Literacy and Community Development: Uganda

Program overview

This program is placed in the rural regions of central and southwestern Uganda, with two community partners – the Kitengesa Community Library (KCL) and the Ibanda Community Library (ICL). The Ibanda Community Library, placed 1 km from Ibanda, was initiated in 2014. Its main objective is to promote a reading culture and provide reading materials in surrounding community schools where there aren’t currently reading materials available. Additionally the community library provides an opportunity for interactive learning with people from different cultures and educational backgrounds to build social networks. This is crucial for learning and interaction for community development.

The second community partner that interns will be working with is the Kitengesa Community Library. KCL aims to promote reading culture and provide a space for interactive learning.  Such opportunities provide a conducive atmosphere to learn about different cultures, conduct research and build a social network. All of which are crucial for learning and interacting within community development. The library is the heart of the community, providing a space for many different groups to come together and interact.

Interns will be working with the ICL on promoting reading culture, engaging with local community members, as well as assisting in everyday library programs and activities.

Interns will work with the library staff in reading activities in the surrounding schools as well as assisting with organizational work within the library.

These placements will require a high degree of initiative and problem-solving – you will be given the vision but will need to work closely with ICL and KCL staff to figure out how to work toward that vision, with very few resources. This will involve building effective relationships within the communities, developing a plan in collaboration with library/resource centre staff, and developing strategies for these projects.

The aim of these partnerships is to provide assistance to the libraries while learning about community development in Uganda. This will also develop understanding of the role of community spaces in providing necessary resources to various demographics, understanding the complex issues surrounding poverty and community development, and to appreciate the social, economic, and cultural factors relevant in development projects and international engagement.

Program dates

Date Activity
November 13, 2016 Program application is open and will close when full. Applications will be considered in the order they are received until a final deadline of November 13, 2016.
January – April 2017 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
June – August 2017 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBD)
September – October 2017 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and Public Engagement Presentation

**Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Pre-departure overview

Pre-departure learning sessions take place in the term before you leave for your placement; it prepares you for an intensive International Service Learning experience. During pre-departure you will:

  1. Create a learning & development plan and review this with your ISL Advisor
  2. Explore learning topics at regular meetings with your placement team


You will be staying with a host family in modest accommodations.

After you’ve returned (Post-placement)

  1. After you’ve returned, you’ll regroup, reflect and work at unpacking the intensive experience you’ve had.  The schedule of post-placement activities includes:
  2. A debrief with advisors and peers (September 2017)
  3. Presenting at a Public Engagement event (October 2017)

Program cost

We expect the program fee to be approximately $3,700 – $4,000. Fees may be adjusted prior to offer and include:

  • Room and board
  • Pre-departure learning sessions
  • Transportation to and from your placement
  • Orientation in Uganda
  • Debrief and workshop part way through your placement
  • Community partner management fee
  • ISL project management fee

All expenses not covered in program costs are the responsibility of the student.

Costs not included are: airfare, visas, vaccinations, local transportation while in country, transportation from project site to airport at the end of the placement, personal items, and daily incidentals.

A return ticket to Uganda costs approximately $2,000 – $2,500. You will be required to bring your own laptop.


To apply for a Summer 2017 placement, please submit an online application. Contact an advisor beforehand if you have any questions about the program or your eligibility before applying. The application consists of basic questions and essay questions. Set aside at least two hours to complete the application.

Selection process + dates

Once you submit your application, the application will be reviewed. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview. After interviews, you will be notified of a decision; successful candidates will then be sent an offer letter with further details on the program and detailed instructions on how to accept. You will have approximately one week after receiving the offer letter to accept and pay a program deposit. Your selection into the ISL program includes meeting eligibility requirements, as well as your initial application and your performance in the interview.

Don’t wait to apply. Limited spaces exist!