In 2022, the Hilton Foundation partnered with Learning and Adult Basic Education (LABE), a community-based organization in Northern Uganda, to improve education and financial literacy services for East African refugee families. Children ages three to five who are too young or simply unable to attend primary school are taught basic reading and writing skills and play by Young Facilitators during a critical time of early development. Young Facilitators are students with a passion for supporting their community. They are young leaders like Vivian.

In school, I am the head girl. I want to see everyone leading a better life and being in a better place.
Vivian smiling from her window in her refugee settlement in Obongi, Northern Uganda. A Young Facilitator with LABE, Vivian serves as a leader and educator for her siblings and other young children who are refugees, have been displaced or come from low-income families. LABE helps these children stay developmentally on track to be prepared for success once they can attend primary school.

Vivian’s enthusiasm for teaching and playing with the children in her community is infectious. Vivian is one shining example of LABE’s vision to advance early childhood development in a region where only 20% of children ages 3-5 have access to early education.

They are learning how to socialize. For example, they learn basic numbers, they learn communication skills, and most of all, they become happy people.

Joyce Nairuba, LABE Communications Manager

Vivian, a Young Facilitator, and Joyce, LABE’s Communication Manager, together in Obongi
Vivian, a Young Facilitator with LABE, leads young children in her refugee community in a learning group activity. While Vivian is only in 5th grade, she teaches anywhere from seven to twenty-eight children about healthy eating habits, hygiene, and basic reading and writing skills.
Move. Lead. Learn. Singing and dancing is a huge part of early education for young children in these Northern Uganda refugee communities.
Vivian and her mother Zainabu smile outside their home. Vivian and Zainabu have lived in this refugee settlement in Northern Uganda for six years since fleeing South Sudan for their safety.