Volunteer with Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development

Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development

Improving the lives of rural people in Uganda through sustainability.

Masaka, Uganda, Africa

Community Initiative For Integrated Rural Development (CIIRD) is a registered nonprofit community-based organisation in Lwengo district, Uganda, near Masaka. The organisation was founded in 2011 and registered in with Lwengo District under NGO/CBO 2010 and local Government act 1997 to alleviate poverty and address environmental challenges among smallholder farmers, reduce food insecurity and improve on livelihoods of poor rural farmer families through innovative and sustainable solutions.

The Lwengo district within has suffered the worst effects of climate change. Smallholder farmers have experienced harsh climatic conditions such as prolonged drought, poor rainfall distribution, crop failure and loss of livestock. Their families entirely depend on their farmlands for food and income. We work with impoverished smallholder farmer families to ensure food and nutrition security, engage them in small-scale entrepreneurship and conserve the environment.

What We Need


This programs works with the rural community to rehabilitate their degraded communities so they can be able to sustain their community needs and livelihoods. We are working with farmers in these villages to sustainably use their land to grow more food for their families and jointly create more a sustainable environment by rehabilitating the degraded land by encouraging farmers to integrate tree growing in their farm activities and enterprises.

Duties as a volunteer may consist of:

- Designing and implementing conservation action plans.
- Sharing improved farming/gardening practices or skills.
- Participating in community tree planting campaigns and/or helping out with raising tree seedlings on our community farm in Luteete village. (Rainy seasons only: April – June and August – December).
- Educate the local people on the effects of climate change and possible solutions.
- MANDATORY: Cultural session with the local group and a village school outlining facts and information about your own country.


In rural communities like Lwengo, women spend much their time collecting firewood, fetching water, cooking, care taking for the young and sick, and small-scale farming. We work with women to improve their livelihoods through skills development such managing small group enterprises or handicrafts. Women currently work in small groups to make handbags, tablemats, beads, or bracelets to earn additional income. Our goal is that these women can become self-reliant and improve their livelihoods.

Duties as a volunteer may consist of:

- Sharing business skills to improve their farm or group enterprises.
- Developing a system for record keeping or task allocations.
- Researching different market place (abroad & locally) for their products.
- Introducing marketing techniques to their products.
- Develop a plan to attract a new market locally and abroad.
- MANDATORY: Cultural session with the local group and a village school outlining facts and information about your own country.


This program is a hands-on environmental program that aims at creating more sustainable communities through active involvement of young people. There are high levels of littering amongst students and a lack of school gardens within the school compounds. This limits the students’ access to nutritious foods, and the time spent outdoors. We work with young people in schools to actively engage in conserving our environment through outdoor conservation activities.

Duties as a volunteer may consist of:

- Educate students/pupils on environment protection, growing healthier food in school gardens, and best farming practices.
- Establish orchards with the pupils (fruit tree gardens) in our eco-schools.
- Take pupils to explore their natural surroundings.
- Interact with the pupils to develop their English skills.
- Develop an outdoor curriculum for sports, scouts, etc.
- MANDATORY: Cultural session with the local group and a village school outlining facts and information about your own country.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

When & Who

January - December.
Yes, we require a minimum of 2 Weeks
Volunteers are expected stay for at least one week. But please note that any period longer than two weeks will be more impactful for both the community, and volunteer.
Individuals, Family with Kids, Groups

What we Provide

You will be staying with one of our host families in the community where you will be working. Our host families are wisely selected and they also speak English. The distance to the community groups or schools you will be working can be accessed through walking, or by a motorbike.

Internet can be accessed through cafes and restaurants in Masaka town, or purchased with your smartphone through a Uganda SIM Card. Some volunteer tasks require a laptop, so it is encouraged that volunteers bring their own.

Accommodate Dietary Restrictions

We will provide you with 3 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner/supper) a day plus a bottle of water.

Our Fees


$56 per week.
$220 per month.
$200 per month (above 2 months).

