Social Behavior in Uganda
These are just tips to get you started. You can always ask your mentors!
Relating to the Children
The children will refer to you as “Auntie” (women) or “Uncle” (men) as a sign of respect. Throughout central Uganda, females will also kneel to those older and to males while greeting. It is not expected that female visitors would do such, and you’ll find that the children will adapt their behavior depending on the individual’s culture and preference. For example, some of the girls will not kneel to foreigners, understanding their preference is for girls not to kneel and no disrespect is intended. The children will respect your privacy, only entering your room with permission, but you’ll find them to be affectionate, open and inquisitive.
Romance & Relationships
The area of opposite sex relations causes most culture clashes. Relationships are conducted in different ways in Uganda, compared to the west, and you’ll need to be careful in your interactions with members of the opposite sex and with young ones, who have no way of recognizing that your behavior is indicative of a cultural difference and not an intended action. In Uganda, single men and women are discouraged from spending a great deal of time together as it is likely to be interpreted that the relationship is leading to marriage and you are courting. Public displays of affection are actively discouraged and rarely seen, even between husband an d wife. The one exception is that close friends of the same sex, particularly men, can be seen grasping and walking hand in hand. We would ask you to be flexible and respect the local culture and customs in these regards, but recognize as well that these are not laws or rules that cannot be bent. Please consider though that your intended meaning will be seen within the framework of someone raised here and so may be construed inappropriately.
Time can be accounted differently in Africa, and Uganda is not an exception. It’s not true however to say that Africans cannot keep time; just as it is not true that people from more developed countries value keeping time over family and human relationships. Travel and activities take longer in Uganda and this is reflected in meetings that start late, etc. Each culture has something to learn from the other. We suggest you practice patience, bringing a book with you if you need to have something to d o while waiting at various times. Enjoy being here, knowing that patience is a good quality to develop!
What We Do
URF operate: an orphanage, a vocational high school, after school programs, women empowerment programs, child sponsorship, and many more.
URF is a 501(c)(3) charity registered in Uganda, USA, and Canada. We focus on education, health, and community development in the most rural areas of Uganda.
News and Events
- Community Empowerment Seminar attended by 600 people
- 3 new homes built for child headed families.
- Men's group launched.
- Agriculture workshop for August. Business training workshop set for Sept.