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VSO/Ginny Lattul


In Uganda this year there has been a 20% increase in literacy and a 10% improvement in numeracy skills of learners in targeted schools. Additionally, there has been a 20% improvement in Primary Leaving exams; registering one of the best regional performances in the country. 

Youth unemployment

Young farmer Christine with children in Uganda VSO/Ginny Lattul

Christine Atoo, 27, is now able to support a family of six since receiving agronomic training and joining a farmers' group through VSO.

Uganda is the second youngest country in the world, with 77% of its population under 30.

This young demographic is a huge social and economic opportunity. Unfortunately, youth unemployment is spiralling. Eight out of ten young people are out of work.

We work with vocational training institutes to create a professional, up-to-date, market-oriented training environment producing more employable graduates. We support training programmes that give youth more relevant skills, a better income, the ability to start businesses of their own, and to play a more meaningful citizenship role.

Recent results:

  • 1,500+ young people supported by our programmes last year.
  • Average earnings on our Youth Empowerment and Local Governance (YELG) project increased by 1434% per individual, and by 61% per group. Those involved on the project now have average weekly incomes 3.5 times higher than the average young person in northern Uganda.
  • We helped increase the membership of savings groups, whose savings almost doubled.
  • We upgraded facilities, curriculum and instructor skills at four vocational training institutes.
  • Increased incomes of young farmers' enterprise groups.


Find out how VSO is working to improve employment for young Ugandans


Beatrice Nalem, a deputy headteacher in Karamoja, Uganda VSO/Ginny Lattul

Beatrice Nalem, deputy headteacher of Kasimeri Primary School in Moroto. Formerly the first girl in Karamoja region to finish her education, she is now working with VSO to reduce barriers to girls' education.

Universal free education has increased enrolment and literacy in Uganda. But evidence suggests that the quality of education has reduced with increasing class sizes and inadequate budgetary support. 

Girls and children with special educational needs are not receiving the education they deserve. Men are almost 50% more likely to have at least some secondary education, perpetuating gender inequality.

We train teachers and education staff to help them deliver effective, inclusive education.

Recent results:


  • Reached 52,500+ children with improved education
  • Recorded a 20% improvement in Primary Leaving exams among pupils impacted by our EQPE project in Karamoja, a region with the lowest education indexes in Uganda. This was one of the best regional performances in the country
  • Published shocking research into negative attitudes to girls' education in Karamoja
  • 5,000 educators supported to improve literacy and learning in local languages
  • Developed a national special needs education manual

Maternal and newborn health

Mother Mirriam and newborn baby in Uganda VSO/Ginny Lattul

Mirriam Akello, 20, had her baby boy at a high quality neonatal intensive care unit established by VSO volunteers at Gulu Referral Hospital.

Uganda is one of the most dangerous countries in the world in which to give birth. Four in ten women do so without a skilled health worker present.

A lack of trained health workers and low uptake of health services has deadly consequences: 19 babies in every 1,000 do not survive the first 28 days.

We train health workers to provide best practice care for mothers and newborns. We support maternal healthcare in both village settings and formal health care facilities. 

Recent results

  • Trained 198 health workers to provide emergency newborn and maternal care at 51 health centres
  • The model neonatal intensive care unit we established at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital was recognised and awarded by the Ministry of Health as the best neonatal intensive care unit in all government facilities in Uganda
  • Our interventions have led to a reduction in the mortality rate from 16.1% in the first months of 2015 to 9.7% by mid-2016.
  • The number of deliveries in healthcare facilities supported by VSo increased by 39% in 2016/17
  • Supplied 28 health centres with life-saving equipment for mothers and newborns
  • Supported over 50 members of the village health teams. Evidence suggests they are getting better at referring mother to health centres: the number of ante natal care visits in the first trimester has doubled
  • At least 20,590 newborn babies received essential care in targeted centre

    Volunteering for Development programme

    The Volunteering for Development programme, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) works to improve quality and access to health and education services as well as livelihood opportunities for the most poor and vulnerable.

    The grant recognises VSO's extensive experience of putting volunteers in the right places to tackle poverty and inequality. Find out more


What makes VSO different?

Our progress has been made through VSO's people-centred approach to development using a volunteering-based impact model. Evidence shows that results achieved through volunteering offer increased sustainability and value for money. 

VSO volunteers are a diverse pool of experienced professionals. They collaborate with their host communities to find innovative, local solutions. They provide continuous training, coaching and mentoring to our partner organisations.

Find out more about VSO's unique people-centred approach using volunteers to make a lasting difference to poverty.



VSO’s valued funding partners in Uganda include DFID, IrishAid, EU, UNICEF, USAID, MasterCard Foundation, Greg Dyke and Sue Howes, Rangoonwala Foundation, Pharo Foundation, Dioraphte Foundation among others.

We have fruitful relationships with the Ugandan Ministry of Education, Ministry of Gender, Children & Youth Affairs and Ministry of Health. 

Our local implementing partners range from vocational training institutes, to teacher training colleges, to hospitals, to civil society organisations. Through our support last year, partners made improvements in:

  • Children’s access to quality learning
  • Youth skills, entrepreneurship and employment
  • Women’s access to better health care and services
  • Availability of critical, lifesaving equipment
  • Continuing professional development by teachers and education officials
  • Market system awareness
  • Agri-business and value chain development
  • Income enhancement at individual as well as group levels


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Contact us

Find out more about partnering with VSO Uganda by contacting

Phone number: +256 41426 7008

Post: PO Box 2831, Kampala, Uganda

Interested in volunteering?

Find out more about volunteering in Uganda

Anthony Rama, VSO Country Director, Uganda


Anthony Rama