An image of Uganda Where Uganda is in the world.

Uganda is known for its beautiful countryside, rolling hills and huge mountains, as well as the River Nile that runs through it, teeming with wildlife. It’s home to many exciting animals including endangered mountain gorillas.

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Compassion started working in Uganda in 1980.


Uganda has many languages, although English and Swahili are the official national languages. One of the most widely spoken is Luganda. Here are some basic words you could learn:

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Nze bampita

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Nile crocodiles lurk in African rivers and lakes, almost totally submerged in the water, waiting for passing prey.

Many houses of the poorest people in Uganda are made from mud. They’re circular with a straw roof.

Living conditions

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34.7 million

Compassion currently has over 324 child development projects in Uganda.

In the 1970s and 1980s, two dictators, Idi Amin and Milton Obote, destroyed Uganda’s economy making many people very poor. Under their leadership people were tortured and killed and many people lived in fear of their lives.

Since these dictatorships ended, Uganda has been recovering and now has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.

However, there is still much poverty there.

There are many orphans, as parents have died from HIV/AIDS, so elder siblings have to look after their little brothers and sisters. Because of this, many children live on the street or work long hours to support their families.

In some areas, children are stolen from their homes and are forced to become child soldiers, fighting for groups of men who want power.

Flick through our photo story to find out what life is like for children living in Uganda.

Uganda has been described as the ‘Pearl of Africa’ due to its beautiful countryside.

Poverty is still a big problem in Uganda, with 85 per cent of Uganda’s people surviving on less than the cost of a Mars Bar a day.

Here’s a busy street in Uganda. Many people living in towns sell what they can on the street to try and make some money.

For those who live in the countryside, many are subsistence farmers, meaning that they grow food for their families.

Many people die from malaria, which is spread by mosquito bites. Using mosquito nets can save peoples’ lives. Here at this Ugandan Compassion project, the children are learning about why using a net is so important.

Through Compassion’s RESPOND fund, the local project is able to provide mosquito nets to families who are at risk of getting malaria.

As well as helping children to grow through their education...

...through staying healthy, having good food and medical care...

...making good friends and being cared for and loved by Compassion staff...

...and learning about God and how much He loves them...

...children in Compassion projects are taught skills that will enable them to get a good job when they leave the project, so that they and their families can be free from poverty. Here, the children are learning to weave.

And here, the children are learning carpentry, making a bed.

Many children living in poverty have to work from a young age to earn money for their families.

Sponsoring a child allows them to be free to attend the Compassion project and learn and develop so that the cycle of poverty is broken in their lives forever.

Please pray for the orphans in Uganda. Ask God to be with them and keep them safe from harm.

Pray for children at Compassion projects throughout Uganda. May they know how loved they are by God.

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Ugandan shilling

The shilling used to be divided into cents but now has no subdivision.

Compassion currently supports more than 83,000 children in Uganda.

How can you encourage your sponsored child?

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Why not write to them and mention some of the facts you’ve found here. Ask them questions about what it’s like to live in Uganda.

Ugandans eat many foods, including bananas, corn, rice, sweet potatoes, cassava, beans and indigenous vegetables. This is a great casserole for a Ugandan feast!

Recipe: vegetable casserole

vegetable casserole Ingredients (adult help needed)
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 medium aubergine, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 500g fresh spinach, cleaned and chopped
  • 1 small zucchini squash, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
  1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add onions and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Continue to add vegetables to the pan in the order listed above, stir-frying each 2 to 3 minutes before adding the next.
  3. Add the salt and pepper.
  4. Cover the pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Serve immediately.

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Many people go to Uganda to look at the wildlife. Gorilla safaris take people to see rare mountain gorillas in Uganda’s national parks.

What's a crocodile's favourite game?

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Information sources: The CIA World Fact Book 2011, Compassion International, Human Development Report, BBC, BBC Nature, Wikipedia