Schools for IDP Resettlement Katakwi & Katakwi School Improvement Programme

Uganda, 2010-2016, Comic Relief and Waterloo Foundation

What we achieved

children received a better quality education
school management committee members trained on their roles and responsibilities
teachers increased their use of instructional materials, appropriate classroom displays and had better organisation
internally displaced persons’ efforts to resettle were supported by the projects’ school improvement activities

We have all left the camps now. We are all fully cultivating and out of school children are back in school and we have enough food to support them and we can provide clothing, books and pens – in the camps we couldn’t do that.

Community member
of project schools were assessed to have functional school governing bodies after the project, compared to 50% when it began
of the project schools provided an effective teaching and learning environment compared to 23% at the start of the project
of the project schools met minimum standards in school management and leadership compared to 12% at the start of the project
of the project schools met minimum standards in school community relations compared to 27% at the start of the project


Remote rural areas of the Katakwi District in Uganda were heavily affected by violent conflict caused by the Lord’s Resistance Army and incursions by Karamoja warriors. In 2010, internally displaced people (IDP) began returning to their farms and small rural villages to restart their lives.

Many children who grew up in the camps were dependant on services available within them and missed out on gaining vital life skills such as growing food. This meant they struggled to re-establish their farms in areas that had been left uncultivated for many years. Children were also often traumatised and had experienced only limited access to schooling in IDP camps.

How we got there

We focused on developing and supporting appropriate farming skills in the community through demonstration gardens in schools. These led to the creation of community farming groups and boosted support for the school.

Alongside this, we introduced the standard Link package of school support with a focus on learner centred teaching methods and the creation of child-friendly school environments. This also included training school stakeholders and district education staff, support for supervision of teachers and the development of participatory planning and accountability.

A former learner from Aketa Primary School who failed his Primary Leavers Exams in 2012 took over a small piece of family land to grow crops using techniques learned from Link’s project in his school. By selling his produce for two years he has been able to buy nine cows, sell them to buy three acres of his own land, get married and is building up a second herd of cattle. He is training three local men in the same techniques. I have rarely seen a headteacher so proud of a ‘failed’ learner or such a confident youth so full of ideas!