TGL Uganda 2017

The GIving Lens Thailand dives into empowering women that may be at risk for the sex trafficking trade, educates on the elephant conservation and rescue, and explores much of the diverse culture of northern Thailand

Uganda is a brilliant, beautiful place landlocked in East Africa. It's bordered by DR Congo, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda. It has Africa's highest mountain range and borders on Africa's largest lake. It's home to the protected Mountain Gorillas, and is the source of the Nile River. And we're going to try to take in as much of it as we can over 10 jam-packed days!

This is our first ALUMNI-ONLY trip! If you are an alumni, you need to email Kate or post to the TGL Alumni Facebook page immediately as we expect this trip to sell out.

Our NGO partner in Uganda is nothing less than incredible. Beacon of Hope Uganda is a Ugandan based volunteer travel, humanitarian service, and rural development organization founded in 2006 by then a 19 year old Isaac Ssamba. 19!

Beacon of Hope Uganda designs and conducts programs which contribute to the welfare and social productivity of disadvantaged individuals and communities with an emphasis on children and youth. BoHU addresses some of the most pervasive problems in rural Uganda, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, hunger, education, poverty, access to clean drinking water, and orphaned children. In addition, it focuses on empowering the youth of Uganda empowering them with different skills and leadership training. BoHU has a small media program they have been running with their youth outside Kampala. This is where we will be volunteering - documenting but also teaching photography as a skill (tourism) and outlet (creativity). There will be 3 days of projects planned.

Then we will have a half day safari followed by the Bucket List dream of hiking to find the Mountain Gorillas of Bwindi National Park.

Buckle up!

Trip Dates

Sept 3-13 2017

Cost

$4400 USD

Group Size

8-10

Difficulty

Moderate

This trip is physically easy to moderate.  The majority of the trip will be long walks but fairly flat - exploring streets and markets for example. However, the hike to find gorillas could be an intense day. This is serious bushwacking, uphill, sometimes muddy. Finding the gorillas can take 1 hour - or 8. We go to them, they're wild animals, so it's a lot of unknown for physical exertion. Participants need to be in good shape, for this reason.
The emotional demands of this trip are moderate to difficult. Uganda has a lot of poverty, the likes of which you may not have seen before. You'll be exposed to very real conditions for many Ugandans, seeing up close the issues around education, water, living conditions, and lack of access to help. You'll see a lot of hope, smart hacks, and optimism too - but don't walk away thinking they are "poor but happy." Life is hard for many.
The standards of accommodation, quality of meals, and access to amenities of this trip are decent. Accommodation is clean, and safe, but not luxurious. You can expect a simple room, shared with a team member. We may have some shared rooms with bunk beds. Sometimes bathrooms are en suite, sometimes shared. Amenities can be found in towns and especially in Kampala, but when rural amenities become harder to access.
Level of safety in Uganda is good. We have a tour company providing all our transport and we will look to them, and the NGO, for insight on best safety practices. For example, we don't go out at night, nor do we allow team members to wander off alone. In Kampala, being a big city, we will be extra cautious. In smaller towns, it will feel more at ease. Rest assured, you're in good hands.
The GIving Lens Thailand dives into empowering women that may be at risk for the sex trafficking trade, educates on the elephant conservation and rescue, and explores much of the diverse culture of northern Thailand

What is Included?

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    All Ground Transportation

    From the moment you arrive to when you depart, we have you covered. Taxis, buses, tours, you name it.

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    All Accommodation and Meals

    Rooms are double rooms with twin beds, paired by gender, and accommodation is always clean, comfortable, and safe. From dinner the arrival day, to breakfast the departure day, we will keep you well fed and hydrated.

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    All Entry Fees and Guides

    Entry fees, shooting permits, guides, passes, etc. If the team is going to shoot there, we'll get you in. We'll even be sure to tip any guides on behalf of the whole team.

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    All Photo Instruction

    You'll have 2 leaders available all day long to field as many questions as you can muster, provide one-on-one help, and offer group topics and instruction as required by the scene at hand.

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    A Donation to the NGO

    While there are a lot of factors involved that determine the exact amount - which we're happy to be completely transparent about - you can rest assured we make a substantial donation to our NGO partner post-trip.

What is Not Included?

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    Flights

    We're open to people from every corner of the world. This means we cannot possibly offer a flight that would suit everyone. If you can get yourself here, we'll take care of the rest!

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    Insurance

    We require every participant to have adequate travel insurance, and to carry copies of this insurance at all times.

