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Smile for Children

The contribution of YOLRED to children born in captivity is to provide access to education especially girls born in the bush.

Photo of Geoffrey Omony
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What problem does your innovation solve?

The Acholi Sub-Region in northern Uganda suffered the brunt of the armed conflict between the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) that started in 1986. This has left a number of children in the region especially those who were born in captivity. Girls were severely afected during this insurgency. YOLRED sponsorship programme provide opportunities to the children born in captivity to access better education services.

Explain your innovation.

YOLRED seek to support all young people who were impacted by the civil war, including ex-child soldiers, abductees, the displaced, the children born in captivity and child mothers throughout Northern Uganda by providing access to education to the girls.

Who benefits?

For nearly three decades starting in the late 1980’s, over 60,000 girls and boys in Northern Uganda were forcibly conscripted into fighting a guerilla war against their government, under the brutal domination of the Lord’s Resistance Army. This program will provide access to education to children who are seven years and above. Much as the majority will be girls, we will give few opportunities to boys as well since they both suffered the same brutality but specifically children from Northern Uganda.

How is your innovation unique?

Providing opportunity to children born in captivity is the priority to YOLRED. We blieved that a peaceful and just society can only become a reality through positive changing of the mindset of children in our community which is only possible through education.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

We know that we will have to learn and adapt as we move forward given the social stigma that children born in captivity face. While we have many good ideas, we will also need to learn more about how to add value to agricultural products in ways that bring greater revenue and self-sufficiency to farmers in our network.

Tell us more about you.

My name is Omony Geoffrey and I am the program director and coordinator for YOLRED. I was trained in ”ESPERE” methodology, which my perspectives in ways I never expected. It allowed me to connect and grow my empathetic feelings toward other child victims of the conflict. Arigatou Intrnational and GNRC then took me back to school where I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration and Human Resources Management.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Armed conflict

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

YOLRED through Smile for Children will send these children born in captivity and the disadvantaged to the identified best schools to allow them acquire educational excellency.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

Northern Uganda

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

Caritas Counseling and Training Institute

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

YOLRED has a powerful education specialist that will oversee the successful implementation of this project.

Innovation Maturity

  • Roll-out/Ready to Scale: I have completed a pilot and am ready or in the process of expanding.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Organization Location

Gulu Northern Uganda



Join the conversation:

Photo of Ashley Tillman

Hi Geoffrey great to see you in this Challenge! Would love to hear a few more details about the program you are proposing for this Challenge.

Excited to learn more!

Photo of Geoffrey Omony

In this Challenge, our program will focus on empowering individuals especially girl child born in captivity and communities on social protection approaches: Support bursaries to vulnerable children, training of teachers in identified areas of gaps, provision of instruction material to selected schools, support to infrastructural development to identified model schools, promotion of agricultural best practices within schools, placement of students for non-formal training and post training support to non-formal students / Provision of start-up kits among others that the program will cover.