Founded in Northern Uganda in 2004, we believe that those best suited to rebuild and improve a post-conflict community in the face of poverty are members of that same community empowered with high-quality formal education, leadership training and a network of support to improve the lives of their friends, families, and neighbors.
Where We Started
The Child is Innocent ("Latin Balle Pee" in the Acholi Language) was founded in 2004 by Dr. Fred Oola, who grew up in the dire context of an Internally Displaced Persons Camp during the Civil War in Northern Uganda. Fred had the good fortune to find a foreign sponsor willing to pay his tuition to attend boarding school in a region of the country far from the insecurity and conflict of the North. He made the absolute most of this opportunity, excelled in school and subsequently won a full government scholarship to attend medical school. Now a board-certified pediatrician in Uganda, Fred's dream was to give back to children from his community by creating an organization to provide the same opportunity that changed his life so dramatically. With this dream, and the help of friends in the US and Canada, The Child is Innocent began in 2004, enrolling our first class of just 12 students with a handful of sponsors in the US and Canada.
What We Do
We provide comprehensive educational scholarships to children from Northern Uganda ages 7-22 years old to attend some of the best boarding schools in Uganda and couple this with an innovative leadership curriculum run by graduates of our program to create both opportunity and a community of support emerging from Uganda itself.
The impact of providing an exceptional opportunity to a small group of children echoes far beyond the students who are sponsored: our graduates have gone on to careers in medicine, nursing, engineering and teaching in Northern Uganda where they are actively contributing to the growth and recovery of their home region. Many of our graduates return to the leadership program every January to serve as mentors, role models and supports to younger students in the program.