About Us

Phoebe Education Fund for Orphans & vulnerable children (PEFO) is a legally registered (Reg No.S.5914/5611) Local Non Government Organization founded in 2003 by three brothers. The organisation is a non-denominational at the point of service provision, and without political affiliations.

The overall goal of the organisation is to facilitate care and support for older persons and OVC households to promote sustainable Development. This is done through a 5 structured program (Education, Health, Livelihood & Micro-credit, Housing and Human rights) implemented following the ‘care-for-care givers’ approach which emphasizes mutual reinforcement between the two categories of beneficiaries in Jinja, Busia, Lira and Buikwe districts. Grandmothers are supported in their right, but also based on the fact that their improved life puts them in a better position to ably support OVC under their care. And, OVC that have been given a chance at education, are getting in position to support respective grandmother households they live in.


A society where older persons, OVCs and their caregivers have high self-esteem and are resourceful to themselves and their communities.


Facilitate Care and Support for older persons and OVC households to promote sustainable Development.

Our Strategic Objectives

  • SO1; Increase access to quality social services for grannies, OVC & their Caregivers  
    This strategic Objective builds on the work of the last thirteen years, and it’s at the very core of PEFO’s reason for existence. PEFO will use the Model of comprehensive approach to care and support of its target group as it engages the community to be active participants in delivering solutions to the challenges associated with older persons (Grannies), the OVC and their care givers.
  • SO2; Enhance livelihood opportunities for income and food security of older persons, OVC and their Caregivers  
    Though the economic situation is improving because of PEFO’s investments in the last six years, OVC and Grannies’ household are still poor and food insecure. Majority are food insecure and vulnerable and have unsustainable livelihood means.Although, the main sources of food are own gardens and market purchases, information from grannies indicate that harvests are dwindling due to prolonged drought (climate change reported by 46% grannies), soil infertility, lack of knowledge on appropriate farming techniques, land shortage and large size of households full of OVC which cannot effectively farm. Amidst the food insecurity challenge, the coping strategies are almost non-existent..Lack of access to financial and credit services is another problem which affects Grannies and OVC households. The level of access to credit services among Grannies is very low. Baseline survey findings (Pefo 2012) show that four in five Grannies have never accessed credit from financial institutions. Loan applications from older persons are normally rejected by financial institutions. Rejection of loan applications from Grannies is attributed to their advance age, lack of collateral security, stringent conditions and being regarded by financial institutions as a credit risk to them. With Uganda’s life expectancy at 55.8 years, people over this age are considered as credit risks to lending institutions.
  • SO3; Advocate for rights and appropriate policies for older persons OVC  
    PEFO seeks to become an active advocate, point of reference and partner in efforts to contribute, influence, implement rights and monitor policies in the area of older persons, OVC and their Caregivers. We, as PEFO vow to enhance our capacity in this area within the next five years (2013-2017). To tackle all the issues and concerns of the ordinary people, a strong civil society is vital; a civil society that can push the powers that be to deliver on targets.
  •  SO4; Strengthen the capacity of community based organisations, local structures and systems to respond to the immediate needs of OVC and grannies  
    In our work with communities over the past 13 years, we realised that communities’ involvement is key to effective community development. Throughout PEFO’s programs, Community Participation and Involvement (CPI) is a key cross-cutting approach for creating a lasting change by empowering communities to identify their own issues, needs and solutions. The CPI approach engages communities both to use the interventions in a sustained way and to promote participatory development. Community capacity building for CBOs, local structures and systems is central to PEFO’s programming. Therefore measuring changes in community capacity will also be essential to evaluating success as well as to better understand the link between community capacity and social change outcomes.
  •  SO5; Strengthen the governance & management capacity of PEFO to respond to the evolving needs of its internal & external  
    PEFO is moving towards maturity as an organisation. The next five years is going to be a period of strengthening our performing capacity and consolidating change. With the professional Board in place now, PEFO is confident it will deliver on its mission and strategic objectives.

