Uganda: Helping Post-Conflict Rural Communities Prosper

image of Harriet Adong.

Work with Harriet Adong to address the special needs of rural communities in Uganda, particularly those of women and girls who are survivors of gender-based violence. 

Project description

The Foundation for Integrated Rural Development (FIRD) is an indigenous Ugandan organization that was established in August 2005 and is registered as a Community Based Organization and currently is registered as a National/Indigenous Non-Governmental Organization (NGO).

For over 13 years FIRD has been part of the great human rights grassroots organizations and is committed to achieving gender equality; addressing gender based violence; promoting sustainable development through livelihood and economic empowerment; improving health outcomes and human rights amongst the most vulnerable post conflict rural communities in Northern Uganda.  The over all goal of our organization is to  transform the lives of the rural community through improved livelihoods, skills development, respect for human rights and ensure active community participation in socio-economic development. We believe we can improve the  quality of life and standards of living of rural communities through research, advocacy and capacity building.

Through our work, we have established Athena Girls Innovation Compound (AGIC), a grassroots community development and innovation platform fostering girls, young women and youth to embrace STEM, innovation and Entrepreneurship. AGIC is a social enterprise that  seeks to  address the gap among women and girls related to  digital literacy skills, financial  literacy training, and peer learning. We are working to enhance  the development of a creative and innovative entrepreneurial mind-set and related skills among youth, young women, and boys and girls from poor socio-economic backgrounds in the Rural communities in northern Uganda.

Other current end evolving programs in various arenas include:

  • Economic Empowerment for young women and victims of gender based violence: cash grants for start ups and income generating activities, entrepreneurial skills development, financial literacy, creating safe learning environments for education, child protection.
  • Health Awareness and Advocacy: HIV/AIDS prevention, gender-based violence prevention, Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHT), outreach programs to enhance access to health care facilities, particularly in hard to reach communities.
  • Mentorship and Counseling: mentoring girls who are not in school to help enhance their business skills and counseling for both boys and girls living with HIV/AIDS.

Project outcome

Specific project outcomes will be customized through communication with NGO partners. Past examples of global projects have included:

  • Marketing and content development for websites and social media 
  • Research and resource sharing
  • Mentoring and networking 
  • Program and curriculum development 
  • Grant writing

Please note: In addition to the options above, partners may have specialized project requests.

Project details

Timing, eligibility and other details
Length of commitment Variable
Start time Fall, Spring, Summer
Level of collaboration Variable
Benefits Variable
Who is eligible All undergraduate students

Core partners

Project mentor

Mara Huber

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning; Director, Experiential Learning Network

24 Capen Hall

Phone: (716) 829-2834


Start the project

To apply for one of the limited spaces, send an interest email to with the following information and one of our staff will respond with more information via email :  

  • Share relevant background information about yourself and why you are interested in a global project.
  • Review the list of current global partnerships, list the three you are most interested in working with and explain why for each.
  • Explain what you hope to contribute to and gain from a global project.

Note that global partners rely on the contributions associated with ELN student projects and commit their limited time and resources to working with students. Accordingly, different projects will require varying amounts of time and strong commitment and follow through.  

Preparation activities

Once you begin the digital badge series, you will have access to all the necessary activities and instructions. Your mentor has indicated they would like you to also complete the specific preparation activities below. Please reference this when you get to Step 2 of the Preparation Phase. 

  1. Examine the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the history of the framework. Then select one SDG to focus on as you work through your project.
  2. Download and complete this PowerPoint template.