St. Paul KAASO is a unique community project in Uganda that provides education and mentorship to children in one of the areas hardest-hit by the HIV/AIDS crisis.
KAASO is first and foremost a primary school, but relies on an interconnected network of community initiatives to keep the school running and the level of education high.
The school’s motto – “Invest in Education” – not only applies to the children, but also the adults of the community. KAASO’s ultimate goal is to empower people, both young and old, to enable them to follow their dreams and realise their full potential.
In 1999, Dominic and Rose Mukwaya created St. Paul KAASO Primary School to enable under-served youth to get a decent education – at no cost. The school began with just 12 children and by the end of the first year there were 49 students.
Classes were taught in a thatched roof hut and resources were extremely limited, but Dominic and Rose persevered. Their mission was to ensure that even those unable to pay school fees would get the education they deserved. Over time, KAASO’s reputation spread and parents wanted to send their children to the school. In order to be sustainable, Dominic and Rose agreed to take in these fee-paying students, helping to boost the school’s income and supplement the under-served children.
Today, KAASO educates over 600 primary school children every year, charging fees only to those who can afford to pay and supporting those who cannot, with a whole raft of students in the middle whose families offer food or services in return for their child’s education. As one of the top schools in the district, KAASO provides a high level of education and academic excellence not commonly available to those unable to pay school fees. Thanks to KAASO, students who would otherwise have struggled to go to school now have a truly bright future.
While the school was originally created to assist orphans, it is not an orphanage and all children who board at the school during term time return to their home villages to stay with their families or guardians during the holidays.
KAASO has been welcoming volunteers since 2006 - and many of those volunteers have come back again and again. Volunteering at KAASO is not just a one-off experience, it is to become part of a unique community, a school and a family. You simply cannot come to KAASO and not be moved by the spirit, tenacity, determination and hope of the people. It is an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
We invite self-motivated, forward-thinkers with open minds to KAASO. Your duties will not be handed to you - there is no set format, no text book. With respect, empathy, and personal motivation, you can find your own unique way to make a difference.
Your volunteer fees cover all meals and accommodation.
During your time at KAASO, you’ll be living in the volunteer house – see tour video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEgUxJX7pgY. The house has solar power in the evenings for lights and charging devices.
All meals are provided and you will eat within the school grounds with Dominic and Rose at their house. Breakfast is casual and usually around 9am. Lunch and dinner are more substantial and served around 1pm and 9pm. The village of Kabira is just across the road and has basic supplies.
Volunteers will need to cover all external costs - flights, travel and health insurance, visa, vaccinations, etc.
One of the best things about volunteering at KAASO is that there are no administrative costs. KAASO is dedicated to putting all money possible toward supporting education. To that end, we charge minimal fees which cover volunteers' food and board, and in the first 3 months, include a built-in donation to the project of your choice at the school.
The below costs are all in USD:
Under three weeks: $250
First month: $350
Second month: $250
Third month: $150
Subsequent months: $100
Airport transfer (each way): $100
KAASO is not your average volunteer experience. Volunteering at KAASO means joining a family, becoming part of a community, and having experiences that will change the way you see the world.
We invite you to join us.