Jen-on-motorbikeIf you have been inspired and would like to really get involved, why not donate some of your time to GI ASCO?  Whether you are available for just a few weeks, or perhaps a few months, a volunteer placement in Uganda is truly a life changing and unforgettable experience.  Keeping the boys and girls entertained 7 days a week is no small task and volunteering at GI ASCO would provide the opportunity to:

  • help them with homework.
  • giving extra tuition in subjects they struggle in.
  • give workshops in anything – it could be photography, breakdancing, sport, gymnastics, art, team building etc.
  • help keep them active! They love all sports and learning new games.
  • be their friends – they’re all very sociable!

The needs for volunteers vary according to whether the boys are at school or not. During term time, they spend all day Monday to Friday at school, returning to the house between 5 and 6 pm.  Sarah has instituted a buddy system with volunteers to help them with their homework between 6 and 8 pm each weekday night.  At weekends, it’s a question of organising activities, particularly sports.

Charlie Walpole 3
During the holidays (end of April – end of May, August and January) , as well as the usual play activities, the project organises a program of workshops (dance, art, vocational skills), visits and usually 2 hours per day of school work revision classes.

GI ASCO also welcomes school and other visiting groups. Obviously it would be best to visit when the boys are there, so at weekends during term time or any time during the holidays. The best way to organise this is to contact Sarah on ascojinja@gmail.com.

If you are interested in getting involved with GI ASCO, please contact Sarah directly on ascojinja@gmail.com . Sarah can arrange airport transfers and accommodation, and link you to other local projects.

This is what Charlie Walpole, a gap year student from the UK,  had to say about his time volunteering with GI ASCO (March 2015) –

Charlie Walpole 1
First time I’ve got wifi since leaving Uganda! Absolutely unbelievable experience, one I will never forget so thank you both so much for making it possible. All of the boys at ASCO are incredible and inspirational to myself. Gerald was so good to me, showed me all around Jinja and looked after me very well so I’m grateful for that. He took be to the boys on the street plenty of times and I formed bonds with the current street children as well, it seems as though they have incredible respect for Gerald too. In retrospect its hard to accept what I’ve seen but it drives me to want to help make a change. So yeah, unreal experience that I won’t forget, I will do all I can to be back next year to see all the boys again! Thanks again! Xx

Nick Kimber, a gap year student from the UK, spent six weeks’ volunteering at GI ASCO (May/June 2013) –

Nick Kimber group, June 2013During my gap year I didn’t really know what to do with my time.  I have always wanted to go to Africa and I feel I was a little ignorant towards charities and what they do there as well as the whole African culture. I heard what GI ASCO were doing in Uganda and decided I wanted  to go over and learn more. The boys were very easy to connect with and as I got to know them I heard more and more about what they have been through and the journey they have taken to get to where they are now.  It was hugely eye opening.

Being a volunteer with ASCO was great fun, getting to know the boys, playing football or rugby with them as well as trying to help them with their studies was a tricky but thoroughly enjoyable experience.   I feel that I have helped the boys as much as I could.

Uganda itself is a beautiful country to visit, you learn new things every day and meet a lot of interesting people. The culture is fascinating, the boys are great, and Sarah and Gerald are fantastic at what they do and what they are trying to achieve. The money is spent very carefully and is well thought out, giving the boys the best chance to get a decent education.

I have had no regrets about going and fully enjoyed the experience and I will return one day to see how the boys have progressed. I wish Sarah and Gerald and the boys good luck in their aims for the future.

Stef Stocker is currently studying BA (Hons) Education at the University of Brighton, and as part of this course in her second year she was required to carry out a placement which was to include work towards a research project (Spring 2013)

Cake Day (Stef Stocker)Whilst I was at GI ASCO I worked with some of the boys on the coaching programme, to help them to improve their reading skills. I was overly impressed with the politeness of the boys and the welcome I received, the reality of the organisation was far from my expectations. I feel that GI ASCO has worked hard and made great achievements in making the boys respectable and well mannered. I also had the opportunity to join in with lots of fun activities whilst I was with the organisation, including cooking, sports, games, a day at ‘fun rugby’, and swimming.

The work being done by GI ASCO is truly amazing and the boys are lucky to have the opportunities offered to them.

Being able to get involved at GI ASCO has greatly helped me towards my research project and the data I collected was extremely valuable, I hope that the organisation gained as much from me as I did from them.

I would like to thank GI ASCO for hosting my placement, and giving me the opportunity to experience life in Uganda. I had an amazing time whilst on placement and really enjoyed getting to know the boys and helping them with their school work. It was an amazing experience and I would like to thank everyone at the organisation for making me feel welcome and allowing me to become part of your lives for a short period of time.

This is from Sally Powell from the USA –

Over the past few years I’ve worked with a number of non-profits for children both in Africa and elsewhere. My time volunteering with GI ASCO went far above and beyond all expectations and has been one of the most rewarding experiences of all my travels. During my time in Jinja I never ceased to be impressed by the organization, the dedication and the transparency GI ASCO offers to both its volunteers and staff that creates an honest, dedicated and goal-oriented environment that has made a truly tangible difference in the lives of the boys housed there. GI ASCO is not just an organization, it’s a family and the moment you step into their world you will feel the instant warmth, welcome, gratification and love from every boy of GI ASCO. I encourage anyone looking to make even the slightest bit of difference in the lives of a child to consider volunteering with the GI ASCO family if even for a day. There are few things more rewarding than those smiles.

To watch a fantastic video Sally produced, click here.

To read how other volunteers describe their experience, click here and here

Check out Will’s Breakdancing Holiday Workshops.

To see the GI ASCO Facebook page, click here

If you would like a copy of the latest GI ASCO newsletter, contact us at admin@gitrust.org.uk