Volunteer Pre-Arrival Information

VOLUNTEER ABROAD FOR SOCIAL IMPACT

We pride ourselves on the standard of pre-information we offer to all our prospective full-time volunteers. It’s important to do the right preparation before volunteering abroad. While some people will be seasoned travelers, many Justice Tourism Foundation volunteers are traveling alone for the first time. Regardless of which group they fall into; we think it’s a whole range of issues that people need to consider before traveling abroad.

We’ve developed a set of guidelines tools to help our volunteers to get prepared in the best way. This information is designed to help you make a valuable contribution to our organization and the local communities you’re working with and ensure you have a positive impact. Below is a couple of things you need to consider during your volunteering time with us in Uganda.

1. Your Volunteering Should Contribute to The Sustainability of The Organization and The Local Community You’re Working with And Ensure You Have a Positive Impact.

 Consider sustainability of the work. Sustainable projects build capacity and enable locals to make improvements in their own communities whereas handouts lead to dependency. The work our volunteers do in these projects compliments and increases the capacity of the projects’ impact in the community, and we seek in all we do to ensure the work is sustainable in its’ own right and not reliant on overseas volunteers. The time you spend with each project provides a huge bonus to their work. You are not taking any opportunities away from local people; this is not job substitution, but the provision of additional support, knowledge, insight and energy to worthwhile local projects. This is important to us, and ultimately means you can have confidence in knowing that when you give your time to our projects, you will be contributing to a work that will last for years to come.

“Our very name “Justice Tourism Foundation” is taken from the concept for sustainable tourism focusing on an ethical and fair economic, socio-cultural, and environmental sustainability and this is the cornerstone of what we aim to achieve – providing people with means (knowledge, tools) to understand and act in order to transform the social, cultural and economic structures that affect their lives at all levels in Uganda”.

  • Consider burden of hosting volunteers. It takes a lot of time and money for an organization to take on volunteers. Your contribution should be greater than the resources you consume at the host destination. In some cases, people who are considering volunteering or doing an internship overseas sometimes express surprise at being asked to pay a program fee or fundraise for the project which they will be working at. However, it needs to be remembered that volunteering and internship can be an expensive undertaking, with possible costs including transport, accommodation, food, administration, training, on-the-ground support, and potentially, medical and other insurance. Most local organizations such as the Justice Tourism Foundation cannot cover these costs unless your volunteering or internship will make a significant contribution to their work, or unless they are in receipt of substantial financial supports, for example from regular public donations or from International financial grants. In our case, Justice Tourism Foundation is a non-Governmental organization that is 100% financially self-supported through its program fees revenue and individual contributions. We are therefore looking for volunteers and interns who will be an asset, who understands the needs of the rural communities in the developing world and are ready and willing to contribute their time and resources rather than becoming a drain on us.

Of course, as a volunteer / intern you are giving up your time and your skills to help those in need, however, many people fail to see why they should pay the program fee or fundraise for the project donation which they will be working with. The program fees you pay go directly to Justice Tourism Foundation and are used to pay for expenses associated with your stay such as food, accommodation, transport, orientation and staff salaries to ensure your volunteering or internship stay in the host country goes as smoothly as possible. A large proportion of the program ‘s fee actually goes to the volunteer’s upkeep during their project placement. The entirety of the program fee (this varies from volunteer to volunteer depending on how long the volunteer is staying) It is not possible to give the specific breakdown for each project fee but an overview of approximate costs can be broken down as follows:

  • 61% Volunteers / interns upkeep including:  Food (3 meals a day – i.e., breakfast, lunch & dinner, accommodation
  • 28% Cover Justice Tourism Foundation’s Administration such as local staff wages, Head office overheads, administration costs, program supervision, program placement, in-country orientation etc.
  • 11% Awareness, Marketing, communications and PR

Volunteers’ Program Fee Break-Down

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2.BE A RESPONSIBLE, SOCIALLY AND ENVIRONMENTALLY CONSCIOUS TRAVELLER

(Our Slogan – “Change the Way You Travel, And Help Change the World)

Travel can be much more than simply visiting places, taking pictures and buying souvenirs. When executed mindfully, and with the minimum impact, travel can inspire cultural awareness, tolerance, and commitment to environmental responsibility. Justice Tourism Foundation (JTF) believes that there are so many travelers out there who are able and willing to have an opportunity to bring benefits to the people in the under developed world like Uganda. We take keen initiatives to host international volunteers with the understanding that international volunteers come along with a global wealth of skills knowledge and resources that would otherwise be expensive for the local communities to acquire in terms of development.

