The Uganda Women’s Effort to save Orphans (UWESO) was founded in 1986 by Ugandan mothers committed to providing relief aid to needy children left parentless by the civil turbulence of the early mid-1980s, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic. UWESO operated in war-torn areas of the Luweero Triangle which in today’s districts includes Luwero, Mubende, Kiboga, Nakasongola, Mpigi, Wakiso, Mukono and Kayunga. Funding of these activities was mainly from UWESO members and donor grant support. With this funding UWESO was able to sponsor 2,000 orphans per year in primary school, and 200 older orphans benefited from vocational training programmes between 1992 and 1994.
The development of a National OVC policy in 2004 by the Government of Uganda and the changes in the political and socio-economic context not only in Uganda but also at regional and international level, led UWESO to change its focus from relief services to development programs in order to improve the welfare of the neediest orphans in a sustainable approach through provision of basic needs and sponsorship in secondary and vocational institutions.