Program posted by: Big Beyond
Posted on: February 22, 2013
Conservation research & mapping programme overview
At Big Beyond, everything we do is about conservation and development. Our ongoing conservation projects are really diverse, so it depends on what your strengths and specific interests are, what's happening on the ground at the time and ultimately what you'd like to get out of the experience. Our volunteers could find themselves working within a new community forest reserve full of loads of indigenous trees, plants, birds etc. on the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. This community forest reserve is is ran by an organisation we're working with to identify a detailed wildlife report and map its flora and fauna to inform their conservation strategy. Alternatively you may also be helping to understand various farming or day to day activities around water sources leading into Bwindi from the communities which would contribute to an understanding around its impact on the gorillas' habitat and what measures can be put in place to improve them.
Volunteers also have the opportunity to get involved with the education side of conservation as we work towards a greater awareness and understanding within the communities around Bwindi. This may involve helping to develop content and run wildlife clubs in local schools, leading field trips into the forest as an outdoor education exercise or being part of an event focussed on teaching adults of the community.
If you're interested in gaining experience out in the field and having an impact on real grass-roots conservation work - you'd be a perfect fit for this programme. It's the chance to apply your knowledge and skills and get closely involved with the conservation of Bwindi and help to engage local people through a range of conservation awareness projects that are vital for the future of the park.
How does it work?
Big Beyond's programme in Uganda is the opportunity to live and work in a rural community in Southern Bwindi who are keen to develop their knowledge around health and wellbeing and sports and fitness activities. Our volunteers work across five critical project areas - enterprise, education, health, culture and environmental, they're all interlinked and with the same long-term goal of integrating conservation and developing the capacity of local people. Your volunteer placement is completely bespoke and will be thoughtfully designed according to your skills and interests and the needs of local projects at your chosen time of volunteering.
All volunteer placements are carefully designed according to your level of experience, passions and skills. There's always loads to do out there and we work hard to make every volunteer a valuable part of the team and the local community. We'll need to hear more about your background, interests and motivations first, and then we'll match you up with projects where help is needed on the ground.
Our expereinces are all about going back to basics. There aren't big budgets and specialist agencies on tap here. There isn't much social media ether. Electricity is also limited. As are computers. The working environment is probably very different to what you're used to, days can be frustrating, but most days can be immensely incredible and rewarding! You will apply core skills in a different context. You'll share ideas and knowledge with local people, but you'll also learn a huge amount professionally, and personally too. All positions involve initiative, creative problem solving, strategic thinking, resourcefulness, motivation and good people skills.
Where will I live?
You'll be staying at the edge of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, in the Great Rift Valley where the rich green rainforest rules the area. The true African wilderness and wildlife is just outside your door, including the majestic rare mountain gorillas.
You'll be living in one of our Big Beyond houses with other volunteers. It's prettyremote so you'll be going 'back to basics' in a truly eco experience (harvesting water for a hot shower) with a bit of a luxury edge (you'll have a full-time local chef) and sweeping views of Bwindi forest from the garden. We've created some comfy chill-out areas too, so you can relax and reflect in your own time. You'll be immersed in the culture of rural African village life and surrounded by nature.
How long can I stay and when can I join?
You can volunteer with us year round and stay from as little as two weeks or up to 12 months. We can design a placement to suit whatever your timeframe as you'll be working as part of a team towards long-term conservation and development goals. If you're lucky enough to be flexible about how long you stay, we do recommend a couple of months ideally to make the biggest impact and truly immerse yourself in the experience... well that's what our volunteers tell us anyway.
There are monthly intake dates to choose from. The best thing to do is call us free on +44(0) 800 6446203 and tell us when you're hoping to come out and how long you'd like to stay and we'll advise on the availability.
We take you off the beaten path directly to rural communities in Africa where you'll be applying your skills and passions across high-impact projects. Our programme fee is fully inclusive of everything that makes your experience seamless andunforgettable - you'll just need to organise flights plus a few other travel essentials. A deposit of £350 will confirm your place and the remaining balance isn't due until 8 weeks before you start.
For any queries get in touch with us on: +44(0)800 6446203 or by email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out our website www.bigbeyond.org for more info about our other destinations and programmes.
Ready to start your adventure today...complete the short online application form on our website: www.bigbeyond.org