Create an Account | Login

Community Based Organization

Organization Location: 
Community Initiative For Integrated Rural Development

Average Rating

  • Lwengo, Uganda
Organization Description
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 in different communities of Lwengo district especially in Kkingo SubCounty; reduce food insecurity and improve on livelihoods of rural pro poor farmer families through innovative and sustainable solutions that conserve the environment.

Lwengo district (Uganda) has suffered the worst effects of climate change where smallholder farmers have experienced harsh climatic conditions such as prolonged drought, poor rainfall distribution, crop failure and loss of livestock yet small holder farmer families entirely depend on their farm lands for food and income to sustain their families.
We work with impoverished smallholder farmer families which are supported through capacity building to ensure food and nutrition security, engage them in profitable nature based farm enterprises and conserve the environment through sustainable land use management practices. The farmers we work with are faced with both socio-economic and environmental challenges that have lead to the vicious circle of poverty. We therefore work with communities to mainstream HIV/AIDS and gender issues in communities, raise awareness HIV/AIDS control among youths in and out of school and empower women.

AGROFORESTRY PROJECT. We promote Agroforestry and environment friendly farm enterprises that enhance sustainability of smallholder farms and improve their resilience towards climate change through use of climate smart and organic farming practices to grow food crops and improved livestock management for increased food supply and income generation for smallholder farmer families. Here we promote the integration of tree growing on farmlands to conserve the environment.

We have a demonstration farm in Luteete village where we demonstrate all the sustainable Agroforestry farming practices. At the farm, we have a tree nursery where we raise agroforestry tree seedlings to distribute to community members for free, dairy cows, pigs, chickens and ducks. These animals and birds provide manure/waste that is used to produce bio fuel used on the farm. The farm is a multiplication center for pigs that we distribute to the community at a subsidized price.

ECO-SCHOOLS PROJECT. We work with schools where we organise students/pupils into Environment clubs, sensitize them about climate change and its effects, conduct on school tree planting, waste management and conduct community tree planting around their schools and let the young people engage their leaders on issues affecting the environment in their community.

TREASURE WOMAN AND YOUTH PROJECT. In rural communities like Lwengo, women spend much of their time looking for firewood, fetching water and looking after their children and husbands. Here we work with women to improve their livelihoods through skills development such as craft making where they are able to make hand bags, table mats, hats and other products which they sell to earn income besides their domestic work.
Choose to volunteer with one of our programs and become a Village Conservation volunteer, a women/youth empowerment volunteer or School Conservation Assistant. Details for these programs is as below.

Become a Village Conservation volunteer.

This programs works with rural community members who are joining efforts to rehabilitate their degraded communities so they can be able to sustain their community needs and livelihoods.
Many rural communities in our areas entirely depend on land resources for their subsistence needs such as food. With the rising levels of degradation and loss of green cover from trees and other vegetation from wetlands, many local people in rural villages are facing high levels of crop failure, loss of livestock due to drought condition that don’t favour these activities.

Our villages have suffered high levels of degradation and the only solution is to rehabilitate degraded areas and conserving natural resources in these villages. We are working with local people especially smallholder 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.

We also work with communities and institutions in the community to conserve the environment, improve their resilience to climate change and its effects. Through community cleanups, tree planting campaigns on public lands such as churches, hospitals/health centers, trading centers and sharing of environment protection knowledge and action plans.

Some of the key issues that the program seeks to address include;
• Reduce the rate of natural resource loss and degradation of farmland resources.
• Food insecurity among rural farmer families.
• The loss of farm tree cover that is raising the need to encroach on natural forests for wood fuel and other purposes.
• Ensuring self-sustaining livelihood of poor farmer families
• Use of unsafe and inefficient energy options used in the community

Your roles as a Village Conservation Assistan.

* As a volunteer, you will work with local groups of people and farmer families in rural communities design and implement conservation action plans to protect and conserve key natural resources in the villages through lasting solutions that make villages more sustainable and productive.
* You will share with the local smallholder farmers some improved farming/gardening practices or skills that can improve their food security and other subsistence needs. This way you will have provided food for many that still lack it today.
* You will participate in community tree planting campaigns and/or helping out with raising tree seedlings on our Demo farm in Luteete village.
* You shall also sensitise local people on effects of climate change and how best local people especially smallholder farmers can adapt to the adverse impacts.
* You shall get involved and in the community efforts to put in place energy saving and efficient stoves. For every stove you will support, you will have saved many trees from being wasted as fire wood.
* You shall also share conservation and sustainability information with local people through environment education campaigns.

