Jane Kaffeplantor

URDT - educating agriculture to empower girls in Uganda

In line with Nordic Capital’s strategy to support innovative and inclusive education initiatives, we are proud partners of URDT since 2014. Together with Social Initiative, Nordic Capital provides knowledge and financial support to this school.

URDT’s Girls School provides education to 250 girls in rural areas in western Uganda, where most of the population live in poverty and relies on subsistence farming. Operating in a patriarchal society, URDT has found an innovative approach to improving the lives of the girls, as well their families and communities.

The girls are given both academic education and practical training in farming and growing crops to sell as a means to generate a sustainable income for their families. This enables families to invest in improved living conditions, including good sanitation, proper housing and sending all children to school. By effectively utilising already existing resources, the families lift themselves and their communities out of poverty.

The social entrepreneur, Mwalimu Mushehe, founded URDT in 1987. Since then, URDT has developed into an important function for the community. In addition to the school, URDT runs a university, a vocational training institute and a radio station.

URDT Girls School students achieve excellent academic results:

  • 94% of students excelled with the highest grades in the Primary Leaving Exam and all continued to secondary studies
  • 70% of the students who passed the A-level exam qualified for higher studies, compared to 63% at national average
  • URDT Girls School training directly impacted 1,778 students and their family members

Nordic Capital has followed progress of the families of  30 girls starting URDT in 2014 and after five years:

  • 29 of 30 families (97%) had access to a good latrine with hand washing facilities, compared to only 3% in 2014
  • 14 families (47%) were living in proper houses made of bricks and 12 families (40%) were living in houses under construction. In 2014, only 10% had proper houses
  • 26 of 30 families (87%) have an annual income of more than USD 260, compared to only 20% in 2015