Awach Secondary School
Located in the Gulu District of northern Uganda, both the town of Awach and Awach Secondary School were at the epicenter of the armed conflict the once plagued the region for over 20 years. Throughout that time, the school relocated and remained open, but returned home to Awach in 2009 to help the community recover after the conflict. The school admits both boys and girls, some of whom were abducted and forced to fight as child soldiers. In the face of these challenges, Awach is a flourishing learning community that succeeds academically and athletically throughout the district.
Population Served: 35 Female Students
Rationale: The girls’ dormitory at Awach was built by PED in partnership with World Aid Now to house 35 students. In a school in rural Awach, female students were having to travel as far as 10 km each way in order to get to and from school. Since the girls' dorm has been established at Awach, enrollment of female students is up 63%.
Soccer and Track Field
Population Served: 18 students
Rationale: PED spent countless hours interviewing parents, students, teachers, and community members from Awach to assess the community's priorities. The overwhelming majority of individuals emphasized the importance of one activity: sports. Sports and athletic events bring a community together, and Awach is no exception. In a community that has been driven apart by conflict for over 20 years, and having just arrived back home 5 years ago, creating strong bonds among the next generation of leaders is imperative to success. PED volunteers helped construct a soccer field for students to play and grow together.
Music, Drums, and Dance Stage
Population Served: Over 40 Students
Rationale: The Music, Drama, and Dance group at Awach performs traditional dances and song with the goal of developing the talents, confidence, and leadership skills of students, while at the same time reconnecting them to their Acholi culture. PED partnered with this group to construct a new stage and provided funding for their costumes and instruments. The group’s mission is to use music, dance, and drama as tools to engage and mobilize disadvantaged youth and promote human rights through engagement of the community.