Become a School Conservation Assistant.

This program is a hands-on environmental program that aims at creating more sustainable communities through active involvement of young people to shape the face of their future environment starting with their own schools as their conservation units. This program aims at working with young people in schools to actively engage in conserving our environment through outdoor conservation activities in a fun and enjoyable way. Young people plant trees in schools and communities, students/pupils raise school tree nurseries and distribute seedlings to the community to plant for free and thus making their communities greener and more sustainable.

Many schools in rural areas where we work still face many social issues which the schools alone can’t manage to solve on their own. These issues vary school to school and they include the following;

• High levels of littering among students/pupils with plastic and other kinds of waste that is poorly disposed of which later find their way in the soil.
• High levels of soil erosion in both their compounds and school gardens and thus leading to soil loss and poor yields from school gardens.
• The school compounds are so bare with limited vegetation and pupils don’t enjoy any outdoor activities since compounds don’t have trees to rest and play in during breaks/free time.
• Many pupils in many government schools are not provided with lunch since they have to pay extra fees for it and this affects their concentration in class.
• Schools are leading consumers of wood and thus responsible for the high rate of forest loss in our area and this still continues until something is done.

We work with these young people to take collective action and solve some of these issues, one at a time and together we will have our schools more livable and sustainable.

We sensitise pupils/students on effects of littering and engage in recycling and reusing some of the waste in schools instead of just throwing it away,
Plant both fruit and non-fruit trees in schools in form of orchards and woodlots to improve school tree cover and provide firewood to schools in the future.

School gardens are a cheap source of vegetables and other indigenous food for pupils to have something to eat while at school so that they don't go to class with an empty stomach. We have therefore started working with schools to allocate school gardens where pupils can grow some food such as vegetables and fruits.

Your roles as a School Conservation Assistant.

If you have any cool ideas in waste recycling or re-using, you will share them with the students/pupils to minimize littering and improper waste disposal in schools. This way you will have improved the hygiene condition of schools and reduced contamination of school lands and grounds which will make schools more attractive and healthier to live in.

* You will work with schools to educate students/pupils on environment protection, how to grow healthier food in school gardens, and best farming practices. This way you will have provided a reliable source of food and fed many students/pupils in these schools.
* You shall work with pupils and students to establish orchards (fruit tree gardens) in our eco-schools which will provide fruits to improve students/pupils nutrition while at school and some will be used for learning purposes.
* If you’re passionate about outdoor activities, you will be taking pupils to natural surroundings to discover natural habitats of micro and macro creatures (butterflies, birds, ants, and others) so that young people can appreciate nature and learn how to preserve these eco systems.
* Our students/pupils want to learn better English too! Volunteers who can teach English as a bonus activity during their stay are welcome! Some pupils can’t read/write short stories or speak good English, by helping with teaching English you will have helped to improve pupils’ literacy levels.
During your work with the school, you will work with a students or pupils’ patron and our field supervisor who will guide you on your daily activities and operations.

Become a Village Enterprise volunteer.

In rural communities like Lwengo, women spend much of their time looking for firewood, fetching water and looking after their children and husbands. Here we work with women to improve their livelihoods through skills development such as craft making where they are able to make hand bags, table mats, hats and other products which they sell to earn income besides their domestic work. CIIRD is now empowering many women and youth across Kkingo Subcounty with life skills so that they can use them to be self reliant.

As Village Enterprise volunteer your roles shall include;

* Sharing business skills with the women so they can improve their small scale farm businesses and other side businesses.
* Train the women or youths in basic computer skills so that they can be able to use these skills to earn a living in life.
* Have you got any drama or acting skills? The drama skits made by the youth group are used to raise awareness in the community on issues affecting the community such as domestic violence and HIV/AIDS in an educative and entertaining way. Help the group to improve their skits or direct their next show.
* You can as well share marketing skill with the women/youth to get better market for their products both locally and internationally.
sensitise the community about human rights and best ways how to end domestic violence against women.

