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Category Archives: Education

I want to see girls who can move with their heads up

I want to see girls who can move with their heads up

Lillian, one of our APPCO staff members, is a skills facilitator and a personate girl child activist. She has facilitated many sessions to mentor girls and young women and share her knowledge on Life skills, SRHR, menstrual hygiene and human rights.

When schools in Uganda closed for a period of 21 months during COVID-19, many girls had to be home, leaving them vulnerable to gender-based violence and teenage pregnancy, among other deteriorating effects of COVID 19. To avoid leaving the girls in the Mukono district behind, APPCO implements the Action for Girls Empowerment Project (AGE) since 2021.

Lillian participated in training the girls with various skills which included Soap and shampoo Making, tailoring, baking, hairdressing, and producing bags. These trainings are aimed at building their capacities in relevant skills which can serve as a source of revenue during these challenging times.

“I want to see a girl child well established, confident with high esteem who can move with her head up”

is Lillian’s motivation to inspire the girls.

Many of the girls had dropped out of school, were young mothers, early married or living with a disability. Therefore, Lillian’s soft skills sessions on social skills, interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude were also instrumental in raising their self-esteem and overcoming stigma and trauma. Lilian expressed that “It gives me great joy when these girls and some of their parents get to call me for advice every now and then”.

“The majority of the girls have grown more self-assured, are now mentors in their communities, talk and express themselves freely in public, they also freely share their experiences with their peers.” –


When schools reopened, Lillian got involved in the initiative of starting school clubs for the young students in various schools around Mukono district with the health club, human rights clubs, and many others created. In these clubs, topics such as sexual and reproductive health, menstrual hygiene, gender-based violence and others are debated.

Funded by the Children’s Rights and Violence Prevention Fund (CRVPF), the AGE intervention promotes self-confidence and empowerment of female youth by building capacities in health, life skills and income generation.

Supporting Parents With Agricultural Inputs Within The ECD Communities

Supporting Parents With Agricultural Inputs Within The ECD Communities

To promote positive livelihood and nutrition for children and communities hosting the ECD program in the Lamwo district, APPCO introduced an initiative to supply parents with agricultural inputs. This was meant to enhance the feeding program within the ECD schools.


The school feeding program is one of the programs that had not ever existed in some of the ECD centres at the time that APPCO started implementing the project which was identified during the re-assessment of schools for the re-opening.

However, through parent participation in meetings and community discussions, a strategy for supporting the school food program was developed. Parents were asked to contribute to the campaign through an action plan. Some of the supplies donated by the parents included maize flour and sugar for porridge. This made it easy to kick start the feeding program. Because the parents championed the effort and demonstrated a willingness to support the program, APPCO provided support to them, including agriculture inputs and technical experience, to address the feeding program as well as to improve the family’s economic condition.


As the farming season began, parents were overjoyed when they receives the seeds. The seeds were delivered to parent support groups in the communities to help them increase their income-generating capacity at the family level while simultaneously providing a long-term solution to the ECD centre feeding problem.

“Now that APPCO has supported us with seeds, we assure you that in the coming terms, our children will be having porridge and lunch at school as it will also help us to concentrate in the gardens as it was previously hard because we could leave gardens early to go and prepare food for our children.” One parent stated during seed distribution in Aoi ECD centre. Over 500 homes have benefited from the agricultural seeds support, which included introducing parents to new ways of smart agriculture, such as the use of nursery beds and kitchen gardens to increase the productivity of their produce.

Supporting The ECD Centers With Building Materials

Supporting The ECD Centers With Building Materials

APPCO’s community-building strategy is critical in advancing the idea of self-sufficient and sustainable community-based initiatives. The initiative was a follow-up to fill the gap within the ECD host schools that didn’t have facilities for the ECD program (These facilities included classroom blocks, toilet structures and a feeding program).

APPCO organized the parents and other community members to embark on the construction work. The parents availed their resources as part of their contribution to kick start the work. this intervention has encouraged the community to construct a permanent structure as they have realized the benefits of the ECD program. This is witnessed by a high number of turn-ups at the Centers. The community is eager and willing to participate in the construction project for more blocks to support the program ECD (Early Childhood Development).



During the distribution event, APPCO invited parents, community leaders and the district officials to witness and representatives from all invited stakeholders were welcoming the initiative as they made positive remarks about the program.

We like the strategy of first seeing what we can be able to do using our locally available resources with full support through continuous encouragements, monitoring, mentorship among others to make us self-reliant, sustaining and above all, owning our community initiatives.” One parent commented during the event that was organized to distribute building materials to the ECD centre that were under contraction.

The chairperson centre management committee (CMC) outlined all the activities APPCO has implemented at the ECD centre which included needs assessment of the ECD centre, constituting parents’ households into parent’s support groups, training of parents’ support groups on good agronomic practices, agricultural input distribution, building materials distribution among others. “Trust us even if we are told that the APPCO project is ending, we shall continue with the activities and the knowledge we have gained from APPCO for the sustainability of what we have started implementing. I am very proud to say from today, our ECD centre has classroom blocks under construction nearing completion, and we shall still as parents now start planning to construct more blocks for the primary section. ‘’ one of the parents said during the delivery of building materials.

