Koen de Koster - Historian
During my stay in Uganda, I worked to create an evaluation instrument and evaluate some project proposals . Although this was a very difficult task, I think I succeeded in doing something relevant and while doing so, acquired new skills and a very good insight in local life and local problems.
I strongly believe that volunteering with Counterpart Travels is an excellent way to experience Africa as it really is for everyone with an interest in developmental work and Africa. Because the organisation is relatively small, there is a very good support for the volunteer.
Goan Tan - OrthodontistVolunteer work: Teaching kids dental hygiene
As a young child I already felt the need to help people who are somehow living in “trouble”. In the summer of 2008 I was very happy to have the opportunity to make this wish come true. I went as a volunteer to Uganda for four weeks.
Before and during my stay Counterpart Travels was very helpful to me, making contacts with the right persons, on the right places in Uganda, so that I could contribute optimally.
With my dental education I thought I could help restoratively on the dental field, reducing the amount of people with toothpain. There are a lot of them! But it was very asthonishing to find out that there is a complete lack of all the necessary tools: equipments, instruments, filling materials, hygiene protocols, facilities and even personnel. This made it impossible for me to treat people with dental problems.
Then I changed my mind. If solving toohtpain is impossible, why not try to prevent it. Again, with the great help of Counterpart Travels, I was able to visit many primary schools, even deep in the bush, often by motorbike, sometimes by foot. I have reached more than 7000 children and I taught them how to brush their teeth properly, so they will not get damaged. Making young children understand the importance of oral hygiene was most rewarding. I hope, humbly, that I have saved several teeth from extraction.
Ugandan people are most friendly, hospitable and thankful. They are very happy with any kind of help, support and knowlegde you can offer and share. The cooperation with Counterpart Travels will make sure your contribution really makes sense.
Rachel Muehrer - EthnomusicologistVolunteer work: Research in musicology
I was privileged enough to work with Counterpart Travels during the summer of 2007. I was staying in Kampala, working on my own research when I met volunteers already working for Counterpart Travels. I decided to spend some time volunteering and I soon found myself in Kikwayi, helping to prepare for the opening of the yoghurt factory.
The work itself – cleaning, gathering materials, preparing for the opening ceremony – was fulfilling, but more important was the relationships that I made with members of the community and with other volunteers. I found the experience so valuable that I plan to return to Kikwayi for more volunteer work and to pursue my own research interests.
Dijanna - TeacherVolunteer work: Primary school teacher
Counterpart Travels arranged my stay with the family Livingstone and the volunteer work I did while in Uganda. Helping Vice Chairperson of the district Livingstone Zziwa to promote the projects of the local government in the Mukono district was a great experience. My next stay was the Besaniya Childrens home. I spend time with the orphans and disabled, playing games, talking and most of all lots of laughing with them. Never a dull moment. The tried to teach me how to dance, play the drum and speak Luganda… in which they failed.
During the day I taught with great pleasure at the Mirembe Primary School nearby. The children were also eager to learn about Europe and our cultures, as well as sharing their thoughts about Uganda. My stay was short however I can recommend it to anyone who is willing to share knowledge and help others is any way they can.
UGANDA thank you for your hospitality. CHARLES MUSISI thanks for looking after me and making sure my stay was perfect. DUKO thanks for giving me this opportunity.