Want to play a part in transforming the needy Ugandan village of Kabubbu as it moves from disease and destitution to a future of hope? Since 2000, visitors and volunteers aged from 6 to 80 have signed up, rolled their sleeves up and got involved. Want to join them? Then read on…
More than 1,200 people have visited Kabubbu with the Quicken Trust so far. Quicken is a Christian charity and many who come are from a faith background. But many are not. All are equally welcome.
Many volunteers have brought professional expertise, among them electricians, builders and teachers on the British Council’s Global School Partnership. (Primary education & Secondary education) (Building Projects)
Some have come with skills to pass on in areas such as music or handicrafts. Many others have tried their hands at new tasks such as helping children with reading, collecting the life stories of elderly villagers or mixing cement for house building.
But everyone has come with a willingness to muck in, bags of enthusiasm and a heart to serve the people of Kabubbu. For many, it’s a life-changing experience.
Watch: Volunteer stories
“We were given a brick (for helping to build a house) … it means so much more to me than any trophy or award I could win back in the UK” – William Parker School student.
“Doing the ‘Development Challenge’ in Kabubbu made me realise that problems can be solved and that families there are not doomed … we have made a big difference to one family and so we realise that each can do our bit to help” – Will Mata
“It has completely changed my outlook on poverty – I now want to be pro-active rather than reactive.” – Gillian Ives.
Accommodation and food is provided at the Kabubbu Resort Centre. You can hire a motorbike taxi – boda boda – for a tour around the village. It’s a fun way to get around. Watch: A ride from Community Primary School to village centre.
We can also arrange educational day trips to local attractions such as the Source of the Nile at Jinja and Kampala. (Tourism)
If you would like to visit Kabubbu as a volunteer phone 01323 832361 and ask for Caroline or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Before You Go
The Quicken Trust takes teams of visitors and volunteers to Kabubbu three times a year. The volunteer programme is well-organised. Volunteers fill out an application form which helps Quicken identify where they can be best used. All volunteers aged 18 or above must have a DBS check and attend a planning and information meeting several months before departure. Everyone should also seek health advice from their GP about vaccinations and malaria prevention. (Click here for information regarding health and travel advice.)
Quicken will arrange all flights to and from Uganda at special low rates. Visitors and volunteers are asked to make a minimum donation which covers the cost of flights, transfers, food and accommodation and the introductory tour of the village.
Volunteers and visitors are also asked to do some fundraising. Everyone is set a minimum sum – currently £500 per person in a volunteer group, or £600 per person as a visitor.
Before departure, you will be given a detailed itinerary setting out what you will be doing. You may have to do some preparatory work before setting off. You may also be asked to take extra packages in your luggage – such as medicines, books or Christmas presents for children in the village.
What Will I Do?
Every visit starts with a tour of the village, where you will be shown the 14 projects in which Quicken is involved. Most volunteers and visitors will watch at least one assembly at the primary school – a joyous, exuberant event. (Video) Some may be asked to speak.
What comes next depends on you. One volunteer taught basic mechanics to a group of school leavers; a mother and daughter taught puppetry both for fun but also as educational technique and another volunteer checked all the computers and IT systems. Typical tasks include:
- Decorating a house
- Helping to build a house – fetching water, mixing cement or moving bricks
- Helping in school – listening to children read, assisting with handicrafts or playing sport
- Reminiscence Work – encouraging the elderly to document their lives and that of community
- Helping distribute Christmas presents to schoolchildren or Kabubbu Development Project Community Awards
- Running a church holiday club
Most days also include an education session where KDP representatives give a short briefing on various projects around the village such as welfare, the schools and agriculture.
The Development Challenge
This innovation enables volunteers to come face-to-face with the issues facing a Kabubbu family juggling meagre resources – and encourages them to help find solutions.
A team of volunteers is taken by the KDP Welfare team to meet a needy family. The volunteers ask questions to discover the family’s specific plight.
The team then meets back at the Resort to discuss the best way to help. The Welfare team provides the volunteers with a small sum of money to implement their plan and help to transform the family’s circumstances.
Buying beds, mattresses and mosquito nets or tools or livestock or renting land could dramatically change their lives.
Visiting your Sponsored Child or Granny
For hundreds of Quicken supporters, this is the highlight of the trip – a chance to meet the child they sponsor and its family. It’s a special moment for the child too. Children who meet their sponsor often do better in school as a result of such encouragement. (primary school)
If you have adopted an elderly person, Quicken can arrange for you to meet them and their family too. You may want to take a gift to your child or granny – though it is best to discuss this with Quicken first.
A “Perfect” Day – Gillian and Andrew’s Story
In July 2000 Gillian and Andrew Ives from Eastbourne, East Sussex began sponsoring Evelyne, an eight-year-old girl in Kabubbu. Ten years later – and with some trepidation – the Ives travelled to see her.
“My heart was in my mouth,” remembers Gillian. “A myriad of questions were going round in my head – would she like us? Would we know what to say?”
Quicken’s Development Director, Geraldine Booker, took them to the family home.
“Before I could compose myself out bounded this beautiful young lady and gave me the biggest hug,” says Gillian. “I was so happy to finally meet the girl who we have for years called our other daughter. I cannot begin to describe the joy I felt. To quote the song – ‘Oh what a perfect day – I’m glad I spent it with you’ – that’s how I felt at the end of it.”
Watch: The Ives
Days in Kabubbu are busy – but the evenings are usually free. There’s time to relax in the bar area, have a drink, read or play games. There’s also a chance to sample local cuisine and enjoy some traditional music and dance from the White Angels group during the African Evening. Visitors may also get the chance to learn a new skill such as basket-weaving, drumming or African dancing.