Uganda Pioneers’ Association (UPA) is a voluntary non-governmental organisation registered with the National NGO Board (ref. S5914/114). The organisation focuses on offering youths the opportunity to contribute to community development by involving them in community projects, workcamps and international volunteer exchange.

Founded in 1989 by a group of young Ugandans, UPA has grown over the years and currently includes ten branches in seven districts in Uganda, a permanent secretariat with four full-time employees, a guest house with a capacity of 16 volunteers in Nansana, on the outskirts of Kampala, and a demonstration farm project in Bukomero, Kiboga district.

With the motto “Together we shape the future”, UPA believes that involving youths can make a difference in development, bridge gaps between peoples, enhance co-operation and break down institutional barriers.

The mission of UPA is to promote community based development, intercultural co-operation and youth participation through voluntary work.


  • To encourage the dynamic age group (youth) to take leading roles towards development.
  • To promote and improve natural and acquired skills useful to the community.
  • To promote and exchange cultures to create friendship and mutual understanding.
  • To contribute to the development of community based social services.


UPA uses her international youth volunteer exchange program as a medium to fulfill her development goal. Since 1989 UPA has been engaged in organizing short term national and international volunteer (STV) projects in the form of workcamps.

In 2002 UPA initiated new volunteering projects for Medium- and Long-Term Volunteer (MLTV) placements on community projects. An MLTV is a volunteer willing to work for a longer period of time, usually over three months. More than in STVs, MLTVs not only exchange cultures, ideas and knowledge, but also get deeply immersed in Ugandan culture since they work with Ugandans and often stay with host families. Tasks for MLTVs include teaching in communities or schools, working with HIV/AIDS or health clinics, conducting outreaches, organization work or taking care of children in orphanages or children’s homes. Volunteers also get exposed to cultural diversity, new skills, develop self-esteem, discover talents and potentials,
share and exchange good practices, ideas and experience.



Sam (CEO)

Sam (Samuel Waddimba)(44), Executive Director of UPA
With UPA: Founding member since 1989, served as Chairman of the Board from 1989-1995, Executive Director from 2007-current.
Responsibilities: Responsible for development of UPA, coordinating international projects, managing partner relationships, etc.
Work experience:    First voluntary projects in Uganda Voluntary Development Association and Uganda Red Cross Society 1986-1989
Founding member of East Africa Workcamps Association (EAWA), coordinator of EAWA 1995-2007
Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), Vice President for Africa in 2004-2006, focal person for Africa 2007-2010
Personal: Married, with a family of 7 children (2 boys and 5 girls)
Interests: Travelling, meeting new people, football

Attended several international volunteer exchange projects, seminars, conferences, work camps in several countries in Europe, Asia and Africa

Janet Kadilo (Program Manager)

Janet Kadilo (Program Manager)

Janet (Janet Kadilo)(26), Program Manager
With UPA
Internship with UPA in 2007. Full time staff since 2008.
Responsible for coordinating international volunteers and building partner relationships with local organisations.
Work experience
First voluntary projects in international work camps since 2007
Participating in several local and international work camps and work shops
Degree in Social Work and Social Administration, Makerere University (2007)
Travelling, meeting friends, having fun with children.

Sarah (Accountant and Work Camp Program Manager)

Sarah (Accountant and Work Camp Program Manager)

Sarah (Sarah Mabingo)(38), Accountant
With UPA
Since 2004.
Responsibilities In addition to preparing books for accounts, general administration work like carrying out evaluations with volunteers, making orientations, etc.
Work experience
Account assistant for construction company
Family Married with 3 children (2 girls, 1 boys)
Education Diploma in accountancy
Interests Meeting people from different organisations, sports (especially soccer, I support Arsenal) and music. Going out with my family.

Eddie Lugwago (care taker)

Eddie Lugwago (care taker)

Eddy (Eddy Lugwago), Care Taker
Ugandas best care taker. Responsible for the Guesthouse cleaniness as well as for the atmosphere.

For more information please see our UPA Brochure.
See more photos of Staff and UPA guesthouse here.


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