Some of the greatest needs and development gaps in northern Uganda can be attributed to the region’s limited access to education. Beginning in 2005, Invisible Children worked to address these key gaps through The Legacy Scholarship Program (LSP), which provides merit-based scholarships to motivated and talented secondary and university students who have been affected in various ways by the LRA conflict. Through increased access to secondary, university, and vocational education, the program worked to cultivate a the generation of bright, hopeful, and ambitious leaders in northern Uganda.
Acceptance into the program was based on a combination of two things: academic performance and level of vulnerability. Level of vulnerability was evaluated by a number of factors, including whether or not a child was orphaned, the head of his/her household, living with HIV/AIDS, had experienced captivity within the the LRA, and/or forced to be a child mother as a result of sexual exploitation. Each scholarship included school tuition, the support of one of Invisible Children’s full-time mentors — all of whom are Ugandan community members with backgrounds in education, social work, and/or counseling. The role of a mentor was to build a trusting relationship with students, help ensure academic accountability, encourage scholastic success, foster leadership skills, and provide career-oriented guidance.
Students who have graduated from the Legacy Scholarship Program are now able to pursue their dreams and serve as respected leaders in their communities.
At the end of 2014 Invisible Children, Inc. proudly handed over full ownership of The Legacy Scholarship Program to Invisible Children Uganda, which had formerly been our Uganda-based team and office and has now become its own independent, Ugandan-led organization. LSP remains active under their ownership.