Education sparks greater development in Uganda

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SILVER SPRING, Md. - In northeastern Uganda, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) recently launched a new three-year project designed to support and improve the capacity of the region's underserved population by increasing the quality of, and their access to, basic social services through formal and non-formal education initiatives.

The project is currently being implemented in the chronically food-insecure Karamoja region due to its limited access to basic social services, such as education, health care, and safe water and sanitation.

"By strengthening the community and local leadership's capacity to plan for and manage adult education, this project will set a precedent for future education activities, enabling the residents to be more open-minded towards development programs, improving their livelihoods, and empowering them to advocate for more, better quality services," said Margit Wærn, program coordinator for ADRA Denmark, which is helping to fund and implement this project.

To achieve this, the new project's educational initiatives are strengthening the capacities of new and existing civil society organizations (CSOs) and improving collaboration between local authorities, instructors, and the participating CSOs to provide, support, and sustain literacy services within these communities.

Project activities include the identification and forming of community-based organizations (CBOs), in order to provide a stronger platform for community members to make their needs known. The project also provides training in literacy, functional skills, and income-generating activities, as well as general and specialized management capacities for community members, educators, and local government authorities.

To empower the community members, increase their access to education services, and promote sustainability, ADRA is also teaching community members to advocate for their rights and demand good governance and accountability for services and resources sent to their communities.

"By the completion of the project, members will have acquired practical knowledge and skills that will help them to better manage their individual and group income generating activities," added Wærn. "In the long run, they will be able to improve their incomes, gaining valuable skills that help them to contribute to the continued growth of their communities."

The project is targeting an estimated 55,000 people in Pian County, which is the most affected by the region's limited access to literacy services, and consequently, has the highest illiteracy rates in Nakapiripirit District.

The project is valued at more than $870,000, and is financed by the European Union through the European Commission to the Republic of Uganda, and ADRA Denmark.

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ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

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Author:Nadia McGill

For more information, contact:

John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager
301.680.6357 (office)
301.680.6370 (fax)