Mission Trips

Travel To Uganda

A Sozo mission trip to Uganda is unlike any other mission trip you have experienced. Teams will visit Sozo Village and see the impact Sozo is having in the lives of the children we serve. Teams will serve the Sozo Village and the surrounding community but our primary emphasis is sharing in the wonder of God’s creation with each other.

When you travel with Sozo, you will make friends with some of the friendliest people you could hope to meet. You will learn about the culture, climate, and community in Uganda and gain a perspective on God’s creation you never knew before.

Each trip offers team members an opportunity to share in the experience of serving others whether it is spending time with our staff and the children we serve, leading worship time in the local community or delivering food to hungry families.   

 

In essence, mission trips are about building relationships. As you walk alongside other believers in service, prayer and fellowship, God’s unique purpose and calling in your life becomes more evident. Spiritual growth is a very personal experience and Sozo is blessed to share with each team member who joins our family.

The Experience

Our hope is that you leave Uganda with a deeper relationship with Christ and others as well as a greater understanding and appreciation for working in a developing country. We are confident once you experience this incredible country and the people in it you’ll feel so connected you’ll have to go back!

WHAT WE WILL BE DOING

Each mission team is unique and each experience is designed to grow you in a stronger relationship with God, and each other, while serving the children in our care. Teams will lead “Kids Club” in a local community, deliver food to families in the community, and work on projects as need dictates—keeping in mind that the true purpose of a mission is to build relationships.

 

Teams will also immerse in local culture and customs, try local cuisine, and shop in local markets. Each team has a “Day in Creation” which can range from behind-the-scenes tours of the local zoo to a full, two-day safari. See below for details.

Day in creation options

Alongside our specific mission-centric trips, we also offer a range of ‘Day In Creation’ options to discover the real, natural beauty of Uganda for yourself. From safaris to conservation centers, you'll get up close and personal with the unique wildlife of Africa. The choice of activity will depend on a majority vote.

MURCHISON FALLS 2-DAY SAFARI $450

On this incredible two-day safari experience, team members will drive 8 hours north to the well-known Murchison Falls National Park. Here teams will hike to the top of the falls and take a guided boat tour and game drive across the African savannah. This park has almost every animal you could see within the borders of Uganda. I look forward to native animals such as elephants, giraffes, and the occasional lion. Team members will stay the night at the safari lodge in the park and wake up for an early morning game drive before they drive back to Sozo that afternoon.

UGANDA WILDLIFE CONSERVATION AND EDUCATION CENTER $80

Have you ever wanted to pet an elephant or feed a giraffe? At the UWEC, more commonly known as the Entebbe Zoo, you will meet many of God’s amazing creatures up close and learn about the wonderful work being done to protect and care for them and the environment. In this behind-the-scenes guided tour, the staff will educate and entertain you as you experience the amazing animals that call Uganda home!

NGAMBA ISLAND CHIMPANZEE SANCTUARY $100

Take a boat ride across Lake Victoria—the second largest lake on Earth—the world-renown Ngamba Island, where you will meet some of God’s most amazing creatures. The chimpanzees on the island were rescued from a variety of abusive conditions. They live on the island where they roam freely and forage for food in a safe, natural environment. Visitors are led on a guided tour that can include feeding the chimps, bird watching, and a tour of the preservation facilities. Prices for this Day in Creation Experience are suitable for groups of four or more. Most teams combine Ngamba Island with a tour of the Uganda Wildlife Conservation and Education Center.  

What our teams are saying

Barrett+T (1)

"Traveling to Uganda with Sozo Children not only changed my life, but it taught me so much about Jesus. One word to describe my time in Uganda? Joy. I was captivated by the Joy I witnessed. The Sozo Children staff and children taught me what it’s like to have Joy in your past, present, and future. Because our ultimate joy is in Jesus - no matter where we are in life. These kids give the sweetest, most unconditional love. I didn’t get on a plane headed across oceans expecting to leave a piece of my heart there, but I did. And I left always dreaming of my favorite country half-way around the world. I’m thankful that I know Uganda through Sozo Children and I’m humbled by my opportunity to be a part of this organization!"

Barrett T.

casey (1)

"If you ever want to go on a missions trip, go with Sozo Children. It was a life changing experience and I will never forget all the friendships and memories that were made. I love you all and can’t wait to go back!”

Casey L.

