volunteer. Please research and purchase the necessary travel insurance for your trip. Travel insurance is mandatory. World Nomad Travel Insurance is highly recommend, extremely affordable, and provides great coverage. They rank as one of best “adventure” travel insurances on the market, such as, International volunteering.

World Nomad also donates a small percentage of the ACF’s volunteer premiums, which helps the ACF continue its mission. If you do decide to use World Nomad as your travel insurance provider, the ACF would really appreciate you using the World Nomad widget HERE or by clicking on any of the World Nomad links on this website.

Although we recommend World Nomad, the volunteer is solely responsible for evaluating and determining the type, extent, and levels of any insurance coverage they need or desire for their planned volunteer trip.

Are there additional costs, other than the program fee?

The following is a list of items volunteer program fees do not cover.

Ugandan visa (U.S. $51) > Flights to Uganda > Vaccinations > souvenirs – safaris – tours > Travel to weekend accommodation in Jinja on Friday evenings & Travel to the orphanage on Sunday evening, which costs approximately $4.50 one-way > Travel into town for any shopping or outings which costs around $4.00 one-way > Bottle water, which cost approximately $1.00/2 liter

Do I require a visa to travel to Uganda?

A visa is required for most people traveling to Uganda. You should apply online through Uganda’s Electronic Visa/Permit Application System. To apply visit: https://visas.immigration.go.ug/

Before applying, you will need to have received your Yellow Fever vaccine and immunization card. To complete the online application, you will need the following documents in digital format (scanned – PDF or picture – .jpg):

  • Passport size photo
  • Yellow Fever immunization card
  • Biometrics page of passport
  • Travel Itinerary

You will also need to provide the Name, Address, and Phone number of individual/hotel/business you will be visiting while in Uganda. This information will be provided to you after placing your deposit or paying your program fee in full.

How can I fund-raise for my trip?

Crowd funding is always available for volunteers to raise funds. Soon, the ACF will deploy our own crowd funding platform that will allow volunteers to raise funds for their program fees only. Sources such as Gofundme.com will still need to be used in order to raise money for flights.

Are there any security or safety concerns I should know about?

Currently there are no travel advisories or warnings for the country of Uganda.

Is there an Emergency evacuation plan in case of an emergency?

Yes.

Please Note:

An emergency evacuation is highly unlikely and the following evacuation plan would only be enacted if a volunteer was unable to get to their country’s embassy.

An emergency evacuation due to political, tribal, or terroristic threats are highly unlikely. In the unlikely event of an emergency evacuation, the ACF would arrange for transportation that would take you to Malaba, Kenya (the boarder of Kenya). You would meet by a representative for the ACF that would take you to Kitale Kenya, where accommodation would be provided until you arranged your return home. Malaba, Kenya is approximately 4.5-hour drive from the orphanage.

What airport should I fly into?

Entebbe international airport. Airport Code: EBB

Who will pick me up from the airport?

Volunteers are met at the airport by Steven Odongo. If other arrangements have been made for your arrival, you will be notified in advance and provided the details of the individual picking you up from the airport.

How will I identify my airport transportation?

The individual picking you up from the airport will be holding a sign with your name on it. He/she will be standing outside of the international arrivals terminal in the parking lot. There will be several other individuals with signs as well. Simply look for your name and chances are high it will be Steven Odongo.

What are the Accommodations like Kamuli?

To view photos of the accommodations and the orphanage volunteers will help at – Click Here

What are the Weekend Accommodations like in Jinja?

To view photos of the accommodations in Jinja – Click Here

Which meals are provided to me through my program fees?

Volunteers are provided Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner as long as the volunteer is at their designated volunteer placement. Meals are not provided when volunteers are touring the country or away from their placement on a day trip, etc.

What is the food like in Uganda?

Meals generally consist of rice, beans, fruits and vegetables. Matoke is the fruit of a variety of starchy banana, commonly referred to as cooking/green bananas. Matoke is served in many dishes in Uganda and tastes a lot like potatoes. Meat may only be served once or twice a week at the orphanage. Uganda is a “pork country”. Most meals with meat will consist of pork or fish. Chicken, goat, and beef are also readily available throughout Uganda and occasionally served.

the orphanage has a water well that is used for drinking water. The water is chlorinated and safe for drinking. In addition, volunteers can purchase bottled water from a local trading center. Bottle water is fairly cheap and volunteers that plan to purchase drinking water should budget $15 – $20 USD per week.

How many hours, per-day, will I be volunteering for?

You should expect to volunteer from 8am – 5pm. The hours you volunteer are not set in stone. If you would like to volunteer more or less then we will accommodate your needs.

How many children are in the orphanage?

The orphanage currently houses 42 children aged 4 to 18 years old but will grow to 60 by the end of 2017. The children are from diverse backgrounds, are fully cared for, and attend an excellent school.

What type of projects will I help with while volunteering in Uganda?

