“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela.
Regardless of age, race, health, or social class, we all need education to unlock our potential and move forward as individuals and a society. The Uganda Kitgum Education Foundation (UKEF) is dedicated to improving lives and communities in Northern Uganda by opening schools for children left out of formal education after more than two decades of civil war. Despite the recognition of a rough road ahead, the people of Northern Uganda share the hope that rebuilding their lives is possible, and the belief that investing in education is fundamental to the process. The future of our children depends on access to good schools and qualified teachers.
The civil war between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the government of Uganda affected Northern Uganda the most. It lasted between 1986 to 2006. Among other devastating effects, the war displaced more than 1.8 million people to Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) camps with an estimated 30,000 children abducted and use as child soldiers. Tens of thousand of Northern Ugandan civilian population suffered mutilation, loss of lives and properties. ()
With the silent of the guns since 2006, the region has witnessed relative peace and IDPs have gradually resettled back to their ancestral homes and communities. Unfortunately, limited access to social services such as education, health care, clean water and sanitation facilities are amongst the challenges an average person in Northern Uganda battles with on a daily basis.
Beside, there are increasing number of orphans as a result of the civil war, HIV/AIDS infection and deaths. The LRA adducted many young girls and used them as sex slaves. Some of these girls became mothers against their own will. Those who escaped captivity also battle the challenges of raising their children and providing for their families.
Overall, there is a high unemployment rate in Uganda. Inadequate access to education over the past decades led to massive youth unemployment in the country. More than 3 in every 4 Ugandan is below the age of 30 years. United Nations Report, 2011 estimates about 83 percent of Ugandan youth unemployed.