Agoro Community Development Association

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The Agoro Community Development Association (ACDA) is an organization that assists the rural Agoro community in northern Uganda’s war-torn Kitgum District. The Agoro region has endured approximately seventeen consecutive years of civil and tribal violence, which has devastated the community and upset its way of life. During this time, much of the community has been killed or forced to fight with rebel factions. The prolonged warfare has resulted in the community’s loss of its goats, which were its primary means of subsistence. The remaining Agoro population of 16,500 members (most of which are ethnic Acholi) now suffers from extreme poverty and vulnerability, which impedes work and reconstruction.[1]

ACDA was founded on August 27, 2001 to represent the Agoro community and lobby for improved conditions.ACDA Constitution. Since then, it has established six primary schools and two healthcare facilities for the community.[2] ACDA’s main objectives are:

  1. To re-establish the community’s long-term sustainability.
  2. To improve the community’s social and economic status.
  3. To provide awareness about universal children's rights and education.
  4. To increase both formal and informal educational and vocational training.
  5. To provide children with protection, food, clothing, medical care, and counseling.
  6. To create opportunities for recreation and improvement of social skills.[3]

Since officially registering with the Kitgum district’s Department of Community Based Services in 2002, ACDA has partnered with various charities and NGOs on projects to help achieve its goals. Its collaborative projects include:

  1. Global Letter Exchange Project: Collaborating with RESPECT International to foster a mutual awareness and understanding among children around the world.
  2. Computers for Refugees: Investing in technological education for the community.
  3. RESPECT University: Providing educational resources and tutorial services to Agoro's children.
  4. Develop Agoro's Livestock and Buildings: Obtaining female goats to improve self-sufficiency and bricks to expand facilities.
  5. Fighting AIDS: Improving awareness and education about AIDS.[4]

ACDA is in the process of expanding its current projects and has a number of future projects under development. In general, these projects address the quality of education, children’s healthcare and the economic well-being of Agoro inhabitants. In terms of education, ACDA strives to supply its students with additional educational materials (such as textbooks and workbooks), provide school uniforms and pay educational fees for dropout students. In addition, it wants to renovate existing schools and construct of additional facilities. One such facility is a community recreation center where cultural activities and training sessions can be held. In terms of youth healthcare, ACDA aims to improve parental knowledge of nutrition and Basic Health Care (BKH) through increased community training programs. Improved healthcare shall also be achieved through the expansion of healthcare facilities and additional efforts to de-worm school children. Finally, ACDA plans to introduce new activities to generate increased family income. These activities include the provision of additional soft loans, oxen and ploughs, agro-chemicals, and higher quality seeds. It will also encourage greater tree planting and farming measures.[5]