Skip to content

The Home of Africa’s Adult Education Community

Back to magazine


1 September 2023 | Joseph Kifampe | DVV International Uganda Community Learning


Nuwoya District 4 Mary

In Nwoya District, Community Learning Centres (CLCs) have become hubs for lifelong learning that are delivering a wide range of integrated services in response to local community needs as well as the national development agenda.

The CLC concept is aligned to key government strategies and policies and contributes to the realisation of Vision 2040. CLCs play a pivotal role in identifying the most vulnerable people in the communities, particularly the non-literate, semi-literate, disadvantaged, and poor individuals and groups.

Integrated Programming

The programme identifies and trains illiterate and semi-literate adult learners in basic literacy and numeracy, while at the same time imparting practical knowledge that helps to enhance livelihoods and business skills. For example, farmer field schools are established at CLCs and transfer knowledge about agricultural technology to the communities. Different sector specialists, such as agricultural officers, veterinary officers, fisheries officers, commercial officers, and Community Development Officers come to the CLCs to train communities on modern farming methods.

Enhancing Business Skills

The CLC provides avenues for imparting business development services to communities. The District Commercial Department uses CLCs to train local communities on Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) and financial literacy. They also provide training and information about market linkages and assessment and development of pro-poor value chains. One of the tasks of the community facilitators is to enrol the Community Empowerment Group (CEG) members in the VSLAs, empowering them by increasing access to and control over resources. Furthermore, they learn to use collective action to overcome social and financial barriers in their villages. Cooperative actions have led to advocacy for various resources and services, such as safe water, tractor services and roads.

CLC Partnerships

CLCs are hubs where state and non-state actors provide holistic and integrated services to the community. Non-state actors from within and outside the sub-county and parishes are mobilized and given the opportunity to work hand in hand with the CLC management committee and the district authorities.

Mary: a success story

Mary is a soft-spoken confident lady belonging to a group called Kwan Aye Yabuwang. She is a married mother of six children. Mary learned of the initiative in 2020 when the local CLC organized a mobilization and sensitization campaign on adult learning in her Parish. Before joining, she was a market vendor struggling to make ends meet. She had a home garden which was not large enough to grow and harvest crops both for her family and for sale. She joined a VSLA and is now waiting her turn to be able to borrow money so that she can expand into agri-business.

Functional literacy helped Mary to overcome barriers to her personal development, while the agricultural knowledge and skills she learned helped her to implement more effective farming methods and agri-business. Agricultural Extension Officers are an invaluable local resource to Mary and others in her situation. This year, she has been able to plant and harvest a better yield of maize, beans, and peanuts.

Her plot is small, but she is hopeful that with a small loan from the VLSA, she will be able to expand and improve her household income by adapting her farming methods. Mary is due to complete her current studies and graduate in September 2023. She will then be eligible to enrol in the next level and learning cycle for adult learners.