Nonprofit – Overcome Poverty Sustainably

Outreach Uganda 

Our Mission:

Outreach Uganda is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Colorado, founded in 2007 and focused on sustainable development. Our nonprofit is  dedicated to helping empower Ugandans, especially women and children from northern Uganda, to overcome poverty through income generation, education and training, and community empowerment programs.

Outreach Uganda works with three women’s groups and one entire community of five villages where our third women’s group is located.  We focus on being a change agent that empowers those we work with to change their lives for the better, Our goal is to  help Ugandans build up their capabilities and capacities to build better futures for their children and their communities.

Outreach Uganda Locations in Uganda Where We Work:

Outreach Uganda works with three women’s groups (over 170 women) and one entire community area encompassing five villages (over 6,000 people) where one of the women’s groups is located. Our three geographical areas of focus within Uganda are:

Jinja Women’s Group 

Located in southern Uganda, Jinja is a small city of 200,000 people. It is 3 hours east of the capital city of Kampala. Jinja  lies on the northern shore of Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa.  It is the source of the White Nile River.

Our first women’s group resides in Jinja.  Most of the women are of the Acholi tribe who fled the war in northern Uganda during the 1985 to 2006 time period.

 

  Outreach Uganda Helps Northern Uganda Women Overcome Poverty

  Jinja group – with Outreach Uganda’s founder, Carol     Davis, and other volunteers. Most of these women live in the slum areas of Jinja.

Kitgum Women’s Group – Northern Uganda

Kitgum is a small town in northern Uganda.  During the war, many women moved their families into the town from outlying villages to be safer from rebel attacks.  Our second and smallest women’s group rents its office in Kitgum.  After the war ended in 2006, many of the women began to  conduct small scale farming activities in their original home villages.

 

Outreach Uganda - Sustainable Development to Help Women Overcome Poverty

Kitgum Group – outside the room where they hold their meetings.

Agwata Women’s Group – Northern Uganda

Agwata is a small very rural village located in Lamwo district and approximately one hour directly west of the town of Kitgum.  The five villages within Agwata’s parish contain over 6000 people.  One-half of this population is under the age of 15. Our third women’s group resides in Agwata.

 

Outreach Uganda - Helps Northern Uganda Women Overcome Poverty

Agwata women’s group in northern Uganda doing a welcome dance for Outreach Uganda volunteers.

 

Agwata Community – Northern Uganda (Lamwo)

We partner with the community on operating its parent primary and nursery school.  In mid-2013, we helped the community achieve its goal of having its own local health center.  Since 2010, the school has grown from 20 students and 3 untrained teachers to over 600 students with eighteen teachers.

 

Cubu School in northern Uganda - a sustainable development project between the community and Outreach Uganda

Some of the 150 nursery students at the Cubu School with one completed class building. A 2nd block is under construction – May 2017

History of the Northern Uganda Area: 

Kitgum and Lamwo district residents re-settled starting in 2009 after the long war with the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) ended in late 2006/2007. This was the time when the peace talks with the LRA broke down and most LRA members fled to Democratic Republic of Congo or elsewhere  During the war, most people in these areas either chose to flee the war area if they had means to do so. Otherwise, they were forced into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps by the Ugandan government theoretically to provide safety.  Then, in 2008 and 2009, the government forced these same people  to leave the IDP camps. They relocated to smaller satellite camps near their ancestral villages so they could begin to resettle their original ancestral village.  In Agwata, this happened during 2009.

During this time in mid-2009, Carol Davis, Outreach Uganda’s founder, first met some of the women briefly as they were  in smaller “satellite” IDP camps. We promised to tell their story to help find donors who could help them begin to rebuild their lives. That we did. We returned in 2010 as Agwata began its community primary school with two classes of students, and three unpaid teachers.

Resettlement After the Northern Uganda War

The tragic reality of the war was that all the homes, schools, clinics and churches that were in the communities before the war, were erased. They were erased by either the war itself or the neglect of 20 years when the village people were forced to live either in IDP camps, or as refugees elsewhere within Uganda. The fertile land remained unfarmed for the 15 to 20 years when many people were living in these IDP camps.

The resettling that began in 2009 continues today.  People needed to relearn how to provide for themselves without relying on  handouts like they did when in the camps.  To make it worse, refugees received little help to begin the resettlement process. The people resettling in this area received no assistance except for some free seeds by Lutheran World Federation.

It took until 2013, when most families were able to expand their subsistence farming enough to feed their families.  Often, the weather did not cooperate. There was with either too much or too little sun as well as too much or too little rain.  In addition, global warming has made the planting seasons more variable and hard to predict.