African Rural University


Keep the heart of knowledge and transformation beating

Young women are developing 20 districts in Uganda

The facts below prove their impact. This progress is not told through the traditional narrative of development aid in Africa. This is a different story.

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Youths skilled by our graduates in rural households


People Reached in rural households


women screened for cervical cancer

At African Rural University we are taking bold steps to create a hub of innovation and empowerment
—a Multipurpose Resource Centre that will transform the landscape of education and rural development.

WE NEED $ 800.000
We're at $ 250,000


Amidst Uganda’s green landscape rises the African Rural University (ARU). This all-women institution provides transformational education that empowers women to become effective change agents within rural communities of Uganda, with an educational approach that calls for a re-orientation of mindset and generating energy around visions and possibilities, rather than problem-solving.


Communities are building climate resilience lifestyles and businesses that match their own values and aspirations.


Through partnerships at all levels, we learn from each other and develop a self-reliant future for the African continent. We build on our common values, natural resources, our rich history and culture. Traditional Wisdom Specialists transfer their skills and knowledge of cultural, technological and natural heritage to the next generation of leaders that ARU breeds.


These visionary, transformational leaders set an example to what development in African countries can look like.


To keep our recognised status as a university and scale our model, we are building a resource centre. A knowledge hub where students, teachers, local communities and policy-makers can come together to learn, create partnerships and build transformative action plans.


To finish what we started we need to raise $ 550.000


By donating you can contribute building blocks to our resource centre.

Moreover, you can be part of a movement. That makes room for young Ugandan women to take the lead in the development of their own country.

Through partnership and co-creation we will cultivate true transformation of the African continent.

Research confirmed what the founders of African Rural University (ARU) experienced through years of community work: the transformation of a home, community, or nation to be healthy, happy and prosperous, starts with educating women. The African Rural University recognises and awakens the value of a woman in their multiple roles: teachers, managers, producers (reproductively and productively), negotiators, academics, politicians, peacemakers, leaders and above all: humanists.

Empowerment and Socioeconomic Impact

Education enables women to make informed, autonomous decisions for their own well-being, that of their family and their larger community. Women's education fosters economic growth, potentially raising global GDP by $28 trillion by 2025 according to the World Bank. Women leaders invest more in education, healthcare, and community development, increasing productivity and incomes.

Food Security and Agriculture

Women constitute 43% of the agricultural labour force in developing nations, as reported by the FAO. Their involvement in farming decisions and resource management enhances food security and nutrition outcomes. Equitable resource allocation could increase agricultural yields by 20-30%, potentially reducing hunger by 12-17% according to the UN.

Peace, Harmony, and Reconciliation

Women's participation in peace processes leads to sustainable peace, education promotion, and social cohesion, as highlighted by UN Women. Their inclusion enhances societal resilience and post-conflict rebuilding efforts.

Environmental Sustainability

Women possess traditional knowledge of sustainable land use: in particular water and soil management. This makes them pivotal for responsible resource management and conservation as stated by the UNDP. Women in leadership roles contribute to eco-friendly practices, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Countries with women in higher offices of administration are more likely to ratify international environment treaties.

Women Farmers as Pillars of Society

Women manage 70% of smallholder farms in Africa, providing over half of the continent's nutrition according to Their role in agriculture underscores their contribution to food security, societal sustenance, and resilience.

ARU’s Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture offers our students skills in ‘’climate-smart agriculture”: taking care of the environment while at the same time practicing farming as a business. Topics include:

As a student at ARU states: “Knowledge about biodiversity conservation helps us to address the effects of climate change, since conserving habitats can reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. But it also helps us to prevent and minimise conflicts. It provides opportunities for economic growth by involving local communities in responsibly managing themselves. As students, we work on this during our internship and field attachment.”

Education and health are also paramount. Courses such as Bachelor of Rural Development and Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Agriculture blend theory and real-world projects, bridging academic learning and community impact. Visionary health initiatives and Participatory Action Research empower students to drive rural transformation.