Therefore, as part of our mission to promote ethical, fair trades sustainable tourism, Justice Tourism Foundation has developed alternative tour trips designed to connect travelers with local people and places for an authentic experience. We care about implementing Responsible tourism practices – ABOUT ‘MAKING PLACES BETTER FOR THE PEOPLE TO LIVE IN AND FOR PEOPLE TO VISIT’. Justice Tourism Foundation takes pride in having built up the organization based on such a policy. Our aim is fair trade between local communities, Justice Tourism Foundation and you as a traveler. You can be sure that your holiday contributes directly and meaningfully to the communities you visit.

Most of our volunteer / holidays take you off the beaten track and give you an insight into local people’s heritage and the culture and daily life of the community that you are visiting. It doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your beach or a sightseeing trip into the cities. Rather it is about uniqueness, authenticity and getting a glimpse into life as it really is. Remember; we tailor-make holidays and your volunteer placement – so it is up to you what you want to experience.

3.Become A Goodwill Ambassador for Justice Tourism Foundation

  • Do you believe that the right words can get people to listen?
  • Do you believe that the right voice can get people to act?
  • Do you think of social media as a platform that collapses borders and unites people?
  • Do you believe you have the power to inform and transform society?

Justice Tourism Foundation encourages all our volunteers to join the change revolution. We want you to be our Good Will Ambassador in your respective country through Social Media Platforms for Change.

 Justice Tourism Foundation (JTF) has strategized itself to provide holistic and sustainable interventions that contribute to addressing the plight of rural marginalized people and communities living around the national parks in Uganda. We believe that the abundant and diverse natural, historical and cultural heritage resources that are available in many of these rural areas of Uganda represent exciting tourism opportunities to stimulate direct and indirect jobs and other micro-economic activities if effectively captured and presented to tourists in a way that is authentic and engaging and structured in a way that is sustainable and provides direct economic benefits to local people.

Justice Tourism Foundation’s goal to develop sustainable tourism in partnership with poorer rural communities, with a focus on  developing community based tourism enterprises which can include offering community experience tours where local and international visitors can experience the lifestyle of the villages, the people, the heritage, the culture, the cuisine, homestead tourism, handicraft production, and rural hospitality and  much more in order to sustain village life and culture, improve livelihoods, empowers rural women and youth with skills training, connects them to global market opportunities, and enables them to earn an income to transform their communities in remote rural areas and reduce the need for outward migration. Our Good Will Ambassadors play an important role in all of our campaigns and make a real difference in promoting our work in their respective countries. We want our volunteers to amplify our voices concerning the development work with do with the local communities by being our bridge to the world.

We want to create a platform where the online world can actively participate to bring social change on the ground. Therefore, as a volunteer you should:

  • Show a demonstrable commitment to human rights and social justice.
  • Have a “Social media DNA” or strong desire to use it for social good outreach/amplification.
  • Have a Sense of humor and ability to sometimes find ways of amplifying ASTCF’s serious work in a fun way.
  • Have the belief that social media is a tool and not a means to an end—in other words, understand Justice Tourism Foundation’s philosophy and share responsibly with an eye to the work on-the-ground.
  • You will position yourself to be a leader in the kind of social media that changes the world.  Increasingly, communication and marketing Justice Tourism Foundation’s work in social media.
  • You get to be inspired every day—that is priceless…think daily endorphins!
  • Bring a positive attitude. As a volunteer you won’t always be doing the most glamorous tasks but keeping a positive attitude will benefit your whole team. Photocopying, yea!
  • Ensure matching expectations. Be realistic about what your role will be. You might not be in a placement long enough to see a project completed but know you are helping reach long term goals.
  • Embrace a culture of sharing. Too often we volunteer with the mindset we are the ones helping or teaching. Be open to learning from and sharing with your host culture. Most likely, you will end up learning more from your hosts than they will learn from you.
  • Do what’s important not what’s interesting. True, writing grant proposals and responding to emails might not make great Facebook profile pictures, but it will be important to the organization you are working with.
  • Keep an open mind. Anytime you encounter something unexpected or different you are learning. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
  • Make learning and sharing a lifelong commitment. Helping others is a lifestyle choice, not just something to do on vacation. Learn more