Help 200 women in northern Uganda learn to read

by Women's Global Empowerment Fund

On April 14th our 5th year of literacy training begun in post conflict northern Uganda! 100 women will participate in the twice weekly classes for 8 months. Providing this life changing opportunity to women who have experienced unimaginable violence and poverty in the past and are now recovering their lives is our most important program. When you give a woman the opportunity to learn to read and write, her whole world opens up.

Attached is a photo of Cecilina and me two years ago; in the photo Cecilina is 61 years old and a WGEF client. For the first time in her life she can now write her name, she doesn't have to use a thumbprint anymore. She continues to learn and improve her literacy skills and is one of our most committed participants.

This initiative is so very critical to the women of northern Uganda, many of whom missed out on the opportunity to attend school due to the long, brutal insurgency. The region is now rebuilding and WGEF clients are working hard to create a brighter, more secure future for themselves and their families.

Please continue to support this life changing program. The funding initiative is ongoing and the more funds we raise the more women we can include every year. Thank you.


Karen Sugar


Women’s Global, in consult with Literacy Aid Uganda, a national program promoting literacy throughout Uganda, has
developed a program that is effective and responsive to the needs of our clients. “When a woman learns to read and
write, her whole world
changes; possibilities and opportunities are created.”

As of August 2011, 400+ women have participated in our literacy program; 50 women sat for national exams in September 2010,with 100% passing the national literacy examination, receiving a certificate from the Ministry of Education.  Our 2011 training began March 1 thru October, serving 100 women and 97 children. Our goal in 2012 is to increase capacity to 200 women.

In addition we are including child care for one child for participant. Often times this is the only structured program where children are able to participate in a reading and writing and play program.

Our literacy program is one of our most critical offerings; access to basic education is a human right, and the outcomes from providing women this opportunity has been meaningful, relevant and transformative. Women report they are now able to communicate with banking and other officials, help their children with homework, sign their name and communicate more effectively to their customers and peers. Attached is a letter from one of our clients expressing the importance of the program in her life.

Please continue to support this vital program in 2012! On behalf of the women we serve in post conflict northern Uganda, thank you.



The literacy program is an important part of the WGEF microfinance Credit Plus model: “When you give a woman a microcredit loan the health and well being of her entire family increases, when you teach a woman to read and write, her whole world opens up.” - Karen Sugar, Founder and Director

Since April 2008, WGEF has provided an 8 month literacy training, with over 350 women participating! In 2012 our hope is to increase our class size to 200 women. It costs just $50 to provide critical literacy opportunities for a woman who desires to learn to read and write, enabling her to paricipate in her community and create a brighter future for herself and family. Below is an excerpt from a client letter:

"Im so happy that I can now read and write my name an opportunity which I lost when I was young but when WEGF opened the free literacy program I was among the first one to register.

I was among the many girls who were abducted by Joseph Kony’s Rebels LRA and I spent 8 years with them in busy I was brutally beaten, forced to carry heavy loads and was forced to kill one of the girls whom we were abducted with using a stick imagine! I was raped and forced to sleep with many rebels to the extent that I don’t know the fathers of my 2 beautiful kids whom I came back with after being rescued by government forces.

My 2 children are schooling and I pay for their requirements, I rent for myself, I have bought 2 goats and rearing local chicken, now my relatives loves me and I m staying with a man all this I was able to get it after joining the program I love the program and I wish if the program can extend to villages and reach more women since now many have shifted back and I would like to continue attending Literacy training for higher levels.

Thank you for the opportunity to share with you, by the way this is an achievement to me I used to fear to share but now I will never be silent again."

Providing critical support and opportunties, women are rebuilding their lives, experiencing increased empowerment and security. Please help us provide this critical programming to women in 2012!

literacy participants
literacy participants


Literacy class 2011
Literacy class 2011

In March of 2011 our 4th literacy class began. We have 100+ women and 97 children participating this year. This program is critical to the women of the region who were unable to attend school, learning basic literacy skills, due to the long, brutal civil insurgency in northern Uganda. Many of our clients are formerly abducted women, who were forced to be sex slave, child soldiers, and LRA (Lords Resistance Army) 'wives'.

Understanding that language can be a very elitist activity, it is critical that women learn to read and write, creating a balance between those in power and authority and our clients. Our clients know that to be successful, independent and leaders in their communities they need to read and write in English (English is the formal language in Uganda). To conduct basic business transactions at the bank and with customers, it is vital that our clients have basic literacy skills.

Please help us continue this important and impactful program for women in Gulu, northern Uganda.

literacy participants 2011
literacy participants 2011
literacy class 2011
literacy class 2011


creating a space for women
creating a space for women's voices

One program, essential for the success and empowerment of women in our program is literacy. This is hands down the best way to create the potential for self determination and increased quality of life. Our clients report they are now able to communicate with customers, banking and community officials, help their children with homework and feel a sense of accomplishments and pride.

Over the past three years, we have served over 275 women. Providing the chance to learn to read and write, tell time, communicate, addressing inequity and allowing women to live up to their potential. Our focus on literacy and leadership has created the opportunity for women to engage in their community, becoming advocates and political candidates. This political season five WGEF clients are running for office, local and regional district offices. This is an outstanding example of empowered women challenging the entrenched patriarchy responsible for gender inequality and marginalization of women thru political means, creating the systemic changes that will move her community forward in peace and dignity.

"When you teach a woman to read and write, her whole world opens up."  Karen Sugar, WGEF Founder

We have 100 women ready to participate in our program this year beginning in February 2011. We hope you are inspired and will help us continue this life changing opportunity for women in post conflict northern Uganda.

Client campaign poster
Client campaign poster

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Organization Information

Women's Global Empowerment Fund

Location: denver, colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Karen Sugar
Founder and Director
denver, colorado United States