Friends of Orphans provide sustainable access to vocational skill training, primary and secondary education for acutely marginalized war-affected children and young people in Northern Uganda. These children have been deprived of their families, education and health facilities.
During the 23 years of war in northern Uganda over 60,000 children were abducted and forced to fight the adult wars. Many young girls were raped and turned into girl mothers. Many children escaped from the bush with their trauma. The war displaced over 2 million people into internally displaced persons camps.
FRO realized that these children have wounds in their hearts and minds which needed to be washed clean and treated through rehabilitation and education. Our approach helps in restoring meanings in their lives.
Vocational Skill Training
Atim Kikoma "LET ME DO IT BY MYSELF" Vocational School
FRO is promoting self-employment oriented vocational and technical training among the disadvantage youth in Northern Uganda. The Friends of Orphans vocational training school admits 400 war-affected youths (50% boys and 50% girls) yearly between the age of 13 to 24.
The process of identifying these children is very transparent. Students are identified, registered, and recruited by the communities themselves and FRO community-based volunteers. FRO staff are present throughout the process as witnesses only. Once a child is identified by a community, FRO helps in their recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration.
FRO trains them in various vocational skills, entrepreneurship skills, life skills, basic numerical and reading, as well as business and management skills training. The rehabilitation in FRO’s program is the key to helping the youth heal the wounds of their pasts, but FRO’s education program is the key to restoring hope and potential in their futures.
The training consists of 80% practical and 20% theory, including on-site training. This allows trainees to gain both the skills and experiences on the job. The training periods and the high practical training helps to build the confidence and the skills needed for the job markets. We provide youth with the life and vocational skills needed to become self-employed and employers. This help to combat unemployment within the communities of Northern Uganda by addressing the challenges and realities of life faced by these youths. The programs support the youth by giving them the tools and skills necessary to earn income with respect and dignity without further exploitation, abuse and discrimination. They become productive members and leaders in their communities.
We provide post-training support to the trainees.
FRO technicians and staff follow up with trainees by visiting their businesses to assess their performances. Their progress and challenges are recorded and discussed in FRO meetings to determine program development and future support. Successful former youth are invited back to the FRO vocational centre to give inspirational speeches to those undergoing training.
The trained youths have taken up entrepreneurship roles in their various communities and are promoting sustainable developments in the areas such as construction, agricultural value chain, merchandise and supplies. They have also taken up leadership roles within their communities as business promoters and mentors, youth leaders, and community leaders.
Primary and Secondary Education
Wadongo Kacel "We Are Growing Up Together” Educational Program
Wadongo Kacel "We Are Growing Up Together” is a holistic education program run by Friends of Orphans for more than 2,000 children in Agago district. Wadongo Kacel "We Are Growing Up Together” provides tutoring, mentorship, school fees, scholastic materials, livelihood support, counselling, games and sports programs for the vulnerable children in Agago district. We train teachers on guidance and counselling and on how to handle special needs cases.