Project Overview

Our week-long Immersion Trips are more than a vacation or a volunteer experience. The GYA Program prides itself on creating a trip filled with cultural immersion and critical thinking. Ambassadors will leave with a better understanding of Ugandan culture, economic challenges facing women and girl around the world, and of their own personal beliefs. 

While our focus will be on learning about the efforts to increase women’s empowerment in Uganda, the GYAs will also take part in workshops highlighting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, their role as Global Youth Ambassadors and how they can continue to develop their leadership skills at home.These workshops will be led by GYAP leaders as well as expert Ugandan staff. 
Traveling from the capital city of Entebbe to Lugazi, the Ambassadors will be based at a compound designed for international volunteers. 
Young leaders will complement local staff, providing and opportunity for cultural exchange and working within the community with a variety of people. Participants will have a chance to see grassroots innovation and creativity; a lack of resources certainly does not mean a lack of motivation! This week is a great opportunity to create a strong foundation for young leaders interested in international development and social entrepreneurship.




(program director)


The Real Uganda believes the best way to understand the opportunities and
challenges and facing Uganda is to come and visit! The Real Uganda recruits and places international volunteers within a number of community-based organizations around Uganda. Through its volunteer placement program, The Real Uganda aims to build the capacities of local organizations and raise awareness around the world about the successes and challenges of life in Uganda.

The Real Uganda doesn’t want to save Uganda, it wants to share Uganda with the world and it supports Ugandan innovation and motivation.

The Real Uganda (TRU) is an international NGO established by a former volunteer, Leslie
Weighill. Leslie has lived in Uganda for 10 years, hosting volunteers, working alongside communities, distributing grants, and managing numerous local projects.


Day One

On arrival in Entebbe we will be met by our Uganda partner organization and transferred to Lugazi.  That evening there will be an informal gathering to chat and get to know each other. 

Day Two

After breakfast there will be a brief introduction to Uganda, Ugandan culture and trip expectations. We will depart for our project visit in Kitoola. Once there we will have lunch, followed by a visit to the Hopeland Junior School to play sports and get to know the kids before we visit the YOFAFO women’s group to learn more about the power of women working together. We’ll get an opportunity to sit and chat with the women (and possibly learn a Ugandan dance or two!)

Day Three

Following breakfast we will depart for Grace Daycare and Orphan Centre. There will be time to interact with the kids through sport and art, as well as dig in the garden. That night we will have a workshop on supporting families and a community approach, and learn about how Uganda is moving away from orphanage support and international adoption.

Day Four

After breakfast, we will head to the Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organization (MAFICO) located on the edge of the Mabira Rain Forest (20 mins). In the morning we will talk to the coordinator of MAFICO and learn what they are doing to increase employment for locals. After lunch, we will have an adventure, before returning to the YOFAFO compound for dinner

Day Five

The day will start with a discussion with the coordinator of Hopeline on empowering women by strengthening communities and income generation opportunities. After this we will depart to visit the project and meet the women’s group and learn more about their commitment to support-ing their families and the community. 

Day Six

After breakfast, we will depart for the Hope for Africa Children’s Village visit. GVN Foundation has supported the construction of a clinic at the local school. You will meet and hang out with secondary students. After lunch, we will depart on a trip to the Source of the Nile River.

Day Seven

We’ll use this morning to sit together and process the trip; what we saw, heard and felt. We’ll share  – what we learned, what we might like to know more about and what YOU can do as an Ambassador. After, we will return to Entebbe. Before our farewell dinner that night we will visit a wildlife education center.

Day Eight

Goodbye breakfast and time to shower and prepare for our afternoon flight. We will then be transferred to the airport in Entebbe. 


GYAP Trip Leaders



Caitie has helped to organize and lead international trips including traveling to Cusco, Peru through the GVN Foundation's Eat So They Can Distribution trip and lead 18 graduate students to Yangon, Myanmar to study international economic development with the International Economic Development Program through the University of Michigan. Caitie served for 2 years on the Board of Alternatives for Girls, a Detroit non-profit. She is also a fierce advocate for the great work of Detroit Cristo Rey High School, a phenomenal school creatively educating some of Detroit's brightest yet underprivileged youth. Caitie has lived and worked in the United States, Spain, Uganda, New Zealand and India. 



Cat is the Program Director for the GYA Program. She is passionate about global health and holds a degree in Health Science. She also believes strongly in the potential for real change by making others feel loved, investing deeply in individuals, and allowing them to know their own self-worth. Cat demonstrated her commitment to creating change and supportive communities by establishing Restoring Hope, a group that aims to bring awareness to mental health, and working with Generation Alive, to advocate for change for low-income communities in Spokane, WA. Cat has lived and worked in the United States, Rwanda, and New Zealand.