Volunteer with Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development

Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development

Masaka, Uganda, Africa

CIIRD is a community based organisation in Uganda improving lives of rural poor people in Uganda through innovative and sustainable solutions.

CIIRD is a not for profit community based organization 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 microenterprise while conserving the Environment as well.
Since Agriculture is the main employer of the largest population in rural areas, it was prioritized to help in improving the livelihoods of people in our target communities.

We work with women, youth groups and marginalized groups of people including children, elderly and institutions such as schools.
We promote environment conservation through using sustainable and innovative methods such as Sustainable Agricultural Land Management practices(SALM) and Conservation agriculture which integrate tree planting, best soil and water management practices on farmland thus improving the productivity smallholder farm productivity.

We promote sustainable energy through promoting safe and sustainable energy options that energy efficient and healthy forusers. These include use of wood saving stoves, solar and biogas which our beneficiaries have found very helpful and lifesaving.

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

Our community development projects focus on sensitizing and mobilizing community members on water and sanitation, reproductive health, outreaches to HIV/AIDS affected communities, Human rights education and other issues 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 kids care center. At Desire Childcare Center, children are given the opportunity to grow up as normal children should and have quality education that many children our communities still lack.
At CIIRD we believe in working directly with local people on projects that bring about positive and lasting impacts in their lives.

Our Activities

What We Need

Community Initiative For Integrated Rural Development (CIIRD) is a registered not for profit community based organization in Lwengo district, Uganda near Masaka. The organization 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.

BACKGROUND: 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.

We currently have three projects available: Environmental Conservation, Women Empowerment, and Eco-Schools.


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


Upon Arrival:
- Volunteers are welcome year round
- 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.

Accommodation: 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.

Meals: Volunteers will be provided with three local Uganda meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner). Fruit and bottled water are also included. We are also able to cater to special dietary restrictions or allergies.

Internet: 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.

Project area: 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.

Expected Duration: 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.

Dress code: 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.

Free Time: 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.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

January - December
Minimum stay is 2 Weeks

What We Provide


Accommodation. We will provide home-stay accommodation for volunteers where the volunteer will have their own room, with abed, mosquito net and power. The volunteer will have to share a sitting room, bathroom and toilet with the host family.

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

* Volunteers with special dietary needs such as vegetarians will be catered for.

Important Info

Suitable For

Individuals, Family with Kids, Groups

Minimum Stay

1 or more weeks

Staff Size

Up to 5 people


$56 per Week
$220 per Month
$200 per Month (above 2 months)


Watch Us

1 Review

Help out from Home

Create/Update our Website

Website update. we would like to update our current website so it can help us provide more information, have downloadable documents and other features.
Fundraising. 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.
If you're a Volunteer who would like to volunteer online with us in the above areas, contact us now for details.

Your Contact Person

Zaake Godfrey
Kkingo subcounty, Masaka, Uganda.
80% response rate , 80 hour(s) response time.

Other Information

* 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.

What are you waiting for?

We at Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development would love to hear from you!