The Alukakin Women’s Group – Giving the Gift of Learning

by | Jun 25, 2021 | Changemaker Of The Week

Each day in Uganda, 30 million people survive without access to electricity. In rural communities especially, this reality creates dire consequences for physical health and mental wellbeing. For young children trying to learn, this obstacle makes it nearly impossible to read and study at night, which stunts their educations and creates a wide academic gap between rural and urban areas. In Ngora, the Alukakin Women’s Group, led by Mary Akot, is working to solve this issue by providing 100 orphans with solar lamps so they can take charge of their learning and safely study at night. 

Akot, a primary school teacher and advocate for the power of reading, said the entire group came up with this idea and all feel passionate about it. Their community was hit particularly hard by the Lord’s Resistance Army fighters, leaving many children orphaned and many families in poverty, and they wanted to help. Without access to electricity, many people are forced to rely on kerosene or paraffin to light their homes, which produce harmful smoke and create a massive fire risk. 

Lockdowns throughout the pandemic have severely worsened this problem, making it challenging for children to access electricity and study even during the day. After observing this suffering firsthand, the Alukakin Women’s Group decided to create a change. After receiving a grant from The Pollination Project, Akot and the rest of the group were able to travel door to door to deliver solar lamps to 100 orphans and offer them the gift of reading and learning. 

This is one of many initiatives the Alukakin Women’s Group has started to better their community. Akot said the group has countless ideas on how to continue helping, and the only thing standing in their way is a lack of financial resources to carry them out. She, along with the rest of the group, have big plans to “work hand in hand” to continue improving the Ngora community and hope to have more opportunities to do so. 

Written by Ali Scheinfeld