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Empowering Women After War

We provide self-sustaining solutions that give hope and change lives.

Our Mission

African Women Rising, a small non-profit with big impact, was launched in 2006 in Santa Barbara and Uganda to empower women after war by providing technical skills and support for success via education, agriculture, and micro-finance training.

Our Belief:

  • Women are powerful agents of change
  • Sustainable impact comes from within a community
  • Simultaneous action creates synergy & sustainability

Permaculture Magazine Prize 2019 Announcement

On October 25, 2019, Permaculture Magazine named African Women Rising the winner of the 2019 Permaculture Magazine Grand Prize for our work in Palabek Refugee Camp in Northern Uganda.

This award recognizes creating innovative, long-term solutions to help solve the food security problems. The monthly food aid rations from the United Nations World Food Program often run out. African Women Rising has used permaculture design techniques to teach the permagarden method, giving refugees access to diverse and nutritious food, helping to meet the short-term food needs of the refugees, and build their long-term resilience.

“With more displacement and uncertainty in the world than ever before, I feel that African Women Rising demonstrates practical regenerative and permaculture solutions right to the front line between life and death that could benefit millions of refugees. It’s an organization of Hope. Most global conflicts begin over loss of land, food shortages, climate change. AWR’s organization and work I believe could be a beacon for the global humanitarian development network at large. I’ve worked in international development for years and AWR is actually trying to scale up regenerative programs built on the permaculture design framework and agroecological practices. I believe AWR could help to innovate and elevate the permaculture concept into new areas of our global society. We need BIG ideas, and Big Change, NOW!” Anthony Rodale, 2019 Permaculture Magazine Prize Judge

“Highlights were the scale of the project and the way in which you empower local people on the ground with few resources.” says Maddy Harland, editor and co-founder. “The project achieves immediate practical benefits to people (such as developing permagardens with few resources), skills training and modest income generation.”

The award will result in a £10,000 award to be used to directly help transform communities and regenerate habitats. It will be announced in the most current edition of Permaculture Magazine.


Our project outcomes and long-term impact have broad ramifications and include increased soil fertility, increased crop yields, better diet and nutritional intake, increased income for participants and increased access to healthcare and schooling.

Adult Literacy

Literacy is one of the greatest problems for the women that we serve. During the war many of these women were abducted, forced to fight, became girl mothers, or simply had to drop out of school to help their families cope with the effects of the conflict.

Girls Education

Our new Girls Education program increase access to primary and secondary education for girls in rural areas of the conflict-affected Acholi region of Northern Uganda.


Our Micro-finance program provides women with access to capital and also emphasizes weekly savings. We help women become financially literate and provide support in business skills and basic record keeping.

How We’ve Helped


of women in our programs double their income and savings within one year


children now have increased access to education


women have been empowered since 2006


of women in our agricultural programs double their yield

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