We believe poverty is a complex problem that requires comprehensive solutions

Sexual Violence

Poverty

Population growth

Hunger

Many men, women, and children across Uganda live in extreme poverty.
Uganda has a primary school drop out rate of 68.2%.
67% of Ugandans are living in poverty ($1.20-2.40 per day).
Uganda has the 9th highest growth rate in population for the world, growing at a rate of 3.24% per year.
And globally, COVID-19 had indiscriminately impacted the poor and forced even more people into extreme
poverty. In Uganda, one outcome of this is that there was a 17% spike in teen pregnancies between March
2020 and June 2021, with the number one driving factor being the increased exposure girls faced for
experiencing sexual violence, exploitation, and child marriages.
The World Bank estimates that 97 million people around the world have been forced into extreme poverty
due to the pandemic. In the poorest countries of the world, like Uganda, the effects of the pandemic are not
only still present, but continue to worsen due to lack of vaccinations, increased debt levels, and rising food
and gas prices.

Oftentimes, well-meaning organizations work to address chronic ongoing poverty through one-way crisis
relief – charity models that focus on giveaways, handouts, feeding programs, and the like are examples of
short-term fixes focused on transferring resources. However, issues that many people in Uganda tend to face
are much broader, larger, and more systemic. As a result rarely do these efforts solve the underlying issue,
but results in a cycle of continual dependency that harms people’s dignity.
Unfortunately, this can end up reinforcing assumptions about who are the givers and receivers, namely the
idea that receivers core issue is that they “lack” items or resources and “need” someone to provide them.
This paradigm can bolster deeper biases, like the idea that poor families do not have the capacity to create
change for themselves and they will always need to depend on outside help.
Relief efforts can get even more dangerous when a “giver” or program has little geographic or relational tie
to the people they’re giving to. Commuting into a village or community to give hand-outs can make it more
difficult to form relationships based on dignity and trust.*

“That is why we are building a model that puts those who grew up in poverty and live close to the problem in the driver’s seat to transform their communities, and country.”
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