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African Rural Development Initiatives (ARDI) is a Community Based Organisation, based in Manafwa district, eastern Uganda.



A rural community of psychologically, physically, socially and economically upright people.



To contribute to the well-being of the disadvantaged rural community



African Rural Development Initiatives (ARDI) was founded in 1999 following a research study by ActionAid Uganda that focused on adolescent girls (13-18 years of age) and their sexual and reproductive health and behaviour.


One of the recommendations of the research was to support teenage mothers both psycho-socially as well as economically. This resulted in a goats project, one of the core activities of ARDI. The founders of ARDI were government community development workers, teachers, church leaders and parents from the local community.



ARDI works in three sub-counties of Manafwa district, recently curved out of Mbale, which are located on the Kenyan border, 50 km eastern of Mbale Town. The total population of the three sub-counties is estimated on 110.000. The ARDI offices are located in Bukitongo village, near lwakhakha, at the border area.



Cross border trading is the key economic activity in the area and the trading centre of Lwakhakha has become a cosmopolitan centre for trade on either side of the border. The local social infrastructure includes government-assisted health units in each of the sub-counties and a health centre in Lwakhakha trading centre.



Director of ARDI is Joseph Weyusya, who has collaborated with the director of ĎAdopt a Goat Foundationí since 1999. he has wealth of experience in community development activities. He is working as a community development worker for the District local government in Uganda. Joseph was born in the area where ARDI is currently working and very much committed to the work.

Up to now, various volunteers have been working for ARDI, including a trained counsellor, two project staff and a tailoring teacher.


Future plans

In the next project year, ARDI would like to continue its activities and also start some new activities:

  • Provide 150 goats to teenage mothers

  • Training course to ARDI volunteers in goat keeping

  • Regular monitoring of the goats during monitoring meetings by volunteers

  • Purchase of one exotic male goat to crossbreed with local female goats

  • Continuation with tailoring courses

  • Building a youth centre for both boys and girls; provision of counselling and organising activities such as life skills education, sports, games

  • Expand and strengthen the volunteer network

  • Expand and improve Life skills and HIV/AIDS  education