In 2002 as the conflict in northern Uganda still raged, founder Alice Achan saw the need to provide quality education for girls. At that time, many girls started to arrive back from LRA captivity, often with babies from rebel commanders. For most, their education had abruptly ended during the war, and they were several years behind.
Pader Girls Academy opened in 2008 to provide an education and boarding facilities for girls who could not enrol in mainstream education because they have babies to take care of, they are too old to go back to their grade level as a result of abduction by the LRA rebels, or they were orphans or vulnerable children due to extreme poverty from the insurgency.
There are other, very bright girls in villages, who missed out on education by getting pregnant, sometimes married, in their early teens or due to poverty and cultural beliefs that the education of boys is more important than that of girls. CCF set out to find these girls and give the chance to come to school.
In 2016 Nwoya Girls Academy opened in another district of northern Uganda to further support disadvantaged girls.
The program also offers vocational training in catering, hairdressing and tailoring so the girls have a livelihood when they leave. Girls will go back into their communities with marketable skills and the tools they need to start their own business.
Many of our students are child mothers while others are highly vulnerable for reasons of orphanhood, poverty, and war. They are girls determined to pursue their education and build a life for themselves and their families.
The girls are all deeply committed to their studies and determined to pursue their education and build a life for themselves and their families. Many are role models for others in the same circumstances. The girls support each other and share responsibilities which include cleaning, laundry, fetching water and looking after the babies.
Meeting the needs of child mothers
To cater to the special needs of young mothers, we offer:
- Day-care services
- Early childhood development
- Medical services for pregnant mothers and their children
- Psycho-social counselling
- Dormitory accommodations for mothers and their children
- Basic requirements like soap and sanitary towels