Uganda made a huge leap forward in education in 1997, when the government launched its Universal Primary Education initiative, with the goal of making education free for everyone. As thousands more children started school, there was real sense of hope that at last everyone would have a chance to engage in learning in a structured way. There was hope that literacy would be available to everyone, but the challenges to a totally free education in Ugandan are many and there are still fees associated with education that must be born by the families. The situation of those who had not had a chance to acquire literacy was even starker and in 1997 they added up to 37 percent of the Ugandan population, about seven million adults plus children. Female illiteracy stands at 49 per cent and it is higher in war affected regions such as Northern Uganda. This is what LABE works to change – to see a literate environment develop in which everyone participates, to enable people to take charge of their own learning and development, and to see parents encouraging children in their education.
But the story of LABE did not start in 1997. Already in 1989 a group of people at Makerere University launched a volunteer initiative to promote literacy. By 1995 this had evolved into a registered national non – governmental organization (NGO) working in partnership with national, local and international NGOs, government departments and local communities.
However, LABE does not run literacy programmes or teach literacy classes. Rather, it offers a facilitation role: it trains groups and teams of community based educators to start and manage classes in the community. LABE develops methods and materials for learning and teaching. Through a national network of like-minded NGOs, LABE advocates for literacy and seeks to influence government policy. In 2002 LABE received international recognition by winning the Noma prize, one of the UNESCO International Literacy Prizes, for outstanding work in literacy.
There are currently no open opportunities
We envision a literate and informed society, able to participate fully in its own development.
We exist to promote literacy practices and increase access to information-particularly among women and children in local communities, in order to effectively demand and protect their rights.