By the launch of this event;

  1. The Community constructed permanent structures in the various centre that are needed by the ECD facility.
  2. The play up sessions are being conducted using the play up model guide for the ECD Facilitators and the play up model chart
  3. Children are feeding at school
  4. ECD centers has a permanent structure for the toilet
  5. Parents of the enrolled ECD children have formed groups and are receiving livelihood training and monitoring which will improve their yields and this will support the school feeding programme as well as household feeding and income.
  6. Psychosocial support sessions conducted with children and some parents

 ‘’it is one thing for an organization to implement a project in a specific community and another thing altogether for the community to realize the project impact, but we have already seen and felt the impact of APPCO’s different interventions in our community’’

900 vulnerable pupils benefited from scholastic materials in Mukono

900 vulnerable pupils benefited from scholastic materials in Mukono

To prevent having an impact on their schooling, young people need to understand and accept the physical and emotional changes to their bodies that occur as they mature, especially throughout puberty. They also need to learn how to manage these changes. Over 900 vulnerable pupils were given scholastic materials (books, mathematical sets, and, pens) with messages designed to instill self-love and awareness as a campaign to promote self-confidence and respect. These pupils had undergone a series of sessions within their school clubs which led to the need for the initiative. The school administrations welcomed and appreciated this initiative and thanked APPCO for the scholastic materials.

During the club mentorship sessions, pupils explore measures to obey and respect their parents, teachers, and elders in the community, taking care of their bodies during this period such as; ensuring good hygiene, eating a balanced diet, and keeping fit through physical exercises. For emotional support, avoid stigmatizing others, seek counselling and guidance, and accept as normal certain conditions. Teens were also mentored on how to select friends who will enable them to attain their future dreams with attributes such as those who are; kind, trustworthy, honest, forgiving, empathetic, respectful, good listening, supportive, etc.

Learning happy living through School clubs

The Age project in Mukono district addressed the issues of in-school girls and boys. Appco and its partner CBO organized school clubs in various schools around Mukono where children meet to discuss, share, and learn from themselves, school matrons and other facilitators that were organized to join the sessions. Among these clubs included health, human rights, etc. These Clubs are created to impart knowledge of self-awareness, health, human rights, self-control and many other topics. “The children are always happy to participate in these club sessions. They organize themselves earlier even before the facilitators

Returning the ECD program to the classroom following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown

Returning the ECD program to the classroom following the end of the Covid-19 lockdown

The government of Uganda announced the opening of schools in January 2022. The ECD project strategy has been switched from a community to a school context, with schools hosting ECD programs. For the communities, the program has reported an inflow of up to 1200 children. The influence of the ECD community structures that occurred during the lockdown was partly responsible for the strong turnout. All stakeholders embraced the ECD program and commended APPCO for the effort once the schools were operational.


The Signpost planting was a success as we were welcomed by the different school administrators. They also helped with the planting material and tools but also more help came from the ECD facilitators and the caregivers we got on the ground. In total all the 15 signposts for the ECD schools were planted in the communities to identify the ECD host schools.


When the government of Uganda opened up the schools on 11th /January 2022, a team of APPCO staff conducted a needs assessment of all the ECD centres under the Appco area of operation. Parents from three ECD centres teamed up with APPCO to ensure that the ECD centre host schools got the resources they needed to keep the program functioning. Because some ECD centres lacked facilities for the ECD portion, most of the class sessions were held outside under the trees.

we attended the meeting where the main issue for discussion was how to address the need for classrooms that were scattered. The chairperson centre management committee Mr Okot stated that “Due to the strong winds a few days back, the roofs of the classrooms were blown away from another ECD centre”. Parents agreed by mobilizing resources together and also lobby from different stakeholders like APPCO, AVSI, Windle international and others, they would work together to build this classroom. As a result, the parents agreed to start digging the foundation the next day and to buy and deliver bricks the next week.

The construction activity began, which demonstrated the community’s devotion, and we urged them to continue with the same attitude.  In this article, we recognize the efforts of the Parents of the Kapetta ECD centre and St. Andrews Paloga ECD centre seen engaged in the process of constructing decent classrooms as part of a community-led initiative to promote inclusive ECD learning in their community given the prevailing constraint of ECD focused infrastructure.

What parents heard to say

“The classrooms we are building will last longer so that even those who are not yet born will gain the benefit from the program, so this will give us a long time of education and make our future better in the community”
Mr. komakach joseph ochaya
Chairman ECD kapetta
"I want to thank APPCO so much for considering the children and parents of the Kapetta community by coming up to support the ECD centre. . . ECD learning is the foundation of a good modern society therefore parents should embrace and support this very important program by actively participating in all activities and bringing their children to the ECD centre"
Aol Josephine
Lamwo District
"I have one child enrolled at the ECD centre and it has created an opportunity for me to support community development by actively participating in all activities that target the development of children and livelihoods"
Lumumba Patrick
Lamwo district