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.
Since 2004, The Child is Innocent has expanded to provide scholarships to hundreds of students from Northern Uganda. Children, aged 7-20 years with profound financial need and demonstrated academic merit, are sponsored to attend some of the best private boarding schools in Uganda. Sponsorship provides full tuition, room, board, transportation and school supply costs to these students who would otherwise have no opportunity at a high quality education. In addition, every sponsored students attends our leadership training developed by TCII and it's graduates.
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.