Friends of Orphans (FRO)

Pader, Northern Uganda

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Education

FRO Atim Kikoma “Let me do it myself” Vocational Training Centre

FRO trains former child soldiers, abductees, orphans, child mothers and women heading vulnerable households in the follwing areas:

  1. Baking and Catering
  2. Tailoring and Sewing
  3. Bricklaying and Concrete Practices
  4. Motor Vehicle Mechanics
  5. Welding and Metal Fabrication
  6. Carpentry and Joinery
  7. Computer
  8. Bicycle Repair
  9. Hair Dressing
  10. Agriculture- Animal and Crops Husbandry  

All of the courses provided are demand driven and are in high demand within the community.
We provide free self- employment oriented vocational training program, created because most former child soldiers grow up in the bush illiterate and only know how to operate guns. Therefore, we created this program to give them employable skills which they can take with them. Once they finish with rehabilitation they will be able to reintegrate within the communities. We hope to bring back lost hope and help build their confidences, so that they will walk a journey of success while rebuilding their lives.

They are also on business management skills, communication skills, peacebuilding, human rights, family planning and HIV/AIDS. We also train them on life skills and provide both individual and group counselling.

Atim Ki Koma “Let Me Do It Myself” vocational program is designed to provide the economic development skills, free skill based vocational training, entrepreneurship and sustainable income generating needs of former child soldiers, orphans, vulnerable children, child mothers, vulnerable women heading households and youth out of school in Pader District IDP camps. It aims at empowerment through self-employment oriented vocational training. This is followed by capital input donation (including equipment and supplies) to launch a sustainable small business or income generating activity.

The Aim of FRO Atim kikoma vocational training center is to equip former child soldiers, abductees, child mothers, orphans and youth with the necessary skills for career development and effective business management. Also it acts as a prevention center for child soldiers, especially orphans who would like to join the army before 18 years are given alternative by training them in vocational skills.

FRO promotes free self-employment oriented vocational and technical training among former child soldiers, abductees, child mothers and orphans in Pader district. This address the qualitative and quantitative needs of the orphans and their households, the approach contribute to both self-employment and alleviation of poverty among the orphans.

At the beginning it was only for former child soldiers, abductees, former abducted child mothers but later we brought in orphans, youth out of schools because we never wanted the communities to think that we are rewarding former child soldiers and former abducted child mothers.


FRO Wadongo Kacel "We Are Growing Up Together” Educational Program:

This is a holistic education program run by FRO for children in Pader District IDP camps. Wadongo Kacel provides tutoring, mentorship, counselling, sports, games and arts & culture programs.

Under this program FRO supports formerly abducted children and orphans (as a result of war and HIV/AIDS) from Pader district IDP camps in secondary and vocational schools – we pay their school fees, providing both basic needs and scholastic materials. FRO also provide mentorship, counselling and school enrolment needs of former child soldiers in Pader Town Council IDP camp and HIV/AIDS Orphans in Arum IDP camp. We also involve the children in traditional cultural activities.


Kathy Aloyo

“I had lost all hope in life especially by giving birth at age 15. ... It not only made me a child mother but also made me poor. I was abducted ... [and] lost the opportunity to be educated. The only alternative to support myself and my child was through vocational skill training,”says Kathy Aloyo, a tailor living in Lira Palwo IDP camp in Pader. “Now I am able to support myself and my child. Friends of Orphans have given me a sewing machine, materials and placed me in a stall where I am able to generate my own income.”


Christine Adong

At 13, Christine Adong was abducted while she was on her way to school by LRA rebels and forced to marry an LRA commander. At 14, she delivered her baby in the bush without the help of a midwife, nurse or a doctor. The father was killed during a battle with government forces. “Friends of Orphans have put a smile on my face after I had lost it all. I am what I am because of their work, the skills I have acquired have enabled me start a small business and earn income to support myself and my child,” says Adong, who lives in the Arum camp. 

Anywar Ricky Richard | FRO Founder & ED

“As a former child solider, I fully understand the difficulties and suffering [one goes through] fighting alongside the Lords Resistance Army. I was rescued and got the opportunity to go back to school, going all the way to university. I know the role this education has played in my life transforming me from a child solider to someone of value in the community. My aim is to serve the needs of orphans, former child soldiers, child mothers, orphans and widows who have been traumatized by many years of war ... It is my desire to see a society in which the vulnerable youth are empowered to achieve their full potential and contribute to the development of their community.”