NICOLE (1)

“I went on my first mission with Sozo for the 3-week trip and it was hands down the best three weeks of my life. God’s presence was so strong all around us; the airports, the Sozo homes, the village, in the city, church, and during our morning devotions and nightly debriefs. The friendships I made were extra special to me because they were formed through the common bond of serving our great God. Even though our trip ended, I still talk to my team members daily. Every night we would tell each other where we saw God that day, and although we would only say one or two places, we all knew He was working everywhere in our lives and in those we met. Our time in Uganda taught us to love each other more and serve with a full heart, but most importantly our trip influenced us to minister those back at home that we often overlook. I absolutely cannot wait to return to Uganda with Sozo again!”

Nicole L.

MARGARET (1)

“Going to Uganda with Sozo has really opened my eyes to see how God works throughout the world. The children’s faith in the Lord is inspirational. My past few trips have impacted my life by showing me, through the children, that you can still have hope and love in the Lord even after going through tough seasons in life.”

Margaret L.

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“Uganda will forever hold a place in my heart. The love, grace, patience, and pure kindness I experienced there is nothing I have ever experienced before. You go on a missionary trip with intentions of giving and helping others, but the children we met helped me more than I could ever help them. In just ten short days, I fell completely in love with everyone there and drew much closer to God. When the Bible talks about loving others the way God loves us, this is what He meant–seeing that type of love and kindness in human form is absolutely beautiful. I will now always strive to do better.” 

Bree Vick

Do You Have Your COVID-19 Vaccination?

As we monitor changing travel requirements in the US, Europe, and Africa, our focus is on the health and safety of our children and staff in Uganda. Due to inconsistent testing standards for travelers departing from Uganda, we are giving priority to team members who have been vaccinated for COVID-19. While this requirement may change in the future, the risk to some of our immune-compromised children is a concern we cannot take lightly. We also want to provide the best experience for our team members and current testing standards in Uganda could cause some team members to remain in the country under extended quarantines unnecessarily.

 We do hope you will understand our concerns for your safety and the safety of our children. Please feel free to email or call us anytime if we can talk with you further about any concerns you have related to travel or building a mission team.

2022 trip dates

Flights may range from $1500-$2500. The months of June and July are typically the most expensive. Trip fees for Sozo are currently $1800. When setting budgets or fundraising goals, team members should plan for a price between $3500 to $4500 for the experience.

* Late registrations are permitted, however, if a deadline has passed at the time of registration, the team member is required to meet that deadline within 7 days of registering.

* Custom dates are available for churches and organizations. Please contact Terry@sozochildren.org for details.

June 10, 2022 – June 21, 2022 

June 17, 2022 – June 30, 2022 (Longer trip. Ideal for Safari)

July 8, 2022 – July 19, 2022 (Medical Mission Trip)

December 29, 2022 – January 11, 2023 (Longer Trip. Ideal for Safari)

Custom dates are available for churches and organizations. Please contact Terry@sozochildren.org for details.

Group trips

Sozo Children can create a trip with dates that work for you. If your church, small group, or organization would like to travel with us to serve in Uganda, reach out directly to our Global Engagement Coordinator, Terry to terry@sozochildren.org and we will build a trip around your needs.

Before you apply

We have had mission trip participants ranging in age from 6 to 75. However, we do require participants to be at least 16 years old in order to travel without a parent. Anyone younger than that must travel with a parent or a legal adult.

Due to the health risks of caring for immune-compromised children, we currently require all mission team members to have proof of vaccination.

We do hope you will understand our concerns for your safety and the safety of our children. Please feel free to email or call us anytime if we can talk with you further about any concerns you have related to travel or building a mission team.

 

Currently, international travel requires proof of a negative COVID test regardless of vaccination status. This applies to both  departure and return trips.

Sozo Children does evangelize in the surrounding community. However, we utilize our teams in a support role to our Ugandan brothers and sister as they lead our evangelism efforts. Due to the language and cultural barrier in the communities we serve, we believe teams are better used in this capacity to support our long-term efforts. We strongly desire and pray that each child and family we serve will come to know Jesus as his or her personal Savior and begin a relationship with Him. As such, we are very strategic in walking alongside these new believers in our community. Please respect this method of evangelism as we together watch the lives of our community transformed.

It is highly recommended that prior to registering, you either already have or are in the process of getting your passport. It usually takes between 4-6 weeks to receive your passport, but for an additional cost it can be expedited. Visit passports.state.gov for more information. We cannot book your flight until we have a copy of your passport and Yellow Fever card.

Yes. The cost of the visa is not included in the trip cost and you will apply for the entry visa. Visit https://visas.immigration.go.ug to apply for your visa. You will receive an approved electronic visa prior to departure.

