Some of the greatest needs and development gaps in northern Uganda can be attributed to the region’s limited access to education. The Legacy Scholarship Program provides merit-based scholarships to motivated and talented secondary and university students who were affected by the LRA conflict. Through increased access to secondary, university, and vocational education, the program is educating the next generation of leaders in northern Uganda. The program is managed entirely by Ugandan staff, providing scholarships to students from Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya, Pader, Kitgum, Lamwo, and Agago districts and university students from the Acholi, Lango, West Nile, Teso, and Karamoja sub-regions.
Acceptance into the program was based on a combination of two things: academic performance and level of vulnerability. Level of vulnerability is determined by factors such as children who are orphans, heads of their household, living with HIV/AIDS, were at one point abducted by the LRA, or child mothers. Each scholarship includes the payment of their tuition, as well as mentoring from one of Invisible Children’s full-time mentors, who are all Ugandan community members with a background in education, social work, and/or counseling. Mentors build relationships with students, help to 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, as well as become leaders in their communities. The remaining participants in this program are due to graduate by 2017.