Programme areas and target groups

  • Karamoja: Amudat District
  • Acholi: Nwoya District
  • West Nile: Rhino Camp Refugee Settlement, Imvepi Refugee Settlement (Arua District), Bidibidi Refugee Settlement (Yumbe District) and host communities

ZOA Uganda is active in the following sectors:

  • Food security & Livelihoods
  • Basic education
  • Peacebuilding & Landrights

What we do

In Uganda, ZOA works in two different settings. In West Nile Region, ZOA works on relief and recovery with refugees from South Sudan and DRC and host communities. In Acholi and Karamoja Region, ZOA works on recovery with former internally displaced people. Working in close cooperation with the communities we serve, our goal is to create viable impact.

West Nile: refugees and host community

With more than 1 million refugees from mainly South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda is the largest refugee hosting country on the African continent. ZOA responds to urgent Food Security, Livelihoods, Peace Building and Basic Education needs of both refugees and host communities.

Under the EU Emergency Trust Fund, ZOA works towards improved livelihood and peaceful coexistence of refugees and host communities. ZOA furthermore builds capacity and resilience of 5,000 youth, equipping them with employable, societal and business skills.

Under the ‘HOPE-Harvest Opportunities for Pupils in Emergencies’ project, implemented with local partner PALM Corps, ZOA provides access to quality education. More than half of all refugees in Uganda are children. Schools in and around the settlements are overwhelmed by the enormous needs. Access to education is increased through for example rehabilitation and construction of classrooms and teacher houses, support to learners with scholastic materials and girls with sanitary kits and through tailored support for children with disabilities.

More than half of all refugees in Uganda are children. Schools in and around the settlements are overwhelmed by the enormous needs.

The quality of education is enhanced through the provision of  learning materials, and by supporting the Government of Uganda with training of qualified teachers . ZOA also aims at improving early grade reading through a pilot in Phonics. This project is implemented with funding from Education Cannot Wait and coordinated through the Uganda Education Consortium (hosted by Save the Children), a coalition supporting quality education for refugee and host community children.

Acholi: farmers and vulnerable youth

In Acholi Region, ZOA supports re-building peaceful and stable communities that faced years of displacement during the conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army and the government of Uganda. The region currently struggles with land conflicts, which limits sustainable access to land for (vulnerable) farmers. ZOA works towards improved land security by supporting farmers to register their parcel and secure their land. Between 2016-2018, almost 4,000 landowners secured their land rights. Our farming skills training further supports farmers to engage in climate-smart agricultural practices. ZOA furthermore supports 1,250 former drop-out children with accelerated education.

Karamoja: pastoralist returnee communities

In Amudat District, Karamoja Region, ZOA supports (agro-)pastoralist returnee communities who were forced to flee to neighboring Kenya as a result of intensive intertribal cattle rustling. In a region that is one of the poorest and most marginalized of Uganda, our holistic approach supports sustainable recovery and development. With the long-term support of private donors, we support quality education and help communities to engage in agriculture and bee-keeping. We create awareness among communities about the importance of education, as education is the key towards development.

Donors and partners

With funding from:

Education Cannot Wait,  Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Uganda, EuropeAid, the European Commission, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Driestar, Stichting Dioraphte, Stichting Pharus, Stichting Wees Een Kans, GIZ, ZOA Business Ambassadors.

In partnership with:

Save the Children, World Vision, Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD),  Nwoya District Local Government,  and PALM Corps.

ZOA Uganda is ambassador of the ‘Make 12.4% Work Initiative’, and works towards improving employment opportunities for persons with disabilities.

We support the global Act 4 Education Campaign of Education Cannot Wait that calls upon governments, private sector companies, philanthropic foundations and global leaders to mobilize $1.8 billion by 2021 for 9 million children and youth living during war, forced displacement and disaster.