Living in West Nile
The West Nile region is bordered to the North by South Sudan, to the West by the Democratic Republic of Congo, to the East by Acholi sub region (Amuru and Nwoya districts) and to the South by Buliisa district. Administratively, it is composed of eight district local governments (Nebbi, Zombo, Arua, Koboko, Maracha, Yumbe, Moyo, and Adjumani) that have a projected total population of 2.7 million people. These people are predominantly rural (90%) and more than half are below 18 years.
The quality of life in the region is deplorable. Overall, 46% of the people live in extreme poverty (below US $ 1.25 per person daily). Life expectancy is a dismal 46 years. Literacy rate is only 59%. To many, safe water, electricity, telephones and television, and tarmac road are luxuries. In fact, majority of rural people have not seen these “basic needs of life in a globalized world.”
Such undignified life has perpetuated aspiration failure traps and intergenerational poverty. To us sons and daughters of the region, it calls for protracted actions.
For West Nile region, the time to transform livelihoods is now!
Why AFARD was formed
The Agency for Accelerated Regional Development (AFARD) is a local, not-for-profit, non-denominational, non-governmental organization (NGO) formed in July 2000 by professional sons and daughters of West Nile. AFARD’s formation was motivated by numerous reasons. First, Political turbulence left West Nile as the extremely poorest region in Uganda next to Karamoja. Second, many development interventions have been external to local context leaving behind a people hardly changed. Third, decentralization has dismally improved people’s livelihoods given resource constraints and limited adherence to co-governance. Finally, that many sons and daughters of the region prefer to work elsewhere (human resource flight) limited innovations and enthusiasms to work for self-development.
Prosperity is about economic resilience to livelihood shocks and stresses. Health focuses on enabling poor people to live long and productive lives. Finally, Informed is all about ensuring the people are literate, have marketable skills, and are active citizens with rights and voices.
To contribute to the molding of a region in which the local people (men and women), including those who are marginalized, are able to participate effectively and sustainably and take a lead in the development of the region.
Respecting human dignity, equality, justice, and freedom.
- The enshrinement of the empowerment approach to development ;
- Local ownership by beneficiaries of whatever initiatives they are involved in;
- Use of participatory methodologies;
- Reliance on local resources including ITK, human and physical resources;
- Localizing research aimed at generating local area sensitive interventions;
- Genuine partnership based on mutual trust, respect and honesty;
- Linkage and collaboration with like-minded stakeholders; and
- Transparency and accountability.
Our work is fundamentally guided by the belief that:
- People know their problems better
- It takes hard work to live a better life
- Donors are friends en route to the beneficiaries’ desired ends
- Poor people lead holistic livelihoods and support to them should be cognizant of this fact
- Change is gradual; involving time, hard lessons, openness, and flexibility
- Capacity building can neither be rushed nor pre-determined.
AFARD is registered with the NGO Board under the NGO-Registration Statute, 1989 as an NGO (Reg. No. S.5914/3753). It is also registered with the Registrar of Companies under Companies Act as a Company Limited by Guarantee (Reg. No. 45170).
Besides, AFARD is also a member of many national civil society networks, namely:
- Uganda National NGO Forum;
- Participatory Ecological Land Use and Management – Uganda Chapter (PELUM);
- Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET);
- Uganda National AIDS Services Organizations (UNASO);
- District NGO Forum in Nebbi, Yumbe, and Moyo Districts;
- Nebbi AIDS Services Organization Network (NASON);
Where we work