Volunteer experiense by Lisa Lahaije
I am Lisa Lahaije, aged 20. I went on a solo trip to Uganda in January 2024 under KICVOP's guidance I began a chapter in my personal growth. Throughout my weeklong volunteering commitment, I received a lot of support from local volunteers, enriching my cultural and social experience. Uganda's diverse landscape and vibrant community life left an amazing impression. I recommend starting to travel like this to add to your experience as a personand helping others.
If I were to describe KICVOP and its role in Kazo, I'd portray it as a community-based organization dedicated to uplifting the Kazo community through arious projects. These initiatives aim to address diverse needs, from providing extra food to supporting education and other necessities. KICVOP's approach revolves around empowering individuals and families, striving to make a difference in people's lives.
Reflecting on my expectations versus reality upon arriving in Kazo, I aimed to maintain flexibility and an open mind, crucial for adapting swiftly during my brief one-month stay. Kazo struck me as a beautiful yet economically deprived village. The knowledge and recourses are few. In contrast, the volunteer accommodation offered relatively better amenities, featuring a spacious but simple living area, a basic kitchen equipped with essentials for cooking, and a bathroom with standard facilities alongside a cold shower. If we wanted to shower warm, we used buckets and heated water. Sharing a bedroom with
Sumaya, a dedicated local volunteer who provided assistance throughout my stay, further enriched my experience. Donna, another committed volunteer, also lived here.
The impact of my presence in Uganda was profound, reshaping my worldview and fostering a deeper appreciation for the privileges I often take for granted. Witnessing firsthand the harsh realities. Gratitude pervades my consciousness as I endeavor to carry forward the lessons learned, cherishing the newfound perspective cultivated through this transformative journey.
Regarding my contributions to KICVOP, I gave a media training session for staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. This workshop delved into KICVOP's vision and mission while imparting practical skills in using social media platforms effectively. The interaction with the people was fun and they were happy to learn all these new things.
Reflecting on the challenges encountered, KICVOP didn’t give me any challenges and took care of me from the beginning to the end. The only challenge was a medical issue, and I had some trouble moving true the city on my own. As a young woman I had to find the courage and get used to the way of living, for this I wish I had a few more weeks to adapt, explore and move on my own a bit more.
My Experience with KICVOP by Johanna Higgs
My time at KICVOP was wonderful. When I first arrived to Kampala on a dusty bus I was greeted by a group of friendly staff members who couldn’t do enough to make me feel welcome in their organization. It was a wonderful learning experience where we lived very simply and got completely involved in the community. My work for KICVOP focused on awareness raising about HIV and I developed a number of projects including creating ‘condom tree’s’ where we collected free condoms from the Ministry of Health and put them in old jerry cans which we hung on trees so that the local community members would be able to come and access them without the fear of stigma from buying them in the market. The goal was to increase prevention of the spread of HIV. I also started a community discussion group where members of the local community would come and to discuss and learn about ways that HIV is transmitted and can be prevented. KICVOP is doing excellent work in their community and is really striving hard to achieve a safer and healthier environment for their community.
Project MonMa Australia
Student: Phd in Anthropology with a focus on child soldiers in Colombia
My Experience in KICVOP
I volunteered five months in KICKVOP. Each day local and foreign volunteer went to different parts of the village to introduce ourselves and the organization; we tried to find a way that the organization could contribute to the local community. Every week we went into schools and gave lectures about HIV in order to raise awareness. We did home visits with children which are infected with HIV. Our community center functioned as a teaching facility for children who couldn’t go to school and for those who went to school as well. We distributed condoms for free to the local community members. We organized a Local Leadership Seminar which we tried to stir up the local volunteers to be more initiative and assertive.
My time in KICKVOP was extraordinary. I learn a lot about the country, culture, food, people and the different mentality. I met a lot of local people which some of them I consider my friends. This experience definitely taught me a lot about myself.
Operations Manager in Supersonic Ads
My experience of volunteering in Kicvop was completely out of the blue, and I can't be any happier about doing it. After three months of volunteering in a different part of Uganda, and about two weeks before I was supposed to leave for travel purposes, I met Mac (the director of Kicvop) in an easy going out through a common friend. He was interested to hear about my previous volunteering as I was interested to hear about his projects. I don't know why, maybe it was a welcoming vibe, or a good intuition but after two hours I felt the urge to ask him "do you need any more volunteers?". two weeks afterwards I started volunteering in Kicvop; doing rounds in the "village" with local volunteers, meeting the families which are sponsored or waiting to get into the programme, counting pills, talking to school administration and much more. During this time I stayed with an amazing Ugandan family who showed me just how much I still don't know about Uganda by making me a real part of their family and the Ugandan culture. After two and a half month I had to leave, but I'm still in contact with my Ugandan family, I came back to visit two times and continued making some projects and volunteering work for Kicvop. In my eyes, the most unique part about Kicvop is the fact that it is an organization which gives you a structured line of work but still leaves you with a big space for development and growth of your own. An organization with people you can trust with closed eyes. I will summarize my time with Kicvop as a once in a life time experience (even for a frequent traveler like myself). It's an option to volunteer abroad, outside of our little bubble, a chance to help other people while really understanding them, and by that, learning so much about ourselves.
Yael magdassi, 23, Israel
My Experience in KICVOP by Keren Taub
In the five months I spent in KICVOP as a volunteer I was exposed to many different sides of Uganda, both happy and sad: from the child who finds out he is HIV negative, after thinking he was a positive his whole life, to the father who lost his job due to sickness, who got evicted with his family on a rainy night. At the community center in the village we tried to address the different needs of the community: in the mornings we taught children who couldn't afford to go to school, and in the afternoon hours we helped the children who went to school with their homework. We taught high-school students and adults about the danger of HIV and showed them how to use condoms. During our weekly tours in the village we went to the remote areas to find more people who needed our help. In projects like Local Leadership Seminar we tried to encourage the young local people to take action and work together, in the hope that one day the people in Kazo village will be able to help each other without the need of foreign help. Not less important, Kazo became my home: I learned about the country and the village, I learned how to make Posho (I even learned to like it!), how to make paper beads, how to "beep" someone on the phone and how it is extremely normal for a stormy morning to become a sunny afternoon. And more than anything else, I found friends and family in Kazo, people who I hope to keep in touch with for years to come. There is no doubt that my experience in Kazo is a big part of who I am today.
Student: Tel Aviv University, Brain Science