Jinja, Uganda

   Paths to Progress:  What's Happening in Jinja

Community Partner Highlights

environment.gifOrganization for Rural Development (ORUDE) aids rural communities build capacity in the field of microfinance. ORUDE organizes savings and credit cooperatives, seminars, and distributes training guides.

health.gifWomen Rights Initiative (WORI) works to reduce violence, poverty, and HIV/AIDS amongst women and youth. To accomplish this, WORI runs programs on human rights, leadership capacity building, sexual reproductive health, economic empowerment, and institutional alignment.

Internship Opportunities in Jinja click here

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An introduction to the town on the Nile


Jinja is the second largest town and commercial center in Uganda with roughly 90,000 people and major commercial rail connections to Kenya and the Indian Ocean. Located on the shores of Lake Victoria and at the headwaters of the Nile, Jinja boasts beautiful surroundings and thriving agriculture due to abundant water access. At the same time, Jinja suffers widespread poverty, unaffordable water and energy supplies, and inadequate healthcare and educational services.


Central Region

Population: est. 89,700

Avg. temperature:  Low 62ºF /
                         High 85ºF

Local time:

Local language: Luganda


Organization: Phoebe Education
Topic: Health
Intern: Elizabeth Gilbert

The Phoebe Education Fund for HIV/AIDS Orphans and Intern Elizabeth Gilbert have initiated a project to increase disease prevention and knowledge about health rights. Through a series of workshops, 63 grandmothers in Butagaya Sub County are receiving training on how to spread this vital knowledge about disease prevention throughout the community.


Organization: UPACLED
Topic: Youth Development
Intern: Rula Mualla

Uganda Parents of Children with Learning Disabilities and Intern Rula Mualla created a project to address common physical disabilities in Uganda through workshops on physiotherapy exercises. A workshop for 70 community members provided knowledge of preventive measures for common disabilities and a few were taught how to make physical therapy equipment.

Margaret Nassozi Amanyire, Program Director


Margaret has more than a decade of experience working with local communities and government in Jinja on social development. She has facilitated the design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of strategic and action plans for several civil society organizations and has also worked as a consultant for the European Union and CARE International.

A day in the life of an FSD Intern

Welcome to Jinja

Justin Cruz worked at Budondo Savings and Credit Cooperative on an income generation project supporting farmers to start growing Coffee and Papaya.

The first time I wake up is at about 5:30 when the first rooster “goes off”. I say goes off because I feel that the roosters in Budondo act as alarm clocks for the rest of the community. Next, the radio begins at around 5:40. Ugandans love playing music on their TVs and they will play it at any time of day, extremely loudly. My alarm does not go off until 7:15. Now we have both the roosters (not only my family’s roosters, but all of the my neighbors roosters as well) and the radio. I am a very good sleeper and can sleep through virtually anything, but this noise actually wakes me up. Sometimes, the cows even join in. However, I have learned to sleep through all of this noise, and on some days I put in headphones and listen to some music quietly to fall back asleep.

When my alarm goes off at 7:15, I get up to take a shower. Fortunately, my water is heated every day, and on some days, it is literally boiling hot so I have to add some cold water. I take a shower using a bucket. It has been a skill I have acquired and still am getting better at washing all of the dust off my body. It is not easy.

After showering, I go inside to have breakfast. Breakfast for my family usually includes a fried/scrambled egg. We also take tea in the morning with two pieces of bread (not toast) and some mysterious form of butter. The eggs and tea are just about every day. On some days, I am served bananas, pineapple, or other fruits. All through breakfast we watch the news and I am very thankful it is in English because I have been able to keep up with international news.

My host sister and I leave for work at about 8:10am. We get there at about 8:30 (it’s really only a 10 minute walk, but Ugandans walk really slowly) and are greeted by many children along the way. As per usual, I hear “Mzungu! Jambo!” too many times to count.

We work until about 12:30 or 1:00 when we break for lunch. We go home for lunch everyday, which has been awesome. For lunch, I am usually served rice, red beans, “Irish” potatoes greens, and cabbage. On some days, I am served meat, cassava, and posho (mashed and dry corn meal). These are the standard dishes that I have been served for lunch and I enjoy just about everything.

After lunch, we return to work at the SACCO or we go to the field to visit the pilot communities that we will be working with to start our project. On some days, we have gone into Jinja Town to do research because we cannot get Internet in Budondo. AllisonOlmsted_Jinja5.jpeg When I get home from work, I often sit around with my family and play with the kids around the house. There are always kids in and out of our compound or playing in the front yard. I also have spent time with them in the kitchen helping cook, fetching water at the watering hole, shelling beans, or rearing the animals. It has been a lot of fun. On most days we play board games after dark. Dinner is not served until about 10:00pm and sometimes 10:30pm.

Dinner, for me, is similar to lunch, but sometimes includes Matooke. I did not like it at first, but have grown to like it a lot. Matooke is plantains that are mashed, placed in banana leaves, and steamed. Sometimes at dinner we also have ground nuts (peanuts) mashed and made into a sauce, which tastes like peanut butter.

Because dinner is so late, I often go to bed right after because I am always so exhausted from the heat and long days. I have really enjoyed this lifestyle and I could definitely get used to how relaxed everything is, including the work culture. Everyone is always relaxed and never in a rush. People always take time to greet each other and to say hello and I have found that everyone is extremely friendly.