Our Values;

  • Passion; We have a passion to serve the poor and vulnerable members of society to improve their lives.
  • Respect for Rights of every human being; We believe in the intrinsic dignity of every person and their rights regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion or political affliliation.
  • Accountable; We are accountable to our stakeholders, and strive to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to us.

Background to PEFO:

PEFO was founded by 3 brothers (Justine, Richard & Robertson) in 2003 as an initiative to give back to the community. The 3 brothers were themselves orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS at a very early age. They were educated by a missionary father (REV. FR. WYNAND HUYS) until their university level education. They also received other different physical, emotional and spiritual support from other community members who were not their blood relatives. In expression of their gratitude for this support, the brothers founded PEFO to give similar support to HIV/AIDS orphans who have challenges accessing education support. The organization was named in memory of the mother of the 3 brothers whose last wish & prayer was that her sons find favour before community people to support them complete their studies.

The organization started with only 10 children and has grown to supporting over 1450 OVC in 4 districts of Jinja, Lira, Buikwe and Busia. PEFO believes that education is the surest of all inheritance, a key to empowering for a better future for a nation. The child is supported alongside her immediate caregiver of whom 4 in every 5 are grandmothers. The grandmother households are empowered through our care for caregivers’ programme (livelihood & micro-credit, health, housing & Human rights). Our approach emphasizes mutual reinforcement between the two categories of beneficiaries. Grandmothers are supported in their right, but also based on the fact that their improved life puts them in a better position to ably support OVC under their care. And, OVC that have been given a chance at education, are getting in position to support respective grandmother households they live in.

To this date, PEFO reaches 2,383 OVC from 10 in 2003 and 1366 individual grannies in the 4 districts of Buikwe, Busia, Jinja and Lira.

PEFO programs

PEFO programs and projects are tailor-made to meet immediate needs of two main categories of beneficiaries (OVC and their caregivers/grannies) using sustainable approaches. Both the OVC and grandmother are targeted at household level as opposed to individual level; the grannies being targeted as immediate caregivers of OVC and OVC as the most potential future support for the granny. We emphasize synergy between Granny projects and OVC projects; the link between the two is our greatest force.

PEFO’s 5-structured program includes; Education, Health, Livelihood & Micro-credit, Human Rights and Economic Justice, and Housing.

The focus here is on improving access to quality education for Orphans OVC through sustainable approaches. Our driving force has been to break barriers affecting access to quality education among OVCs by creating conducive learning environments at household, community and school level through working with existing community structures.

1. Education Program

The focus here is on improving access to quality education for Orphans OVC through sustainable approaches. Our driving force has been to break barriers affecting access to quality education among OVCs by creating conducive learning environments at household, community and school level through working with existing community structures.
Main sub projects/activities;

  1. Sponsorship (fees and school requirements)
  2. Window of Hope program for building and enhancing esteem and life skills among OVC
  3. Child rights clubs for promoting rights of children in schools and communities
  4. Trees for education (primary level OVC are given trees to plant and sell to raise funds for meeting other education needs but also to empower OVC to protect their environment)
  5. Income generating activities for sustainable education (IGASE)
  6. School feeding Program
  7. Let the children play (for promoting sports and MDD among primary OVC)
  8. OVC holiday program
  9. PEFO Alumni

2. Livelihood Program

The focus here is ensuring food and income security in target households using community driven and sustainable approaches. The program draws a lot of support from community based farm school in promoting agricultural livelihoods in both crop and animal husbandry among grannies following the innovative revolve approach (Revolve a seed, a sucker, a goat, a pig), value addition and marketing skills while streamlining aspects of age, HIV/AIDS, climate and gender in her implementation.

