From the moment you step foot on the red soil of Uganda, you feel at home…
With its vast landscapes and welcoming hospitality, this landlocked country in East Africa was poignantly called “The Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill. It’s home to Africa’s tallest mountain range, the source of the Nile (the longest river in the world), and the largest lake on the continent. But most vibrant and captivating are its beautiful people.
Home to an estimated 41 million people, Uganda has the second youngest population in the world. The median age is 16 years old — for comparison, the median age in the U.S. is 38 — and 77% of the population is under 30 years old. Such a young population yields a great many challenges, including soaring unemployment and poverty rates. More than one-third of Ugandans live in extreme poverty (on less than $1.90/day).
Public education isn’t free, and the expensive costs make education a privilege for the few instead of a right for all. Seven out of ten students don’t even finish primary school.
Our work is currently focused in Wakiso Town, in the Wakiso District of Uganda. It is about 12 miles northwest of Kampala, the capital city, and has an estimated population of 60,210 people. The local language spoken is Luganda.
10 Uganda Fun Facts:
If you are treated to a meal of pan-fried grasshoppers, consider yourself a very special guest. It’s a delicacy.
Uganda’s favorite fast-food is rolex –– not the watch, but a pita-style flatbread (called chapati) filled with scrambled eggs and anything from vegetables to sausage. You can buy a rolex from just about any stand on the street!
Uganda is the tropical fruit basket of Africa with the best pineapple and mango you’ll ever taste! There’s nothing like it in the West.
Matooke is the main staple food, made from mashed un-ripened bananas.
Ugandans refer to peanuts as g-nuts.
If you are a white foreigner, you are called a mzungu.
If someone tells you that you’ve “grown fat,” don’t take it personally. It’s actually meant as a compliment since it’s a sign of health and good eating.
To greet someone in Luganda, the local language, you say, “Olytoya!”
Uganda is the size of Oregon.
The Equator passes through Uganda. You can stand with one foot in the northern hemisphere and the other in the southern.
Uganda Through Our Lens:
Over the past 3.5 years, as a group and individually we have traveled to Uganda multiple times. Below are some of our favorite images to give you a glimpse into our favorite place on earth!