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    Passport and Visa

    Each participant is required to ensure their passport is valid for the time of travel, and to research, learn, and meet all the requirements of an entry visa specific to their country. If there are fees associated with the entry visa, they're not included.

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    Alcohol and Souvenirs

    We do not provide alcohol for our participants, so that's up to you. As well, as much as we really really like you, we can't buy your gifts for you. Souvenirs are on you!

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    Internet

    Some hotels have wifi, others do not, or sometimes it simply doesn't work. When wifi is available for purchase, it's up to you if it's worthwhile. Some participant opt to purchase a local SIM card and data plan - a great option that we don't cover.

 

The NGO: Beacon of Hope Uganda

Beacon of Hope Uganda is a Ugandan based volunteer travel, humanitarian service and rural development organization founded in 2006 by then a 19year old Isaac Ssamba. The administration is comprised of local volunteers in Uganda and international volunteers around the world.

Beacon of Hope Uganda designs and conducts programs which contribute to the welfare and social productivity of disadvantaged individuals and communities with an emphasis on children and youth. BoHU addresses some of the most pervasive problems in rural Uganda, including HIV/AIDS, malaria, hunger, education, poverty, access to clean drinking water, and orphaned children. In addition, it focuses on empowering the youth of Uganda empowering them with different skills and leadership training.

BoHU is founded on the principles that our shared values and commonalities as human beings are more important than our individual differences. We therefore operate on a non-political, non-denominational, and non-sectarian basis, welcoming all world citizens to contribute to our work and every Ugandan in need.

BoHU reaches out to the furthest and most abandoned communities in the rural areas of Uganda including its islands. Amongst these are the Buvuma islands which are hard to reach and under – served by other Ugandan NGOs. Through educating Ugandans on diseases awareness & prevention, and fostering the creation of self sustaining projects run by the local community, BoHU aims to achieve its mission.

Our projects are: Bright Future Project (An education program); BoHU Environment (A Conservation program aiming to teach kids on sustainability, alternate energy, and respect for the Earth); BoHU Friends of Orphans (equipping orphans in rural villages with education, health care, and hope. These children are at risk of malnutrition, vaccine-preventable diseases, and live in abject poverty); BoHU Games and Sports (a youth empowerment program); BoHU Health Care (for rural areas, mobile dental and medical clinics, health ed workshops, HIV awareness and more); and WASH (A water, sanitation, and hygiene program).

The GIving Lens Thailand dives into empowering women that may be at risk for the sex trafficking through our work with Daughter's Rising, educates on the elephant conservation and rescue, and explores much of the diverse culture of northern Thailand

Who Are Your Leaders?

Colby is the founder of TGL, a professional photographer, photo educator, author and entrepreneur from Denver, Colorado. Specializing in landscape, travel and humanitarian photography, he has been fortunate to have worked all over the world, in pursuit of capturing the beauty of life on this planet and helping to make a difference in the world for others. In 2010 he co-founded Lespwa Haiti, an organization that provided support services on the ground to small local NGOs doing phenomenal work in that island nation of Haiti. Colby’s passion for photography and teaching helps propel him to hold photography workshops, digital editing classes and webinars throughout the year, in various countries around the globe

Colby Brown Photography

Michael Bonocore is our most senior trip leader, with nearly a dozen TGL trips under his belt. He's the Travel Editor at Resource Travel and specializes in travel, street, and landscape photography. He's also a professional videographer. He's worked with tourism boards, camera companies, and travel websites to make visual content from around the world. Hailing from SFO, he's been on the road more than he's been at home for the last 3 years. Michael is an extraordinary teacher and leader - you're in for a treat!

www.bonocorevisualstudios.com

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Standing in direct contrast to bland, sanitized, one-size-fits-all packages, The Giving Lens provides a wonderful setting for true exploration – enhancing photo skills, befriending diverse and amazing people, and getting deeply into local communities. My entire trip in Jordan exceeded “photo workshop + volunteering” to become a vast, wonderful immersion with a great group of ... Read More
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Traveling with TGL on the all-female trip to Thailand was, by far, my most exciting, emotional, and educational travel I have experienced to date. It has been a month since my return, and I still cannot stop thinking about my trip-mates, the girls of COSA, and the beautiful people and scenery of the country. Can’t ... Read More
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When I applied for the trip I told a friend about it. When they asked why I would be interested in a Giving Lens trip I told them that I wanted to set my soul on fire….emotionally, physically and creatively. Nicaragua did just that for me. It was a wonderful experience and I will never ... Read More