Get an In-Depth Look at Ssamba Foundation and the Medical Volunteer Opportunities They Provide Around the World
Medical mission trips provide healthcare professionals and students with a unique and practical opportunity to volunteer their time and provide medical care to impoverished people in the world’s most remote and underserved places. Medical missions enrich the lives of volunteers while providing them with valuable, hands-on healthcare experience and insight into how medicine is practiced in other parts of the world.
The organizations that arrange medical mission trips range from large, multi-national operations to more modest but equally rewarding efforts coordinated by local charities and organizations. The Ssamba Foundation may not be the largest of such organizations, but their ability to provide acute and longer-term care for the poor in Uganda is impressive by any measure.
(Click here to see our full list of the best medical volunteer opportunities and medical mission trips)
What is the Ssamba Foundation?
Founded in 2006, the Ssamba Foundation is a Ugandan non-profit organization that offers short- and medium-term medical mission programs dedicated to providing medical and dental care to the needy in this developing nation.
The Ssamba Foundation supports small community health centers in rural and remote areas of the Mukono District in Uganda. Additionally, Ssamba Foundation operates outreach centers, and mobile clinics. Short-term and long-term volunteer placements are tailored to your career goals and are appropriate for your current level of education. Students will gain practical medical and nursing experience volunteering as interns with the Ssamba Foundation’s medical internship placements.
The facilities within hospitals and clinics are basic and austere. As a result, treatments are sometimes not up to First World standards. Be prepared for an obvious lack of resources and manpower in these hospitals. The lack of modern facilities, equipment, and support staff is part of the challenge volunteers face.
Ssamba Foundation Mission Statement
The Ssamba Foundation provides assistance to the Ugandan poor through programs that fall into five distinct categories: clean water, education, agriculture, socio-economic, and health.
These programs are all reflective of Ssamba’s mission statement: To provide resources that achieve sustainable development in under-resourced areas through effective community education and development projects.
Where Does the Ssamba Foundation Serve?
The Ssamba Foundation focuses its efforts exclusively on Uganda. Much like the agricultural and water purification projects organized by Ssamba, its medical mission program serves the communities in and around the Mukomo District in the Central Region of Uganda, east of the capital city of Kampala.
What Kinds of Medical Professionals Does the Ssamba Foundation Need?
Ssamba Foundation volunteers are asked to serve for a minimum of four weeks or longer, but Ssamba realizes that four weeks can be difficult for healthcare professionals to devote to a medical mission trip. Therefore, if a volunteer wants to give of his or her time but cannot commit to four weeks, accommodations can be made for shorter missions on a case-by-case basis.
The volunteer positions that the Ssamba Foundation are looking for include:
- Physician Assistants
- Student Nurses
- Pre-Med Students
- Physical Therapists
Ssamba Foundation Volunteer Requirements
The Ssamba Foundation has a rigorous application process to ensure all volunteer applicants are fully qualified for their position on the team. After filling out the Ssamba Foundation online application form, volunteer applicants must submit their CV/resume along with a copy of their passport that is good for at least six months beyond their return from Uganda. Additionally, medical mission trip volunteers should be prepared to provide copies of their diplomas and state licenses.
If selected to join a medical mission trip, Ssamba Foundation requires volunteers to pay a modest Placement Commitment Fee. Ssamba requires no other fee for this program. Participants must be 18 years old or older, speak English, be sociable, energetic, and prepared for a life-changing experience.
Volunteers are responsible for obtaining all required vaccinations prior to embarking on their mission trip. The Ssamba Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can provide you with a list of required immunizations. Apart from English, volunteers have no language requirements as interpreters will be on hand to facilitate patient communications.
What Benefits Does The Ssamba Foundation Provide?
The Ssamba Foundation charges no program, project, or weekly fees to be a part of the volunteer medical program. The very presence of volunteers committed to providing medical care to those Ugandans in need is enough of a reason for Ssamba to provide the following benefits free of charge:
- Airport ground transportation (pick up only)
- “Homestay” lodging (four weeks free)
- Three meals per day
- 24/7 in-country support
- Internship opportunities
- Discounted tours, safaris, and events
Local cooks who are well-versed in safe food handling techniques will prepare three meals per day for the duration of your stay. Ssamba can accommodate special dietary needs with advance notice.
You have a choice of free or paid lodging over the four-week mission trip. The free housing option provides a shared bedroom with someone of the same sex and separate beds. Your host will provide a pillow, fresh linens, towels, blankets, hot bucket showers, and a treated mosquito net. Limited Wi-Fi is available, so you’re able to bring and use your laptop.
What Expenses Am I Required To Cover?
The Ssamba Foundation encourages – but does not require – volunteers to participate in fundraising with the aim of brining a donation to the charity. The funds raised go directly to the volunteer’s intended project.
While the Ssamba Foundation is able to cover certain expenses of the medical mission, it cannot cover all of them. The expenses that are the responsibility of the volunteer to cover include:
- International airfare
- Travel insurance
- Criminal record/Background report
- Personal expenses
The amount you can expect to pay for personal expenses varies, but Ssamba recommends you plan for about $50 to $100 per week to cover such expenses as your phone or internet bill, transportation, laundry, snacks, entertainment, drinks, and excursions.
How to Get Started
Common to all medical mission trips, the application process is somewhat involved and takes time to complete. The first step begins with visiting their website to familiarize yourself with the organization’s overall mission, the type of services they offer, the opportunities they provide for volunteers, and the timing and logistics of their medical missions. After the application is submitted, applicants are vetted and, once approved, receive plenty of information to prepare them for their trip.
Click here to learn more about the Ssamba Foundation.
Start Your Career in Healthcare by Earning Your Degree or Diploma
Advancing your healthcare career is a great way to earn a more competitive salary*, but the rewards go far beyond the money and increased responsibility. By becoming a medical assistant, registered nurse, or earning a BSN degree, you’ll play a key role in restoring health to the patients you serve. If this sounds like the kind of challenge you’re looking for, then the perfect place for you to begin your journey could be at Provo College or its sister school, Eagle Gate College.
The Medical Assistant Program at Eagle Gate College can be completed in as little as 9 months and provides the necessary training for entry-level positions as a medical assistant in a healthcare facility such as a clinic, physician’s office, or urgent care facility.
Or, if you’re ready to take the next step towards becoming a registered nurse, you can start by enrolling in our BSN program. If you already hold an ADN, then you can earn your BSN degree online in as few as 20 months through the Eagle Gate RN-to-BSN program.
Finally, if you’re interested in helping injured or disabled people restore their strength and mobility, we encourage you to explore our Physical Therapist Assistant program.