Who We Are
Luhwahwa Youth Development Foundation (LUYODEFO) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides support to marginalized communities across the Rwenzori region of western Uganda.
The formation of LUYODEFO in 2003 was out of deep aspiration by a group of motivated youth to respond to the plight of children, youth, women, and men impacted greatly by political conflict, disease, extreme poverty and other detriments in the Rwenzori region in western Uganda. The idea was to create a platform for empowering rural resource communities to contribute to sustainable livelihoods among the local, underprivileged communities, especially in their social, health, and economic well-being.
LUYODEFO is committed to ending social exclusion and discrimination; creating networks for children, youth, and women; increasing access to development services; and empowering all people to reach their potential and take responsibility for their development. We use very flexible approaches with a strong emphasis on active participation from our beneficiaries and their skills and talents.
- Enhance relationships among youth through shared experiences in order to create true, broad-based contributions to community life
- Increase the local communities’ self-sustainability through employment opportunities
- Create awareness about human rights and health issues, including HIV/AIDS and home-based care
- Improve homecare services to orphans and vulnerable children, and support chronically ill-patients
- Network and collaborate with other groups and/or institutions for sustainable development
- We believe all people are equal and give all people similar opportunities.
- We value the wellness and health of young people.
- We value collaborative management based on integrity, dignity, and respect.
- We believe that innovation and teamwork can lead to lasting, positive change.
- We value transparency and accountability.
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Where We Work
We are currently focusing on the Kasese District of Uganda, but plan to extend our services to other areas within and outside the Rwenzori region. The Kasese District is part of the Rwenzururu Kingdom, which is coterminus with the Rwenzururu sub-region in of western Uganda.
The Kasese district lies along the equator and borders the districts of Kabarole, Ntoroko, and Bundibugyo in the north; Lake George and Kamwenge in the east; Rubirizi and Lake Edward in the south; and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the west.
Community Meeting for Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program
The district was formed in 1974 under the Provincial Administration of the Rwenzori district that was curved out of Tooro. Prior to this, it was part of Tooro kingdom, which comprised the present districts of Bundibugyo, Kabarole, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, and Kasese. The district has been affected greatly by political instability and wars, which have greatly hindered the infrastructural development and related service.
With a mountainous terrain in the north and flat plains in the south, Kasese is famous for its beautiful scenery, including two of Uganda’s ten national parks: Queen Elizabeth National Park and Rwenzori Mountains National Park. Queen Elizabeth National Park is located around Lake Edward and Lake George; it has one of the most diverse bird populations in the world, is the most productive aquatic ecosystem on earth, and inhabits many mammals. Rwenzori National Park is home to Africa’s third highest mountain peak, as well as many waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers.
Like most districts in Uganda, the Kasese district is predominantly agricultural, with over 85% of the people relying on subsistence farming for survival, employment, and income. The people keep livestock, including cattle, goats, sheep, and pigs. Fishing activities also occur on Lake George, Lake Edward, and on smaller crater lakes in the district.
Kasese also has industrial potential, thanks to a number of industries (such as Hima Cement Factory, Kasese Cobalt Company, and Kilembe Mines) who have contributed greatly to the community by increasing employment opportunities for the population.
Kasese Municipality is the largest town and also serves as the business centre (with banks, supermarkets, etc). It is located approximately 559 kilometers west of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city. Learn more about the Kasese District.