AWO International in Uganda

AWO International is active in Uganda since June 2017, when a first emergency relief project on WASH and Nutrition was launched in 28 schools in the Adjumani district funded by the German Relief Coalition "Aktion Deutschland Hilft (ADH)". Currently AWO International is running eight projects in six districts all-over Uganda in cooperation with five non-governmental organisations. To further extend its humanitarian and development cooperation portfolio in Uganda, AWO International is establishing an office in Kampala in early 2020.

Target Groups, partners and working areas

In October 2019, AWO and its partners launched four development projects funded by the "German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)" boosting food security, nutrition and resilience for refugees as well as for host communities and ultra-poor Ugandan families in Isingiro, Lamwo, Nabilatuk, Napak, and Yumbe district. These projects shall benefit the lives of more than 8,500 people directly and 24,000 people indirectly.

  • In Isingiro district, the project is implemented by the NGO “Community Volunteer Initiative for Development – COVOID”. Target groups are mainly refugee households from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi as well as Ugandan host communities. Among the social structures that Covoid establishes are Farmer Field Schools and Health and Nurition Networks, which are drawing on the kitchen gardens (incl. Mandala gardens) for practical demonstration purposes and promote healthy nutrition, for example by running demonstration cooking galas.
  • In Lamwo district, the project is implemented by the NGO “Uganda Community Based Association for Women and Children Welfare – UCOBAC”. Target groups are refugee households from South Sudan and Ugandan host communities. UCOBAC is aiming to boost the resilience and food security of the target groups by formation of village farmer, saving and loan associations,  capacitation of Community Extension Volunteers and fostering a Grassroot-Academy for peer exchange and promotion of social cohesion. Gender equality, especially the participation of women in decision making is promoted in all components of the project. A special focus is put on sexual gender-based violence addressing SGBV.
  • In Nabilatuk and Napak districts, the project is implemented by “Ecological Christian Organisation – ECO”. Target groups are ultra-poor families from the Karamoja Region. ECO is introducing climate smart agriculture and tackling climate mitigation by introducing energy saving stoves and fruit tree plantations. Families are strengthened and household incomes diversified (for example in diary and bee keeping). Its advocacy work also addresses Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
  • In Yumbe district, the project is implemented by “Agency For Accelerated Regional Development – AFARD”. Main target groups are refugees from South Sudan and Ugandan host communities. AFARD provides advice on collective production, processing and marketing and facilitates access to land and the opening of new agricultural fields by introducing animal traction. Interventions in social cohesion aim to limit tensions on land and natural ressources between host communities and refugees.

Approaches and cross cutting issues

Social Structure Approach: Representatives of targeted households are organized in Village Saving Loan Associations, Farmer Field Schools, Health & Nutrition Networks, Youth Clubs, Production & Marketing Committees, Dialogue Platforms, and other groups.

Nexus Approach: The program links humanitarian relief, recovery, development & peace-building by promoting social cohesion in the refugee context.

Capacity Development: Local Multipliers are capacitated as local experts and change agents. This includes the set-up of model gardens and shall increase sustainability. Implementing partners shall be also strengthened and exchange experiences. AWO International’s implementing partners, the local non-governmental organisations will be strenghtened through the cooperation, new learnings and partly also trainings on Organizational Development, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Gender Equality and Family Planning: Women empowerment and participation in decision making will be promoted at community and household level as a cross-cutting issue. All projects address family planning interventions, some of them also Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Climate Change adaptation and mitigation is a cross-cutting issue in all projects.  Climate smart and organic agriculture such as local breeds and tree plantations are promoted in all projects. Energy saving stoves are introduced as well.

Multi-Stakeholder Approach: The projects facilitate the dialogue between refugee and host communities and coordinate with community based organizations, traditional leaders, government institutions as well as non-governmental organisations and UN agencies.  

Multi-Level Approach: While the projects will focus on bringing about a positive change at village and district level, advocacy shall elevate information between local, provincial and national level and promote an adequate representation of the target groups (especially by women).


About us

AWO International was founded in 1998 as a professional association for development cooperation and humanitarian action within the framework of the German welfare organization AWO. In close cooperation with local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), AWO International is working to ensure that disadvantaged people can sustainably improve their living conditions. In the event of disasters and crisis situations, AWO International is engaged in humanitarian relief and reconstruction. In Germany, AWO International looks at the challenges and opportunities of globalization and provides impulses for value-oriented, sustainable action. AWO International campaigns for fair trade and offers fair traded and ecologically produced products. AWO International is mainly funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ), by the German Relief Coalition (ADH), and donations of AWO members.

As part of its development cooperation, AWO International promotes projects in East Africa, Central America, South Asia and Southeast Asia, where it also holds Regional Offices. All projects are implemented by local NGO partners - who work closely with the affected population - in coordination with other civil society organizations and government institutions. All projects aim to improve the living conditions and social participation of disadvantaged social groups such as children and youth, women, migrants, indigenous people and elderly or sick people. We support people to develop their own life perspectives, to gain access to necessary resources and services, to health and education and to increase food security and household incomes. This is achieved by organizing targeted people in participatory social structures at different levels (mostly local community based groups) and by capacitating and strengthened these structures in a sustainable way.

AWO International is also involved in humanitarian relief, recovery and reconstruction. In cooperation with local partner organizations, we provide fast and effective help for the affected population. This includes the promotion of access to food, shelter, water and sanitation as well as protection. AWO International is a member of Aktion Deutschland Hilft e. V., the coalition of German relief organizations, which join forces in the event of a catastrophe in order to provide assistance quickly and effectively.

Download our Annual Report 2018


Kathrin Zimmermann
Head of Program Uganda