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Organization Review

Overall Experience: 
In Uganda, I did a lot of awareness raising on health and hygiene issues with ABA Foundation, to children and village communities. We carried out surveys and research on issues affecting the local community and sought ways the ABA Foundation could offer solutions to these problems, such as when we built toilets in villages where there previously had been none. I believe our team were able to achieve all our goals. Thanks to good communication which was helped by translation between local community members and the ABA Foundation volunteers. What I most enjoyed about being able to speak English was the social times when I could translate jokes and create a good atmosphere and conversation between people. It also proved useful to gain more in-depth explanations on issues such as local politics, culture, traditions. I picked up on some interesting new words in English as Uganda is a English speaking Country. So I was able to add to my vocabulary, which was especially valuable when I returned to visit Uganda. I would absolutely recommend everyone to volunteer with ABA Foundation – it is invaluable for learning great skills in so many ways, including languages. I lived in Uganda for six months and so continued to develop my language skills. I still speak English every day and use it to stay in touch with friends, including those I met in Uganda. My team mainly participated in projects supporting self-help groups - small groups of people, generally with low means of living, who join together and get some small agricultural projects to work on with the same goal of developing their skills and become self-reliant. I also got an opportunity to get involved in projects concerning primary schools. I helped to train teachers in IT as it's my field of study. Before volunteering at ABA Foundation in Uganda, I was working for a packing company and then as a credit officer for a micro-finance company. I had started to get involved in my community, working in particular with young men to spread awareness of HIV and AIDS. The experience made me want to apply for volunteering. Since volunteering with ABA, my whole mindset has changed. I now want to put all my skills and energy towards helping my community and this has guided everything I have done since. Young people are assets for change in their communities and for the world as a whole. They can be strong people in society with the energy to speak about issues that they are passionate about. I’m especially keen on doing work supporting those with HIV/AIDS, and raising awareness of sexual health issues and gender discrimination. These are areas that really resonated with me, as a result of my volunteering experience in Uganda. It would be easier to list the things I didn’t learn or improve upon during my ABA experience. In terms of experience and new skills, volunteering ABA Foundation is the single most valuable thing I’ve done. If I had to highlight just one skill that I’ve learned as a result of my ABA experience, it would be the ability to conceive, plan and organise a big event, budgeting for it and hastily adapting when things inevitably go wrong. Thanks so much to the management of ABA Foundation for allowing me the opportunity to volunteer and make a positive difference in local community and needy groups!