Skip to main content
Kids go to school in Uganda

We are here in Uganda

Uganda houses the largest number of refugees in Africa. Even though the scars from the civil war in northern Uganda are still hurting, refugees from Congo and South Sudan are welcomed with warmth and solidarity.

Read more

Uganda stands out in refugees hospitality

total population of Uganda
refugees took shelter in Uganda
of the refugees in Uganda originate from South-Sudan

Relief and recovery

Building on a future together

Every day, refugees are arriving from Congo and South Sudan. At the same time, in the northern part of the country, people are struggling with the aftermath of the civil war from the time of the Lord’s Resistance Army. ZOA responds to urgent needs of both refugees and host communities with activities in the field of food security, livelihoods, peace building and basic education.

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

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. 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. 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.

The impact of our work in Uganda in 2020

With a team of 101 staff members we supported 71,981 people.

families register their land between 2015 and 2020
65,000 home-learning packages were distributed after the schools had to close due to COVID-19
solar radios were distributed to vulnerable learners

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 2015-2020, almost 5129 landowners secured their land rights. Our farming skills training further supports farmers to engage in climate-smart agricultural practices.

A woman with her child in Uganda

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.

working together

Donors and partners

We work 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.

We work together with Save the Children, World Vision, Community Empowerment for Rural Development (CEFORD),  Nwoya District Local Government,  and PALM Corps. We are ambassador of the ‘Make 12.4% Work Initiative’, that works towards improving employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. We support the global Act 4 Education Campaign of Education Cannot Wait. 

Farming in Uganda
Celistino from Nwoya, Uganda

Celistino from Nwoya, Uganda

Land is of utmost importance. Our lives depend on the land. Having a land certificate has improved my life significantly. Now I can plant all sorts of things without having anyone come to try to claim my property. My wife and daughters have equal rights.