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About FOYA Uganda

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FOYA Uganda is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower American and Ugandan youths. Our work in health, education, and literacy ensures that children have access to thrive. Our work approach through partnerships with local Ugandan communities provides opportunities for American youths to experience other cultures while providing essential services to Ugandan communities. We began our work in Uganda in 2009 when our Founder and Executive Director first visited Uganda. Since then, FOYA Uganda has partnered with local communities on projects in health, education and literacy, gender equity, and community engagement.

Through our programs, young boys and girls increase their skills and knowledge on sexual reproductive health, and young girls have resources to manage their period better. Boys grow their gender-equitable attitudes. FOYA Uganda also works to increase literacy for girls and boys through our community library approach.

Our founder and executive director, Diane Ross, has been leading students from Otterbein University and other universities on summer trips to Uganda to participate in our programs. These programs foster cultural exchange, experiential learning, and research opportunities for American students and faculty while providing resources to our Ugandan partners. Explore our website to learn more about our unique model that empowers American and Ugandan youth.​


To empower Ugandan youth by collaborating with local partners on community projects to promote health, education, and gender equity and to mobilize volunteers to engage in educational and cultural exchange.


We envision a global community founded on mutual respect, understanding, and empowerment, cultivated through the exchange of knowledge and experiences between Ugandan and American communities.


Core Values

Cultural humility and cultural exchange

We embrace the principles of cultural humility, recognizing that understanding and respect for diverse cultures require continuous self-reflection and learning. We encourage Americans to recognize and appreciate others’ values, customs, and beliefs and to collaborate without judgment.


Empowerment and collaboration 

We work with, not for, Ugandan communities to achieve goals in health, education, and gender equity. We wish for our project partners to take the initiative and to sustain their own programs.


Equity and social justice

We are committed to collaborating with our project partners to promote equity and social justice. We prioritize the voices of local community members and ensure that people of all identities are included as partners and decision-makers.


Sustained impact

We strive to have a lasting impact in Ugandan communities by partnering with Ugandan community members who take leadership and initiative to continue the work in the future.


Honesty and transparency

We maintain honesty and transparency in all aspects of our work and are accountable to our donors, stakeholders, and partners. We make information about our activities and plans available to our stakeholders.


Our Story

How it all began

FOYA Uganda began in 2009 when our Founder and Director, Diane Ross, traveled to Uganda. Diane found her way to Uganda through her students, now friends, whom she taught at a peace academy in Austria. At the start, their goal was to build libraries and provide access to literacy. After five years of working on literacy projects, we realized that girls were missing school. Upon inquiring, we learned that most girls were missing school because of menstruation. What are books worth if they can't be accessed? This was the beginning of our Menstrual Hygiene Management and Sexual Reproductive Health projects.


From the beginning, our focus has always been on partnering with communities in Uganda. Since then, FOYA has provided opportunities through its projects in education, public health, gender equity, and community engagement. 

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