ARU’s devotion to social justice shapes equitable development, reflected in economic upliftment, transformative education, and improved health, establishing the university as a catalyst for positive change. These are examples of results achieved so far:

Beyond our academic lecturers, ARU collaborates with five locally resident Traditional Wisdom Specialists (TWS) as facilitators in learning and innovation. These two types of educators serve as co-researchers and trainers, championing the integration of indigenous knowledge and the preservation of cultural, natural, and historical heritage.

Through our collaboration with Traditional Wisdom Specialists, we have developed an album of traditional medicine. This compilation benefits society by conserving cultural knowledge, advancing education and awareness, and supporting sustainable healthcare practices. The album provides complementary treatments and empowers indigenous communities.

ARU embraces the Ubuntu Philosophy: “I am because you are.” This philosophy underscores interconnectedness, empathy, and collaboration. It harmoniously aligns with the concept of co-creating positive change within communities.

ARU’s education integrates theory (60%) and practical application (40%), engaging students in community projects. The bachelors is interdisciplinary. It reflects the real world and disciplines that are essential to be effective change leaders in a rural setting: a combination of Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Social Sciences (also called ‘’soft technologies”). This creates an all-round professional specialised in the three masteries and the specific course-related subjects.

Through yearly community interactions, social responsibility, and internships, students learn community-driven development (CDD) and democratic processes, leading to participatory rural transformation via Participatory Action Research (PAR) and Community Action Planning (CAP). Rural communities are the social laboratories of the University: insights of participatory action research are fed back into the course design and methods of delivery. It is also used to advocate for systems change in the education sector and national development policies.

Upon completing their studies at the university, these young women return to their communities as Rural Transformation Specialists. In this capacity, they leverage their education and expertise to drive positive change and development in collaboration with local communities. This is called the Epicenter Strategy. A cornerstone of ARU which engages ARU graduates to collaborate with communities within local governments through Public-Private Partnerships. Central to this strategy are visionary approaches and systems thinking. Female leaders referred to as Epicenter Managers, work closely with communities and local authorities to nurture rural innovation for the benefit of people and the planet. This approach fosters a sense of community-driven development.

ARU, as an extension of The URDT (Uganda Rural Development Training) Schools, employs a distinctive educational approach known as the Two-Generation Approach. This approach centres on empowering young girls within the community to become visionary leaders and catalysts for change in their homes and communities. The transformative educational journey commences early in students’ lives as they are nurtured at URDT Girls School, an integral part of the comprehensive educational continuum. This preparation paves the way for their eventual enrolment at ARU. Through the Two-Generation approach, parents play a mentoring role as they are practising in real life: the Principles Of Creating, Systems Thinking and the five pillars of Sustainable Development.

During Community Practicum, students of ARU are hosted by families whose daughters study at the URDT Girls School. The home offers an experience of rural community engagement that is essential for bonding with community members. Students use the host families, of which some are already leaders, to reach other members of the village. 

Welcome to our Multipurpose Resource Centre, a nucleus of innovation and empowerment that will mould the future of education and rural development. In collaboration with our friends and well-wishers, we have already laid the foundation for this remarkable centre. It now stands at the window level of the first floor. At this juncture, we extend our call to you to help us unlock its full potential.

The vision:  a world-class research, hybrid library and meeting place, with a global outlook, providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for learning, collaboration and knowledge generation.

The ARU resource centre will constitute both the e-library and the physical library facilities, offices for its staff, meeting rooms, and an auditorium. The ARU resource centre combines the use of electronic or digital and print materials (print, audio, visual, and electronic information materials). 

The Resource Centre transcends mere structural existence; it embodies a haven for growth, learning, and transformation, not only for students but also for community members. Your support will enable us to finalise construction, giving life to features such as a physical and e-library, a state-of-the-art computer lab, lecture rooms, staff offices, an auditorium, a canteen, and spaces for workshops, women’s leadership circles, and meditation.

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Reach Out

Thank you for showing interest in reaching out to us. If you are a foundation or organisation considering donating a larger amount, we would love to schedule a call or plan a meeting to get to know you and discuss the possibilities. 

If you have any other requests or questions, don’t hesitate to send us an email at: or