Youth-led community building in Lira, Uganda

Three percent. That's it. Only three percent of youth from Lango Sub-region obtain university education. And that stands in the way of getting good jobs and imagining a new future without war. Why?

1. Illness. During the war, people fled from neighboring villages and were housed in refugee camps known as Internally Displaced Peoples' camps. Despair, trauma, poverty, and idleness led to risky behavior, including the transmission of HIV/AIDS. The youth in Lira have contracted  HIV/AIDS  at a rate of 11.9%, almost twice the national average of 6.2%, HIV/AIDS drugs must be taken with food, which many children have limited access too. The children must wake up before sunrise, gather greens for themselves and their siblings to eat, walk long distances (often barefoot) to school where they are in crowded classrooms all day, often without lunch.

2. War. Schools were burned, teachers displaced, and some teachers even targeted and killed.

3. Child labor. Many parents died leaving behind large families. Households cannot provide for the basic needs of their children. Children work to survive. Hard labor is most common among those between 11 14 years (67%) and unfortunately, even those below 10 years have experienced the same.  When children are made to work  they miss going to school. Child-led households, e.g. 8 year-olds taking care of 6 year-old siblings, exist in too high a proportion in this area.  

Only three percent of Lira area students go onto university. Few females graduate. CCYA works to empower kids to change this reality.
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Education

School house in Lango subregion, December 2010. Photo by CCYA staff. The wood frame and straw roof is difficult to study in under any condition, including for those with illness and disability. This structure is even more difficult to use in the rainy season.