Main sub projects/activities;

  1. Revolve projects
  2. Adopt a goat project
  3. Peer learning
  4. Saving initiatives for grannies
  5. Fireless cookers’ project
  6. PESA Agro – enterprise marketing model (provides training in product development, value addition and marketing)

Micro Credit

Based on the negative experiences faced by granny households in accessing loans from finance institutions, PEFO provides small soft loans and credit management training to grandmothers and other disadvantaged women like the HIV-positive, and widows. These loans are meant to widen the capital base of grannies to allow them venture into more resilient sources of livelihood.

3. Housing

PEFO environmentally friendly housing department responds to the urgent need for decent shelter among the elderly. Pathetic shelters have been observed to affect health and the vitality to work by grannies as well as concentration of vulnerable children in school. So far, 218 houses have been constructed for granny and OVC households.

4. Health

Preventive and curative measures are being promoted by PEFO to ensure good health; under public health hygiene and sanitation among grandmothers are maintained through periodical health promotion exercises in the community and with the community where minimum standards are emphasized; latrine, kitchen, drying line, and utensil rack. Under clinical health, direct medication and referral are carried out periodically. Medical camps and mobile clinics are some of the approaches that PEFO uses to make health care accessible and affordable by grannies. Of recent, PEFO works with government health centres within the proximity of granny communities in a way of empowering them in the long run to respond to the health needs of older persons. One of the major projects here is the Granny Health pool where grannies save UGX 1,000 on a monthly basis. PEFO tops up this fund and uses it to bring health services closer to grannies.

PEFO programs are community driven and of self help in nature. PEFO approaches to implementation are participatory involving much contribution from the community as the primary stakeholders.

Our major projects (Current):

  1. Improved Access to Quality Education for OVC
  2. Supporting the social-economic welfare of grandmothers and orphans under their care
  3. Education Emergency Fund (EEF)
  4. Healthcare 4 care givers (H4CGs)
  5. Building resilience of communities to ensure well-being (BUREC-project)
  6. Housing for Poor rural elderly
  7. Adopt A goat project
  8. PESA Agro – enterprise marketing model

5. Human Rights and Economic Justice

This is a new programming area for PEFO. This is not to mean that PEFO has not been implementing activities geared towards promotion and protection of human rights but that these activities have only been streamlined in other PEFO programmes in the past. This year, PEFO is taking a deliberate effort in up scaling her initiatives towards human rights promotion. This twist of working has been informed by our observation and interaction with grannies which has showed that most of the supported grannies fall victims of injustices due to high ignorance about their rights and justice mechanisms within their communities. This has led to loss of property like land, inability to access and take part in profitable markets, inability to access public health services, and inability to protect vulnerable children especially girls under their care from abuse, and inability to handle and report cases of abuse.

Most of them do not know that it is the duty and obligation of government to extent certain services to them. Grannies’ ignorance about justice mechanisms has been observed to correlate with limiting responsiveness and adherence to interventions by PEFO.

To improve responsiveness and adherence to PEFO interventions, and encourage grannies to utilize available public services, PEFO is planning to raise  awareness on justice mechanisms and initiate micro justice
interventions among granny communities.

In our next 5 strategic years, PEFO is planning to; 1) carry outmassive sensitization of grannies on justice mechanisms and rights focusing on clarifying to them what they are entitled to as citizens, 2) In line with sensitization on justice mechanisms PEFO plans to create more platforms on which grannies can express their issues to the public.
While PEFO responds to the need to improve the lives of this vulnerable group of grandmothers, this is a duty and obligation of government. Therefore PEFO will engage local government departments in the sensitization exercise and lobby for improvement in service delivery to older persons on top of helping the grannies understand the National
policy for older persons and where possible translate them in the local languages for the grannies. The annual beauty contest for grannies will be used as a channel to draw public attention on issues of the elderly.

In the first core area of economic emancipation emphasis will be put on facilitating further development of grannies skills in production of quality crop and animal products, increasing production quantities all this aimed at improving the food security situation and income generation through sale of extra food produced and animals multiplied.