The Pearl of Africa! Feel at Home in a small village between Kampala and Entebbe while engaging daily with children and youth promoting informal methods of education at our Books and Things Educational Center.
Who We Are
Young people in their twenties from Israel and the Diaspora volunteer at the Project TEN Uganda Center. Volunteers engage in informal education activities on a daily basis in order to enrich the local children’s learning experience.
The volunteer center opened in 2016 in a small village adjacent to the main road leading to the capital Kampala. Namulanda, the village where the activity takes place, is a strategic point for educators. The village and its surroundings have dozens of schools for children from the age of 3 to 18. Project TEN has created significant relationships with most institutions over the years and continues to maintain positive relationships and collaborations with them.
What we DO
Books & Things Educational Center
In the heart of the village, a Books & Things Educational Center has been established to provide enrichment hours to schools during school hours as well as afternoons. The Center was established with the encouragement of school principals in recognition of the added value these enrichment hours provide to the children. The emphasis of our center is experiential learning and is adapted to the various learning abilities of the children and youth. The volunteers at the Center execute a variety of experiential and empowering content in the fields of art, science, outdoor games, group games, thinking games and more! This type of learning promotes the development of personal skills and abilities that children require as the grow up.
Teachers and students together get excited about the special hours they share with the volunteers at the center. These hours break the routine of the week and add interest, excitement and curiosity to their learning experience.During vacations and during Covid-19, when schools are closed, Books and Things opens to the neighborhood children and youth. Entire families come and enjoy meaningful educational activities using recycled and everyday materials and of course lots of fun. This is another opportunity to make education accessible to children of different ages and backgrounds and to remind them and volunteers that education can come in different and varied forms and ways.
For some schools, which are further away from Books and Things Uganda, activities take place in a designated enrichment room renovated by Project TEN inside the local school. All the work at the center or in the schools are in full collaboration and involvement of the local teaching staff.
Enrichment Programs for volunteers
TEN volunteers undergo training before and after arrival at the Center. The training is designed to prepare participants for group life, the volunteering experience, and it enables a connection to the wider global context in which the Project TEN operates. The delegation opens with a week of orientation of in-depth familiarity with the Center. During this week, the volunteers meet the local staff, get to deeply know the work, visit volunteering locations and are exposed to the local culture and lifestyle.
During the three months of volunteering, there are regular weekly meetings led by the Center’s Directors and Coordinators and in collaboration with local professionals. The meetings cover various topics such as international development, education and community, Sabbath and holiday activities, language and group time. The purpose of the meetings is to process the volunteering and group life experiences, to provide tools for the professional implementation of Project TEN’s educational and ethical model, to expose the volunteers to the culture and lifestyle of the community in which they live alongside their own identity as Jews, as Israelis and citizens of the world.
Residence: Volunteers share a communal house on the banks of the Victoria Lake. The living area is secure with clean water and it is equipped with a vegetarian kitchen and well-equipped dining room, toilets, showers, an activity room and a communal yard.
Saturdays and Holidays: Every second weekend, participants are free to go and travel around the country. The program welcomes religious and secular participants. All activities on Saturdays and Jewish holidays are suitable for traditional observers. However, every participant is free to keep the Sabbath as they see fit.
Hiking and Travel Recommendations: The largest lake on the African continent – Victoria Lake, sources of the Nile River, the Kampala City Market, and unique Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
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Check out our 2022 volunteer dates
The 3 month cohorts cost 5,000 Israeli Shekel. This includes: accommodation, three nutritious meals a day, clean water, transportation to volunteer sites, professional staff in the field, basic Wi-Fi and security. The cost does not include: flights, health insurance, vaccines, visas and free weekends.