Individuals accepted to volunteer at SOH wil be contacted before departure to Uganda to create an action plan for their time in Uganda. Each action plan will specifically represent the skills of the volunteers and/or needs at the orphanage. We simply want to learn more about your skills, goals to be accomplished, and help you create your “Action Plan”.
Creating an action plan may sound scary to some people. Do not worry; it is nothing to be afraid of. In Fact, it should create excitement. Having an action plan will give you foresight into your upcoming trip, goals for you to accomplish, and allow you to get the most out of your volunteer experience. It will also help identify areas of need at SOH, accomplish goals for the home and/or children it serves, and allow for volunteer managed projects.
For example, Richard Huynh lead a volunteer managed project in Kenya for Bob Hillebrand, the Director of Mission Servants Ministries which is the Parent Organization to SOH in Uganda. Richard managed a bridge building project, which now allows families in the Liavo Kenya village access to clean water for drinking and cooking.

Will there be any language barriers?

The national language of Uganda is English. All of our staff speak English and will be available to translate for you if you run into a situation where you are unable to communicate with someone.

Can I volunteer with a group?

Yes, please indicate on your application that you will be volunteering with a group and list the members of the group you are volunteering with.

Can I volunteer with a friend(s) or a partner?

Yes. Please indicate the friends or partner on your application form.

I have a child under 18 that wishes to volunteer. Can they?

If the minor is volunteering as part of a group with a family member, guardian, or parent/caregiver then it is fine. All we ask is that when they apply they note on their form the name of the person they are volunteering with.

Minors are not allow to volunteer alone.

Do I need specific skills or qualifications to volunteer?

Not necessarily. Individuals accepted to volunteer will be contacted before departure to create an action plan for their time spent volunteering. Each action plan will specifically represent the skills of the volunteers and/or needs of the orphanage. We simply want to learn more about your skills, goals to be accomplished, and help you create your “Action Plan”.

What vaccinations will I require?

Important: Required vaccines to enter Uganda are Yellow Fever and Malaria Prevention. When entering the airport in Uganda, you will be asked to show your yellow fever vaccination card. If you do not have one, you will be required to receive the vaccine at the airport.

It is the responsibility of the volunteer to ensure they are properly vaccinated against disease in Uganda. You should not take this responsibility lightly. Your health is important and volunteers should consult a doctor to understand what they are already vaccinated from and which vaccines they should consider getting before traveling to Uganda.

You are most likely to be exposed to typhoid if you are not mindful of the water you drink. The ACF highly recommends receiving the typhoid vaccine. Two typhoid vaccines are available for use in the United States:

1) (injection) a Vi capsular polysaccharide vaccine, which is injected either under the skin or into a muscle at least seven days before traveling to the typhoid-affected area (the CDC recommend 14 days). A booster dose is needed every 2 years for people who remain at risk.

2) (Pills) an oral live-attenuated vaccine, which includes 4 doses – one capsule every other day for a week (day 1, day 3, day 5, and day 7). The last dose should be given at least 1 week before travel to allow the vaccine time to work. A booster dose is needed every 5 years for people who remain at risk.

The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccines for Uganda: typhoid, yellow fever Required, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) and influenza.

To learn more about each vaccine visit https://www.passporthealthusa.com/destination-advice/uganda/

Malaria Prevention. This is required. Malaria prevention pills can be prescribed by your doctor or ……….. and used in conjuction with bed nets at night and mosquito spray will greatly reduce the risk of Malaria. The CDC’s website has a lot of information for your disposal when deciding to choose a malaria prophylaxis. Visit https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html to learn more about the individual drugs offered. Depending on the country you are traveling from, the CDC’s “Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country” information page may also benefit you, visit https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/country_table/a.html for details.

Is the YELLOW FEVER vaccine required?

Yes

Can I take time out from volunteering to go sightseeing?

Of course. It is appreciated to give some notice to the local staff in Kenya before leave. Especially if you started a project that others may be expecting to help with.

Is the Abandoned Children’s Foundation a Tax Exempt Non-Profit Charity?

Yes. To view the ACF’s current exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Click Here

Is my Program Fee Tax Deductible?

Yes. Program fees are a donations, which vary depending on the number of weeks of volunteer service.

The following information are referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services”

Although you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services,
  • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and
  • Not personal, living, or family expenses

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Are donated items I bring for the orphanage tax deductible?

Yes. In order to recieve a tax deductible receipt for clothing and household items, you will need to provide an itimized list of the items, the items condition (Excitement, Good, Fair etc.), and the fair market value. For more information on determining fair market value Click Here

According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled:

“Charitable Contributions”

You can’t take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better.

Exception. You can take a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or a household item that isn’t in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return.

Household items. Household items include:

  • Furniture and furnishings,
  • Electronics,
  • Appliances,
  • Linens, and
  • Other similar items.
  • Household items don’t include:
  • Food,
  • Paintings, antiques, and other objects of art,
  • Jewelry and gems,
Is the purchase of my flight and travel expenses tax deductible?

Yes.

The following information are referenced from the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526

Titled “Charitable Contributions”

Section: “Travel”

Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. The deduction for travel expenses won’t be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you don’t have any duties, you can’t deduct your travel expenses.

Section:Deductible travel expenses.”

These include:

  • Air, rail, and bus transportation,
  • Out-of-pocket
  • expenses for your car,
  • Taxi fares or other costs of transportation
    between the airport or station and your hotel,
  • Lodging costs, and
  • The cost of meals.

Because these travel expenses aren’t business-related, they aren’t subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. For information on business travel expenses, see Travel in Pub. 463, Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses.

Are my volunteer hours tax deductible?

No, unfortunately. According to the Internal Revenue Service Publication 526 Titled: “Charitable Contributions” you can’t deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization.