Stand On Your Own is an NGO fully registered in Uganda and focuses on improving the Education, Health and livelihood of rural, marginalised village communities in Western Uganda. It consists of a Nursery and Primary School called Ruhanga-Development-School, which offers high quality affordable education to 500 rural children; a vocational training centre for those who have finished primary school and need to bring money in. The latter develops a broad range of skills in young people and has the knock on effect of preventing early pregnancy and unwanted marriage of girls. Also included in Stand on Your Own is: The McNeil Medical Centre, which provides medical services and community outreach work. It evolved from a community based organisation started in 2007 and was registered as an NGO in 2012.
It gets support from the UK charity ULCP (Uganda Lodge Community Projects) but also from the many volunteers and visitors who come and stay at both Uganda Lodge and the cottages in QE National Park. It helps the adjoining fishing villages SOYO also supports people living in marginalised fishing villages within QE National Park. There are two such projects which are: Lake Retreat Kasenyi, which is a fishing Village on Lake George Kasese, where there is visitor accommodation that benefits local villagers through tourism; exactly the same at Lake Edward Retreat Kisenyi Rubirizi – which is also situated adjacent to a fishing village lake and park.
For Gorrilla Trekking, Gorilla habituation, Queen Elizabeth National Park Safaris, Lake Mburo Safaris, Lake Bunyoni trips and safaris, contact Denis -the director of Stand on your Own. He runs this as a seperate business to the NGO but all profits are donated back into helpinhg fund the school, medical centre and vocation training at Ruhanga in Ntumgamo District. His contact details are in the FAQ section at the bottom of this page.
Volunteering is mostly done by International Visitors, because this is not a job offer –there is no payment and in addition volunteers will pay for their own costs for accommodation and meals at our Volunteer Guest House plus all travel expenses.