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Volunteer Information

Youth Festival: Coming January 2025

Please read all of the volunteer information listed below before submitting your application.

Who Should Apply

We are looking for volunteers who are passionate about learning and supporting youth to reach their full potential and are ready to direct all their energy and experience towards this week-long youth festival. While this opportunity is great for soccer fans, athletes, students, teachers, and coaches there is no minimum level of soccer experience or youth development knowledge required. 

Do any (or all) of the following apply to you? If so, then this experience is definitely for you!

  • Looking for a meaningful cultural exchange experience

  • Curious about culture humility and lived experiences in the global South

  • Passionate about soccer/sport

  • Passionate about coaching/teaching 

  • Passionate about education and/or youth development

  • Love to try different foods and explore a new, vibrant city/country

We encourage volunteers ages 18+ to apply. Please note that 16 & 17 year olds may also attend if accompanied by a legal guardian. Not the right fit? Check out our other international opportunities here.

Volunteer Costs and Expectations

Festival volunteers commit to supporting all aspects of putting this event on for SWB including fundraising, collecting equipment, and covering the costs associated with hosting the group in Kampala. Your contribution covers all costs of the Youth Festival, and supports the start of the new program year at the SWB Uganda Youth Center. 

Specifically, volunteers are responsible for:


  1. $700 USD (minimum) financial contribution to Soccer Without Borders, which will include attending/supporting the Youth Festival, team building activities with the SWB Uganda staff, a Youth Festival kit (t-shirt and water bottle) and all local meals while in Kampala.

  2. Collecting 50 lbs (1 suitcase) of gently used equipment and bringing it with you to the festival (soccer cleats, sneakers, soccer balls, cones etc.). 

  3. Airfare to Uganda (~$900-$1500 for flights from the US)

  4. Uganda Tourist Visa ($50)

  5. Medical Expenses including yellow fever immunization (required), travel medical insurance (optional)

  6. Accommodation in Kampala ($10-$150 / night / person)

  7. Transportation between Entebbe Airport & Kampala ($30/car/trip)


NOTE:  SWB has an extensive list of hotels, drivers, and vendors and can answer any questions relating to the above expenses you need help with. 

Some volunteers like to extend their trip and experience some of the great tourism Uganda has to offer before or after their Youth Festival experience. These activities can include safaris to Uganda’s wildlife parks, trekking to see the critically endangered mountain gorillas, adventure tourism on the Nile River (whitewater rafting/kayaking, bungee jumping, river tubing) and Kampala city tours. Find out more information below, or send us a message.


In order to support a week of activities for SWB players and provide a comprehensive immersion experience, we ask each volunteer to contribute $700 (minimum) to SWB Uganda. This payment is due by October 15th, 2023. A 50% refund on cancellations is available through November 30th, 2023.

In the past, many volunteers have reached the minimum $700 contribution through fundraising initiatives and events. By engaging your family and friends to raise or even go beyond the $700 minimum, volunteers are able to make a huge difference to the program's efforts to provide year-round programming to the Nsambya and Kirombe communities. Should you choose to fundraise to cover your financial contribution, SWB staff will work with you to share best practices and provide you with a personal fundraising page that you can share with friends and family. Some schools also offer small grants for international volunteer work either through the NCAA opportunity fund or through the community service office.

*If you are a current NCAA student-athlete, we strongly recommend that you check with your school's compliance officer before beginning any fundraising activities.

EQUIPMENT: 50 lbs / 23 kg  (1 Suitcase)

When collecting equipment donations to bring with you to Uganda, you should primarily focus on: flat-bottomed or turf shoes/boots, soccer socks, soccer shorts, referee shirts & flags and sports bras. SWB will also share more specific suggestions about high-need items in the months preceding the festival.

Your 50 lbs of equipment donations can be collected in your local community. At certain times, SWB also has an excess supply of donated equipment in Boston, MA and Bay Area, CA that you may be able to bring instead of collecting yourself.Please check with SWB if this is your preference. Colleges, high schools, and local clubs are also great resources for gently used equipment. Please send us a message for more details regarding equipment collection. Each volunteer is responsible for transporting their equipment donations to Kampala.


Each volunteer is responsible for arranging & purchasing their own flights to and from EBB Airport. The cost of your flights is NOT included in your $700 contribution to SWB. Typical round-trip airfare costs to Entebbe, Uganda range between $900-$1500 USD from the United States and $600-$1000 from Europe. We generally recommend KLM, Ethiopian, and Brussels as first choice airlines (Emirates & Qatar are also top airlines but often require long layovers). shared with you. Volunteers are expected to arrive at SWB in Kampala by the provided date (usually 2-3 days before the start of the Youth Festival) unless otherwise discussed. Flight information should be shared with SWB after booking. We recommend booking flights as soon as possible to get the best prices on tickets.

NOTE: Airport transportation to/from Kampala to Entebbe airport is $30 USD each way. SWB Uganda does NOT have its own van, but has a list of professional drivers it regularly uses that can be arranged for you.



