This is a very demanding one-year position for a highly independent and motivated volunteer with previous experience in the development work in rural settings in Africa .
If you have development work experience from Africa, then this is a challenging position for you with the possibility to significantly improve the lives of women in rural Uganda.
The volunteer will get occasional support from the local coordinator (not employed, no office, working voluntarily) and women group members in the daily matters, but after the general introduction by the host organisation, the volunteer is expected to carry out the assessment, plan the activities and conduct them fully independently, as the hosting organisation office is situated in another location, 6-hours’ drive away and there are no other long-term volunteers working on this project. However, if the volunteer is successful, then as a result, these women groups in two locations get empowered and might be able to receive more volunteers in the future, which leads to opening up the hosting organisation’s offices in these areas and contributes highly into improvement of the lives of women in Ugandan rural settings.
The volunteer is going to work with 5 different women groups from 2 different locations – Arua and Pakwach. The working schedule regarding the locations will be designed with the hosting organisation and will be adapted during the one-year deployment in accordance with the activities that the volunteer conducts. These 5 women groups have all some income generating activities such as tailoring, carpet making, natural products, natural medicines etc. However, they lack market for these products, as these are not high-quality products, many people are having similar products in the area and women often lack basic tools and machines. The general aim is to strengthen the women groups so that they could be able to function sustainably and be self-sufficient, which would lead to resuming the hosting organisation’s offices and flow of skilled volunteers to Aura and Pakwach, significantly improving the lives of vulnerable women and children.
Arua and Pakwach are located in the Northern Uganda. Arua has a population of 62,000 and Pakwach 22,000. Arua is a realtively big town in Northern Uganda and Pakwach is a small highway town. It is a 6 hours’ drive from Kampala to Pakwach and 2 hours for Pakwach to Arua. Arua Women group is located about 2 km from the town.
Pakwach has 4 women groups, 3 are in the centre and 1 is about 15 minutes’ ride with motorcycle. The Volunteer should be prepared to stay in an isolated setting of Northern Uganda with no big town around.
The volunteer will be living within the community in both cases. The volunteer has to be prepared for basic living conditions (no running water etc.), limited choice of food and possibly less privacy – the community is often interested in volunteer’s activities, also in her/his free time.
UPA branches in Arua and Pakwach have become stronger and can host volunteers by UPA.
The 5 women groups have regular meetings, office or selling spaces and certain products with good market.
The overall ability to earn an income in Northern Uganda has improved and the resilience regarding the financial issues and gender based violence has increased. Operational details & security context
Arua and Pakwach are both located in the West Nile region in Northern Uganda. Pakwach is a Town Council while Arua is a big town that is on a level of a Municipality. The two places lie on the Kampala Highway and they are the gate way to other West Nile region districts and connect to Democratic Republic of Congo.
The people in these areas are generally friendly, but since the volunteers will be in contact with the local women community groups it will be important to learn basic phrases in the local language in order to interact more with them. The area has many other nationalities like people from DR Congo and South Sudan especially with refuge settlements; but all of them are sociable and it is possible to work with them.
The volunteer shall be living in the town centres in a hired flat. S/he will be tought how to use local transport to and from work. Much of the initial assistance shall be offered by the women group coordinators who are UPA members and residents of these local communities.
The two places are generally secure but UPA continuously ensures that the volunteer remembers the basic safety precautions at all times. The highest risks are possibly health and traffic related, as the drivers, including bus drivers can be extremely careless when driving, sometimes at a high speed. In case of health problems in Pakwach, it is important to be aware that there is no good quality clinic or hospital at short distance.