A Generation Lost

Upon gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1962, Uganda has found itself on a long path of suffering at the hands of disease and civil unrest.

At its peak in the 1990s, AIDS reached epidemic levels, with 18.5% of the Ugandan people living with HIV. In 2012, over 63,000 Ugandans died from this disease alone. Today, it is estimated that 1.5 million Ugandans have HIV, and 1.2 million Ugandan children have been orphaned by AIDS.

In addition to medical hardship, Uganda has faced years of civil unrest. When Yoweri Museveni ascended to the presidency in 1986, local rebel militias joined together under the banner of the Holy Spirit Movement (HSM). Around 1988, HSM leader Alice Lakwena was exiled to Kenya, leaving a power vacuum that was promptly filled by Joseph Kony. Kony changed the group’s name to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), and began abducting children and forcing them into soldiering to bring more manpower to his army. Indoctrination into this group often involved children being forced to kill their parents or siblings in the most brutal ways possible. Although today, the LRA is only a fraction of what it was (and not currently in Uganda), it has been reported that they abducted over 30,000 children in northern Uganda and displaced 1.4 million people.

Due to AIDS epidemics, civil wars and extreme poverty, there are over 2.6 million children who have been orphaned in Uganda. Using the current population figures, that translates into roughly 1 in 14 children living without parents. There is a trend of grandparents struggling to care for their grandchildren, in an attempt to fill in the gap for this generation that has been lost.

Our History

Founded in Uganda in 1995 by Sam Tushabe, AOET (AIDS Orphan Education Trust) is an independent, grassroots response to the suffering Sam witnessed in his own community. AOET is a Christian organization compelled by these words in Scripture: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27). AOET seeks to empower communities to be able to care and provide for the many children who live there and who have been orphaned or made vulnerable as a result of the HIV/AIDS crisis.

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