Just this morning, we welcomed a group of students and staff from Franklin College in Indiana who were traveling through Uganda and decided to swing by the Invisible Children Uganda (ICU) office while in Gulu. Obviously everyone can’t just hop on a plane to Uganda, but we thought you might like a peek inside the world of ICU anyway. Here’s your invitation to come along for a vicarious tour of Uganda, starting with an introduction to ICU’s Recovery programs.
The first building contains our administrative offices: HR, finance, communications, operations, etc. There are 106 full-time staff working for ICU, 100 Ugandan and six international staff. ICU has three offices in Uganda: one in Kampala, one in Gulu, and one in Pader. The Gulu office is the largest.
Next, you’ll find the Schools for Schools (S4S) offices. Engineering staff design building projects, and education staff plan teacher trainings and career guidance sessions for students. This week, the staff is at Sacred Heart School training teachers how to use computers. The Monitoring and Evaluation department is located in this block of offices as well. The staff there collect data on each of ICU’s programs to measure the effectiveness and find areas for improvement.
Walking further back, behind the S4S block, you arrive at the Legacy Scholarship Program (LSP) offices. Here you can always find mentors preparing to go on home visits or planning events like the upcoming alumni meeting for LSP students who have graduated. Currently, 27 mentors are working with 700 secondary and 248 university students.
In that same building, there’s an office for the lovely Livelihood team. This tough bunch is used to navigating winding, remote roads to get to the sites where the Village Savings and Loan Associations meet to save money and take out loans for small businesses.
Following the office tour, we drove across town to Gulu Secondary School, a S4S partner school. Here, the head teacher, Florence, gave us a tour of the S4S building projects. In addition to furnishing laboratories and providing a rainwater collection system, S4S is in the process of constructing a beautiful multipurpose hall that will be completed this year.
Moving on, we paid a visit to Mend, an ICU social enterprise that provides psychosocial support and training to 22 seamstresses who have been affected by the LRA. The women make bags that can be bought here.
That’s all for today’s tour, but if you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to spend a day with an LSP mentor, or have tea with the ladies at Mend, then check back soon!