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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, 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.

Our mission is to alleviate poverty among in families in rural communities through innovative Climate smart activities and Livelihood opportunities that bring about lasting solutions and developmental impact in communities we work with.

We currently have Volunteer Opportunities available in the areas of: Environmental Conservation, Women Empowerment & Entrepreneurship and Water and Sanitation.


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:
Train women and/or youth in entrepreneurship skills and management of small businesses.
Teaching young people and women how to grow their business ideas.
Working with the group to design a marketing strategy for the products.
Organising information meeting with the women and/or youth groups.
Sharing best ways to practice the culture of saving among women and youth.
Designing easy to use learning material for women and youth (for use during training)
MANDATORY: Cultural session with the local group and a village school outlining facts and information about your own country


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:
You will work with local people especially smallholder farmers in the community to create sustainable solutions to environmental problems and challenges they face using locally available resources.
You will conduct trainings and demonstrations for farmers on climate change mitigation methods and better farming methods that can be integrated in their conventional farming inorder to realize better yields and income from their livelihood activities.
- Conducting informational meetings on the impact of climate change to smallholder farming with local farmers, leaders and community.
- Organising tree planting campaigns and sensitizing communities on benefits of tree integration on their farmlands and environment.
- Designing easy to understand training material about climate change mitigation, waste management, organic farming, sustainable energy/ renewable energy and other vital topics for local people in the communities you will be working with.
- Share knowledge on conservation practices to farmers, students and pupils. 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


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

Over 70% of Ugandans in rural areas entirely depend on farming for their livelihoods; food to feed their families and economic benefits where they generate income to meet the needs of their family members such as education and healthcare. Unfortunately, this has only turned out to be an imaginally reality as the effects of climate change have turned livelihoods of many farmer families inside out.
We are hereby looking for volunteers/interns and professionals that can help in researching OR creating the suitable forms of livelihood opportunities that people in farmer communities could engage in, the forms of environmental friendly small and medium enterprises locals could engage in, the impact these opportunities could have and their sustainability based on the nature of resources these communities have.


- Working with local people to design alternative livelihood opportunities for communities affected by the effects of climate change.
- Conducting field surveys and assesmsnts.
- Working with local people to test possible alternative solutions.
- Designing a livelihoods opportunities scheme/plan

Qualifications. N/A


At community initiative for development, we would like to engage as many volunteers/inters as possible in our work and other activities. While many choose to come to Uganda to have their onsite experiences while working with the people here, we also want those who can’t come to Uganda to be able to do something that impacts lives of many remotely.
The Online ambassador in this case shall directly engage/participate in our activities online in the comfort of their home, school or work dedicating around 16-18 hours a week to support our work.


- Updating our social media/website information.
- Sourcing and introducing us to likeminded grassroots, school groups/clubs in your community.
- Linking us to potential grant makers for our projects.
- Encouraging potential volunteers to volunteer with us in our conservation positions.
- Networking with former volunteers/interns and supporters and updating them about ongoing and completed projects.

Qualifications: Qualifications here vary from person to person and field of interest however basic qualifications needed here include;
• Good communication skills.
• Team building.
• Good online networking skills.


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 Activities for you:
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!
Childcare / Children, Environment, Women
Skills Needed
Communication, Water and sanitation knowledge, 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)
$49 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
For two weeks, I was volunteering with a women’s group located in Kasaana. The women made handicrafts such as mats, beads, and bracelets. The project was flexible; I was involved in activities such as product development, fundraising, and improving marketing. I found this experience very rewarding, as I was working directly with the women. I was able to meet many amazing individuals during this trip. I personally enjoy hands-on activities, so this was a very enjoyable experience! I stayed with Godfrey and his family during my time. Not only did they prove that Ugandans were very hospitable, but they were also very accommodating. Godfrey was very well informed and flexible. He let me see different aspects of Uganda, by introducing me to a local school, the women I volunteered with, and...
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.