about us

Our Story


Friends of Orphans (FRO) was founded and is administered by former child soldiers, orphans and abductees from the Pader district. All of whom are were and continue to be affected by the war in Northern Uganda.

We are a fully registered not-for-profit non-government organization of Uganda. The registration number is S5914/5010. FRO founder Ricky Anywar Richard and other colleagues conceived FRO in 1999 while pursuing degrees at the University of Makerere. Many of them have lost family members, friends, and neighbors. Their experiences as former abductees and orphans have led them to commit to the on-going and unmet needs of their community—much of which is still displaced in IDP and resettlement camps. They have learned to serve as educators, medical officers, administrators, environmentalists, and in other professions through university education and work experience. This enables them to create an organization, with the vision and ability to meet the psycho-social, educational, vocational, economic development, peace building, human rights, livelihood support programs and family service, cultural and social needs of children and women affected by conflict in Northern Uganda.


FRO’s mission is to contribute to the empowerment, rehabilitation and reintegration of former child soldiers, abuductees, child mothers, orphans, and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Organization’s goal:

The goal of FRO is to: ‘Reduce the vulnerability of child mothers, orphans, former child soldiers, abductees and women through education and skills empowerment – and protect their rights.


To rehabilitate, reintegrate and empower those impacted by the conflict and HIV/AIDS in Northern Uganda. FRO tries to accomplish this through education, health, and peace-building activities.


The vision is ‘a society in which the vulnerable are empowered to achieve their full potential and contribute to the development of their community.’

Message from Founder & Executive Director: 

For the last 21 years, a large part of northern Uganda, particularly the Acholi community have experienced one of African’s most horrified conflicts in history. I was abducted at the age of 14 years with my brother by the Lord’s Resistance Army. When I escaped from the bush I was helped, supported and put into formal education. I worked with the Ministry of Education and Sports before becoming fully committed with FRO. I saw from my own experience that if former child soldiers could be supported, they are still useful human beings and good citizens. I would like to give an opportunity for each of them. They can also still succeed in life. Read more


Message from the Board of Directors Chairman: 

Welcome to our website! FRO was founded in 1999 by Anywar Ricky Richard. The organization began in a humble way as a result of Ricky’s experiences as an abducted child. He has used his child soldier experiences as motivation to found FRO.. Read more


The Right Reverend Bishop Benjamin Ojwang,


Release: June 13, 2017

Working closely with Ricky himself, Keely Hutton has written an eye-opening book about how one boy’s unbreakable spirit and indomitable courage led him to survive war and enslavement and go on to create a haven for others who suffered a similar fate. A portion of the proceeds will be going to FRO..
Read more

Pader NGO Gives Former Abductees a Chance at a Normal Life

Published on Jan 25, 2015 by NTV Uganda

Anywar Ricky Richard on CNN:

Response to Kony 2012.


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