You will need to purchase a Uganda Ordinary Tourist Visa for $50 USD (in the drop down menus, select “visa” and “Uganda Ordinary / Tourist Visa”), which grants you permission to stay in Uganda for up to 3 months. Volunteers are required to apply for their Tourist Visas in advance here via Uganda's online system. You likely will not be able to get on your flight without getting this visa in advance. You will need the following documents for your visa application (and you will likely need to filter them through a file size reducing app before uploading them):

  • A copy of the Bio-Data Page of your passport

  • A copy of your Return Ticket (roundtrip) to and from Uganda (your visa will likely get rejected with only a one-way ticket)

  • A recent passport-size photograph (this will be used for the physical visa they put in your passport upon arrival in Uganda)

  • A Yellow Fever Vaccination Card (this is the only REQUIRED vaccination for travel to/from Uganda).

*Note: you should also bring physical copies of these documents when traveling.



All volunteers are required to obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination to travel to Uganda. You will need to get your vaccinations at least one month before your departure in order to obtain your visa you will need to bring documentation of your vaccinations with you when traveling.

Other vaccinations may be recommended by your doctor, including typhoid, hepatitis, and meningitis) Visit the CDC Travel Website to view their recommendations and requirements for travel to Uganda. 

Malaria pills are recommended for Uganda and we suggest you discuss this with your doctor. There is NOT a high prevalence of malaria in Kampala specifically, but it is possible to get it. Malaria is easily treatable in-country at nearly every medical facility, and costs approximately $10 to test for. 

If your personal medical insurance does not cover international travel, you can consider short-term travel medical insurance for your trip. Past volunteers have frequently used Patriot Travel but there are many other available options. 

Any minor medical incidents that occur in Uganda, such as a stomach bug, the flu, malaria, typhoid etc can be treated at hospitals/clinics in Kampala at relatively low costs (i.e. treating a mild case of malaria may cost around $15-100 depending on severity). Travel insurance will generally not cover these costs, but would be used in case of a major medical emergency or accident.



NOTE:  These activities are NOT part of the SWB Youth Festival and would be enjoyed wither before or after the Festival time period.

​Uganda is home to some incredible nature and recreational activities. Compared to more established regional destinations such as Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, Uganda is known for being less crowded and more off the beaten path. Some options for recreation include, but are not limited to the following. Note that SWB is not a tourism organization, but is able to provide recommendations based on past experiences and knowledge of the country.


  • Kampala City Tour

    • Boda Boda City Tour - Explore Kampala from the back of a motorcycle, the most common form of transportation in the city

    • Walking Tour - Explore Uganda’s Capital City on foot with a local Ugandan

  • Wildlife Safari to Murchison Falls National Park (6 hours from Kampala) (~$300-$350/person)

    • A 2-4 day safari to see some of the best wildlife Uganda has to offer, and the stunning Murchison Falls (considered the most powerful waterfall in the world). Find more information and budget options provided by Red Chili. (contacts to recommended luxury safari providers available upon request).

  • Gorilla Trekking ($1000+) (~8 hours from Kampala)

    • Southwestern Uganda is home to the critically endangered Mountain Gorillas. There are only 1000 of these massive animals, that are 98% genetically similar to humans, left in the world. A guided tour includes a rugged trek into Bwindi Impenetrable Rainforest and the opportunity to spend 1 hour sitting with an entire family of wild gorillas. Recommendations for Gorilla Trekking can be provided upon request.

Volunteer Waivers

All volunteers must sign a waiver indicating that they understand the risks associated with international work and will not hold Soccer Without Borders accountable for any injuries, accidents or loss of property that occurs while working internationally. Waivers are due to SWB by upon your acceptance to the trip.

Deadlines and Sample Schedule


  • Application Deadline: Rolling (We encourage you to apply as soon as possible! Trips fill up quickly!) 

  • Due upon acceptance: Signed Volunteer Waivers, Contribution to SWB of $700 (50% refundable upon cancellation)

  • October 15th (or rolling), 2023: Purchase flights

  • November 1st, 2023: Book accommodation and any optional recreational activities

  • December 15, 2023:  Obtain your Yellow Fever Certificate and any other vaccinations.

  • December 15, 2023:  Apply for your Uganda Ordinary Tourist Visa


  • Thursday-Friday: Volunteer arrivals to Kampala

  • Saturday: Volunteer Orientation, Activity with SWB staff, Welcome Dinner / Bonfire & Team-building

  • Sunday: Festival meeting and preparation, Cultural Seminar, friendly soccer match, Team Dinner

  • Monday - Friday: Festival with SWB youth! (8:00am - 4:00pm every day)

  • Saturday: Camp staff team-building event, Closing reflection

  • Sunday: Departures from SWB


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. We encourage you to apply sooner rather than later! Once your application is submitted, a member of the SWB team will reach out regarding next steps. Please review all of the dates and volunteer expectations thoroughly before applying!

Have questions? Email us at

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