Yes! Uganda will only allow you into the country with proof of a Yellow Fever vaccination. When you get vaccinated for yellow fever, your doctor will fill out a yellow International Certificate of Vaccination. You will most commonly hear us refer to this as your “Yellow Fever card”. Yellow fever vaccinations can often be in short supply so please be sure to get this vaccination as soon as possible. You can find a clinic near you Here

Please refer to The CDC for the most current and up-to-date information regarding recommended and required vaccinations. Additionally, consult with your primary physician. We recommend being up to date on all routine vaccinations prior to travel.

Absolutely! All team members are required to take malaria prophylaxis during their time in Uganda. We recommend Malarone or Doxycycline, however, please consult with your physician for his or her recommendation.

Yes! We highly encourage you to fundraise for your trip with Sozo. You will receive a social fundraising page once you register. You can use this to share with your friends and family. We have also provided a great fundraising guide for you that you will receive upon registration.

There are two payment deadlines for your trip. Your first payment due is around $2000-$2500 depending on the trip and will be due two weeks following the registration deadline. We cannot book your flight until we have received the first payment. The remaining trip balance is due 3 weeks prior to trip departure.

Coming Soon!

At the time of every trip registration, a $100 non-refundable registration fee is required. Any additional donations Sozo Children receives toward the cost of trip are non-refundable. We are aware of circumstances that may inhibit your ability to serve on a team; therefore, we have three options if you are unable to go on your team. The options include leaving funds in your account to be used on a trip within the calendar year, applying your donations toward another team member’s trip cost, or donating towards Sozo Children’s greatest need. If you over-fundraise for your trip, the same policy applies.

before you arrive

Most trips range from 8 to 12 days, although we can facilitate trips that last up to 21 days.

You will receive a complete packing guide at your first trip meeting. For general clothing ideas, girls will need to plan to dress modestly by wearing skirts, loose fitting shirts, jeans or capris. The guys will wear shirts and shorts around the compound but plan to wear polos or button-up shirts and a pair of slacks to church or when doing door to door ministry. View Packing List Here!

In general, the temperatures during the day range from the mid to upper 70’s to the mid to upper 80’s. The temperature in the evening can drop into the mid 60’s during certain times throughout the year. The weather does vary a bit based on the season, but is hard to predict due to the seasons changing from the norm.

Yes! Your team leader will coordinate a time with you to prepare you for your time in Uganda. Keep in mind you must attend a team meeting prior to your trip departure. If you do not attend a team meeting, you will not be able to travel to Uganda with Sozo Children. No exceptions.

The team will likely be flying from different areas of the United States and will meet in Amsterdam. All team members will be on the same flight from Amsterdam to Entebbe. We try our best to book teams together on the same itinerary if possible, however, this is subject to availability. We can guarantee all team members will fly from Amsterdam to Entebbe but cannot guarantee will leave the US together.Here

Typically, team members are not allowed to book their own airfare. Only in special circumstances are exceptions made. In those cases, our Commissioning Coordinator will work with you prior to booking in order to ensure you are on the correct flights.

This will depend on which airport you begin your travel and layovers along the way, typically you should expect between 22-26 hours of total time of travel. Usually team members will have two eight-hour international flights to and from one of Delta’s major hub airports. If you fly from a non-hub airport you will have an additional domestic flight.

In order to ensure the safety of our trip participants, we use our own personal vehicles that are driven by Sozo staff. If our Sozo transportation is unavailable, we hire private transportation with drivers we know and trust having worked with them over many years.

Teams begin their day with breakfast and morning quiet time. This time is followed by household chores and food prep, which we assist our Ugandan staff with each day. Our days are spent in the village or around our land helping with specific projects while submerging into Ugandan culture. During the evening, we’ll join our kids for nightly devotion followed by dinner and a time of team debrief. We also spend a day during your time in Uganda for an off day where we will either go to Jinja to visit the Source of the Nile River or a game-drive safari.

Teams will eat traditional Ugandan food cooked by our staff every night. Teams will also occasionally eat at trusted local restaurants that serve American-style meals.

Your security is our first priority. You will stay in a fenced and gated compound with at least one of our full time Uganda staff members. The guest house is split into separate rooms for men and women. Sleeping arrangements in each room will have a have a few twin sized bunk beds for team members. There will be a kitchen, indoor plumbing, and a shower (usually with hot water). Laundry services are not provided so be sure to pack all of the clothes you wish to wear.

Unfortunately, due to our 501c3 tax exempt status, any donations Sozo Children receives toward the cost of the trip are non-refundable. We are aware of circumstances that may inhibit your ability to serve on a team; therefore, we have three options if you are unable to go on the trip. Each team member has the option to leave funds in their account to be used on a trip within the calendar year, applying your donations toward another team member’s trip cost, or donating towards Sozo Children’s greatest need. If you over-fundraise for your trip, the same policy applies.

Apply For YOur Trip!