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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.​


A Uganda where youth are empowered to create and extend their skills and talents to build a strong future and an America where people value other cultures and ways of being


Our vision is for every child to have a good education, health, and literacy foundation. A world where gender equity is a human right, and a period that ends a sentence, not school.


Core Values

Creating growth opportunities for American students; Our primary goal is to allow American university students to have transformative experiences. Our trip participants form real connections with Ugandans and collaborate on projects related to education, public health, gender equity, and community engagement. These experiences are life-changing for American students and our Ugandan partner communities.


Empowering Ugandans and Americans; We work with, not for, the people of Uganda to improve their communities. Our Ugandan partners propose projects that benefit them and can become independently sustainable. Our American trip participants bring their knowledge, ideas, and resources to help each project succeed.


Learning from others in humility; We believe that no person, country, or culture has a monopoly on wisdom. We seek to learn from others and to engage in honest communication and cultural exchange.


Working for equity and social justice, We work to advance education, public health, gender equity, and community engagement in Uganda through peaceful collaboration. In developing our projects, we seek to include the voices of the local community, religious leaders, and both men and women.


Working as a team; We work among ourselves and with our Ugandan partners as a team and undertake activities collectively while recognizing our diversities and differences. We respect each other at all times, resist divisions, and resolve our problems amicably.


Remaining honest and transparent; We are open and honest in our work with Ugandan communities, trip participants, and all partners. We strive to be transparent about our work, making information available to all stakeholders. We hold ourselves accountable to our donors and use all of our resources appropriately.


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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