At African Women Rising, we are fueled by the sense of hope and opportunity found in the communities we work with in the Acholi region of Northern Uganda. We work in areas where the need is the greatest. People in Acholiland are still grappling with the legacy of two decades of brutal war, which forcibly displaced the entire rural population for years and devastated the local economy. This history of armed conflict has left Northern Uganda, where the violence was most intense and longest lasting, with the country’s highest rates of poverty, food insecurity and illiteracy. The region also bears the brunt of Uganda’s refugee crisis, which UNICEF ranks among the fastest growing in the world. Uganda is host to the most refugees of any African nation, receiving constant, simultaneous streams of people fleeing conflict, hunger, and extreme poverty from South Sudan, the DRC, Burundi, and other neighboring countries. Most of Uganda’s 1.6 million refugees have settled in the rural north, many in the communities where AWR is based. The vast majority are women and children under the age of 18.
Women play a critical role, spearheading efforts to uplift their families and communities through their engagement in agriculture, education, healthcare and community development projects.
Our programs are designed to nurture their aspirations and amplify their impact. We are a movement of empowered, resilient women building a vibrant and hopeful future in Northern Uganda. We are African Women Rising.
Where We Work
African Women Rising works in 79 villages across the Northern Ugandan districts of Gulu, Lamwo and Omoro, as well as Lamwo’s Palabek Refugee Settlement, housing primarily refugees from South Sudan. Together, these areas are home to tens of thousands of families who are overcoming a past of war and displacement by actively building a peaceful and prosperous future.
Acholiland, Northern Uganda
Total population of Acholiland
Acholi families whose primary source of income is subsistence farming
Percentage of Acholi population living in poverty
AWR’s current coverage of households in three program districts
PALABEK REFUGEE SETTLEMENT
Population of women and children:
AWR’s coverage of refugee households in Palabek:
We Empower Women After War
The African Women Rising staff, board, advisors and directors are all people passionate about global women’s empowerment. Our board members and advisors are experts in gender equity, regenerative agriculture, global health, community development, land rights, food security and poverty alleviation. Our 200 person staff in Uganda are from the communities where we work. Their lived experience and site specific knowledge is critical to our success. Many of our staff members are previous AWR participants, and we train and employ refugees to conduct programs in the refugee camp. We strongly believe in building the capacity of staff and provide financial support for education.
Linda Eckerbom Cole, a Swedish national with Berber roots, has spent most of her adult life living between Uganda and the US. She has worked for nearly three decades in diverse African conflict and post-conflict areas, including Uganda, Angola, Mozambique, and Guinea-Bissau. She has extensive fieldwork experience in managing complex emergency operations, community needs assessments, preventive health interventions, and small-scale farming. She has published on the re-integration of women back home after war, most notably in the book “Women and Wars – Women, Girls, Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration.” Cole has a Master’s degree in Humanitarian Assistance from the Friedman School of Nutrition at Tufts University and is the recipient of the 2014 Leah Horowitz Humanitarian Award.
Lakot Miriam Kibwota is the National Finance and Administration Director for African Women Rising. Miriam grew up in Gulu and has deep roots in the community. She has extensive experience working with international organizations, working as an accountant for Human Rights Focus and Care International before joining the AWR team in 2019. Miriam’s experience and dedication has helped AWR create an effective and transparent system for finances, human resources, and the management of assets. Working closely together with all the program managers she has helped build their capacity to understand budgeting and budget control, financial reporting, and to adhere to internal control systems. In addition, Miriam works closely together with a US-based accounting firm to ensure complete accountability of our resources. She has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a postgraduate diploma in Financial Management, both degrees from Makarere University in Kampala.
Anena Proscovia Ruth (Prossy) is the National Program Director for African Women Rising. Prossy started working with AWR in 2013 as a Community Mobilizer for the Microfinance Program. She quickly became a program assistant and eventually the lead program manager. When AWR started a pilot to explore a Girls' Education Program, Prossy took the lead role and helped develop the program. From there she spent a year as the main administration officer, followed by filling the position of program coordinator. Prossy is uniquely qualified in her current role as she has a deep-rooted understanding of each program and the challenges confronted by staff to successfully perform in their various roles. Prossy has a BA in Business Administration and is currently working on a postgraduate diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation, both from Gulu University.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Our network of supporters have helped us to empower women and children in Uganda and beyond.
The Republic of Uganda, Office of the Prime Minister