Project information

Katakwi School Improvement Project, Uganda

By establishing schools as strong community centres, with gardens and school feeding programmes, we enable people who were displaced by conflict in Uganda to return home and enrol their children in school, improve their livelihoods through income generation, and access basic healthcare.

5 years

Charity information: Link Community Development International

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  • Need


    Tens of thousands of people fled north-eastern Uganda due to violent cattle rustling, ethnic conflicts and Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency. Peace has now returned, but 20 years of displacement makes it challenging to rebuild normal lives. Children and young people missed out on a regular education and failed to gain basic livelihood skills such as farming practices. 70% of learners drop out of primary school without acquiring competitive skills and most are unemployed in the local communities.


    We know what works to improve learning in difficult circumstances – excellent teaching materials, lessons in the local language, teacher training and strong accountability. To make lasting improvements in education and community stability, schools must benefit the whole community. In partnership with these communities, schools and local government we learn to understand the barriers to quality education and stable lives. We implement low-cost, locally-developed solutions for sustainable change.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve the quality of teaching and learning in schools


    » Train teachers in local language literacy and numeracy skills development, lesson planning and classroom management.
    » Provide schools with basic resources (e.g. manila paper, rice sacks and markers) to develop teaching and learning materials.
    » Conduct regular school support visits to plan core lessons with teachers, model good practice, and facilitate professional development workshops.
    » Track improvement through classroom observations.

    Teachers demonstrate greater competence in the classroom, learning resources are being produced and used, and children are actively learning.

    Aim 2

    Improve girls’ participation in education and their safety and wellbeing in and outside school


    » Set up Girls’ Clubs to provide counselling, reproductive health support, and encourage girls to be confident, assertive and self-reliant.
    » Support female leaders in the community to positively influence household decisions about girls’ domestic duties and educational opportunities.
    » Support vulnerable or orphaned children with uniforms or school materials provision.
    » Enable Mother Groups to establish Village Savings and Loan Associations for economic empowerment and self-reliance.

    Girls’ Clubs are active and generate income for activities, girls report that they feel safe, supported and able to fully participate in school.

    Aim 3

    Make schools child-friendly and inclusive


    » Teachers and school stakeholders trained on gender equality, providing guidance and counselling services, and alternatives to corporal punishment.
    » Support school leaders to promote co-curricular activities, HIV/AIDs awareness, health, nutrition and safety in school.
    » Facilitate sports competitions, school gardening, tree-planting, and health activities to make school more enjoyable, attractive, fulfilling and safe.
    » Provide alternative learning opportunities and additional support to vulnerable learners (girls, orphans, those with special educational needs).

    Teachers have knowledge, skills and positive attitudes to child-friendly practices, deliver child-friendly activities and children feel safe at school.

    Aim 4

    Establish small scale enterprises to improve community livelihoods


    » Develop school learners’ and community volunteers’ skills in small-scale farming and enterprise through school gardens.
    » Feed the school community with produce from the gardens and provide income for the school with sales of surplus produce.
    » Enable school-based community groups of 15-20 volunteers to engage in small-scale enterprise production activities.
    » Demonstrate the success of these enterprises to motivate community involvement in commercial farming and income generating activities.

    School gardens support school feeding programmes and generate surplus; learners and volunteers demonstrate agriculture and enterprise skills and success.

    Aim 5

    Make schools accountable to parents


    » Train Parent-Teacher Associations and School Management Committees on stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities.
    » Develop effective school improvement plans and monitoring school performance in partnership with communities.
    » Train community members in school gardening and nutrition, income generating activities, and organising fundraising activities for schools.
    » Improve relationships between schools and the communities they serve through School-Community outreach projects e.g. cleaning a water source.

    Parents have useful skills and positive attitudes for improving their school, confidence in using these skills and they put these into practice

  • Impact


    5 years after the project start schools and communities will function like others across Uganda which have not been impacted by conflict.
    Schools will deliver high quality education to all children, demonstrated by Link’s participatory School Performance Review and the number of children who leave school with functional literacy and numeracy.

    Families will have improved livelihoods, evidenced by successful agriculture and other local enterprises.


    There may be entrenched cultural beliefs about the value of educating girls or those with special needs. We will employ a rights-based approach to community sensitisation and emphasise the collective benefits of greater equality.

    Schools may be wary of community involvement. We have built awareness of the potential support available from communities and will ensure that community engagement is constructive through training on shared responsibilities and the role of a ‘critical friend’.


    Donors will receive a detailed update every 6 months describing the activities which have been accomplished, indications of success, and any necessary changes. At the end of the project, donors will receive a full study of the project impact, including feedback from the beneficiaries.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £104,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £17,000 Community Participation Inform parents of rights, responsibilities and opportunities
      £22,000 Child Friendly Schools Gender equality, children's health and wellbeing
      £19,000 Teacher Training Local language and local learning resources
      £16,000 Girls’ Education Girls' Clubs and Mother Groups support learning,wellbeing and empowerment
      £19,000 School Gardens Feed students & develop agriculture and enterprise skills.
      £11,000 Monitoring & Evaluation Checking progress, learning and sharing best practice

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Waterloo Foundation £50,000 Conditional
  • Background


    Uganda has the world’s youngest population, with 78% aged under 30 and has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in sub-Saharan Africa. 60% of people do not have secure livelihoods. Good quality, relevant education is key to enable the next generation to break the cycle of poverty, but following decades of conflict and displacement in Katakwi District, basic education services are ineffective and young people have missed out on key life skills


    15,000 learners will receive good quality education and complete primary school with basic skills, enabling them to fulfil their potential and ultimately to break the cycle of poverty.

    8,400 girls and other vulnerable children will be supported to participate in education in an environment which is safe, respectful and meets their needs.

    500 families will access basic services in education, health, agricultural production and small scale enterprise, leading to improved livelihood opportunities

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Link Uganda has a 15 year track record of projects in eight districts, including Katakwi. As a result of Link’s work, one of our target districts has experienced a 50% improvement in the exam pass rate. Our pioneering Katakwi School Improvement Project has already supported the return of 50,000 displaced people to their homes. Local and national governments have asked us to continue this work in Katakwi as it has shown great effectiveness and potential for change.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Programme Director, Mackay Ongona

    With 20 years’ experience as a graduate teacher, planner and Education Specialist with Link, Mackay will lead project management and teacher training.

    Emeetai Charles Asomun

    Will develop teacher training material, support local language learning and local resource development, and observe and support classroom teachers.

    Hellen Florence Aguti

    Expert in community capacity building and mobilisation, Hellen will lead on School Gardens, community engagement in education, and community projects.

    International Programme Director, Dr Samantha Ross

    Samantha will provide extensive monitoring and evaluation expertise as well as gender equality and responsive teacher training.

Community volunteers at the School Garden

Community volunteers at the School Garden