More Services we Offer

May have additional fees
Pick Up/Drop Off

- We will be available to welcome you from the airport. However, you will need to meet your own airport pick up or drop off costs. The project location is a 3 hour drive from Entebbe Airport.
- A Ugandan Tourist Visa for $50 USD is available at the airport upon your arrival at Entebbe. Please provide documentation of your vaccinations, specifically Yellow Fever, as this vacation is MANDATORY for all travelers entering Uganda.
- You will be receiving a cultural orientation about Uganda and villager lifestyles, and learn basic Luganda to converse with the locals.
- The villages or communities you will be working with are 12 - 15 minutes to Masaka Town, an urban center. We encourage you to spend your free time in Masaka to explore, as there are restaurants, small shops, and handicrafts. You will have free time for excursions on most weekends and/or selected weekdays. There are many places to explore, such as parks, cafes, bars, or social functions. You will also be able to meet other volunteers from different organizations in selected spots in Masaka Town. Volunteers can also visit Uganda’s National Parks (Murchison Falls, Queen Elizabeth, etc) to see many wild animals such as hyenas, antelopes, hippos, and much more! Lake Mburo National Park is located only 2 hours away from Maska. You can also visit Nabugabo Sand Beach, or take a trip to Lake Victoria. Volunteers are responsible for all expenses incurred from free time activities, as they are of additional cost.

Contact Person

Zaake Godfrey
Kkingo subcounty, Masaka, Uganda.

Other Ways to Help

Create/Update our Website

We would like to update our current website so it can help us provide more information, have downloadable documents, and other features.

We are also looking for online volunteers who can help us in our water fundraising campaign in Lwengo district. The campaign aims at providing safe water to children in schools.

Additional Info about Us

Up to 5 people

- In our volunteer program, we welcome individuals, couples and teams.
- When you volunteer with CIIRD, you get much more! You will get the opportunity to take part in excursions, Safari trips to any of Uganda's most popular national parks like Murchison fall National park, Queen Elizabeth National Park or Lake Mburo National Park that is only 2 hours from where you will be doing your volunteer work. You will also be at the center of planet Earth. Yes! At the Equator you will take photos or buy souvenirs.
- Online volunteers are highly welcome.
- Volunteers who volunteer with our projects become our Ambassadors and they are given certificates of Appreciation for their volunteer work with us.
- Volunteers with special dietary needs such as vegetarians will be catered for.

Uganda has beautiful weather conditions. It is recommended you bring a rain jacket or a windbreaker during the rainy season (August – December and April – June). For females, longer skirts/dresses/shorts are encouraged, as this would be considered as appropriate attire amongst our locals.

CIIRD is a nonprofit community based organisation in Uganda that was founded to alleviate poverty among rural people and address environmental challenges in different communities; reduce food insecurity and improve on livelihoods of rural people especially smallholder farmer families through micro-enterprise, while conserving the environment as well.

Since agriculture is the main employer of the largest population in rural areas, it was prioritised to help in improving the livelihoods of people in our target communities.

We work with women, youth groups and marginalised groups of people including children, elderly and institutions such as schools.

We promote environmental conservation through the use of sustainable and innovative methods, such as Sustainable Agricultural Land Management practices (SALM) and conservation agriculture, which integrates tree planting, best soil, and water management practices on farmland, thus improving smallholder farm productivity.

We also promote sustainable energy through providing safe and sustainable energy options that are efficient and healthy for users. These include the use of wood saving stoves, solar, and bio-gas, all of which our beneficiaries have found to be very helpful and lifesaving.

Our women and youth empowerment projects focus upon improving access to affordable credit, skills development, and gender equality, which gives them the power to drive forward development in their own communities. The skills they acquire enable them to make products such as crafts, which they then sell to make extra income alongside their farming activities.

Our community development projects focus on sensitising and mobilising community members on water and sanitation issues, reproductive health, outreaches to HIV/AIDs affected communities, human rights education, and other problems that directly affect local people and their communities.

We also work to improve the lives of children through giving them quality and affordable education through our children's care center. At Desire Childcare Center, children are given the opportunity to grow up as normal should and receive a quality education, which most children in our communities lack.

At CIIRD we believe in working directly with local people on projects that bring about positive and lasting impacts in their lives.

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