About your volunteering area and surroundings.

Volunteers will be working in a rural setting with great people willing to welcome any helping hand towards their work. The area has good internet access however; you will need a personal computer because the people you will be working with may not have computers. The area is close to places where you can access internet cafes in case you need this service.

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 speak English so, you won’t have any language barriers with them. The distance to the community groups or schools you will be working with is so short and walkable about 9-12 minutes walk since it is in our project area.

In this location is about 12-15 minutes drive to Masaka town which is an urban center where you will be able to do some more cool free time activities
Volunteers are expected stay for at least one week but you would make more impact if you choose a volunteer period longer than two weeks you’re also expected to be willing to live and work with local people especially smallholder farmers or young people in a rural community.

Uganda is one of the most gifted countries with beautiful weather conditions, so you won’t need any special wear. However you’re encouraged to have longer skirts or shorts since what you may consider to be normal wear in a western culture may be considered too short for locals that you will be working with.
On arrival, you will be introduced to cool places such as restaurants, cafes and hospitals around, get cultural orientation about the local people and introductory classes to basics of the local language so that you can get some of what locals will be saying and speak to them too!

Arrival in Uganda…

* Volunteers can arrive any time of the year.
* When you arrive in Uganda, we will be there at the airport to welcome you to the Pearl of Africa. We will escort you to our operation area which is 3 hours drive away from Entebbe airport.
* You will however meet your own airport pickup costs.
* You will get a Uganda tourist visa when you arrive in Entebbe at USD $50.00 and remember to carry your vaccination cards with you as you will be asked to present them.

Free time activities.

* Volunteer will be free to use their free time for excursions especially during weekends or selected days other than working days.

* Volunteers will be free to spend their free time in a green park, bar or a club for night life lovers, attend a social function or any other social places where you will meet other great volunteers in the area.

* Volunteers may also choose to spend a few days or one of their weekends at one of Uganda's most popular National Parks such as Murchison falls national park, queen Elizabeth national park or any other park where you will see wild animals but most especially Lake Mburo National park that is only about 2 hours drive from where you will be volunteering. You can also spend some free time at Nabugabo Sand beach or take a trip to the beautiful islands on Lake Victoria.

* Volunteers will have to pay extra fees for these activities.

Meals and drinks.

* We will provide the volunteer with three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner/supper) and for those who want to try new recipes on their own, they will be given the opportunity to have it.

* Volunteers will also get bottled water and fruits included.

* Volunteers with special dietary considerations such as vegetarians will be catered for based on their needs.

* * * See you in Uganda! * * *

Environment, Law / Human Rights, Women
Skills Needed
Communication, Agroforestry, Sustainable land use and management, Community development, Environment conservation, Human rights, Art and Craft, Music and Drama, Fundraising , Videography
Accommodation Provided - Minimum Stay: 2 weeks
Average Cost per Week ($USD)
$56 per week
Estimate only - contact this Organization for actual costs to Volunteer
  • Pre-Departure Orientation
  • 3 Meals per Day
  • Homestay
  • Local Transport

Costs do not include Flights, Visas, Vaccinations, Insurance, Spending Money, 2-Meals-per-Day, 1-Meal-per-Day, Volunteer-Hostel, Airport-Pickup-and-Drop-Off, Internet
Zaake Godfrey
Community Initiative For Integrated Rural Development Average Ratings
I spent 6 weeks with Community Initiative for Integrated Rural Development as a part of a longer trip in Africa. This was the most interesting experience on my travels and highly recommended, even though I would recommend to stay a longer period of time. During my internship I was a part of a multitude of community projects with a focus on agroforestry and organic farming. My supervisor, Godfrey, had a vast knowledge of the local environment and traditions, but also about the (great) challenges of climate change and how to adapt to them. He was good at English, and very communicative and flexible (which was needed, since the rain season lasted three weeks longer than “expected”). Among the projects, we built a tree nursery and prepared tree seedlings, we planted trees and produce,...
My experience with CIIRD was great. I worked together with the community in Kkingo and with two different schools. I helped out with work concerning environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture, for example nursing and tree planting of agroforestry trees and fruit trees, making of wood saving stoves, and start-up of an environmental club at a local secondary school.