Encouraging Readers in Jinja, Uganda

Phoebe Education Fund for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (PEFO) was started by three brothers living with HIV and who wanted to give back to their community by providing care for caregivers. PEFO is located in Jinja, a city in southeastern Uganda, immediately north of Lake Victoria. 

Learning in Action with PEFO

They’re currently improving the lives of over 300 women, aged 50 and older. PEFO follows a model similar to Heifer International. It offers a much needed break and teaches women to become self-sufficient by raising chickens, pigs, goats, and growing other food. 


In 2015, PEFO started to provide books for local schools through mobile libraries. Today, students from 33 nearby schools utilize the PEFO Library. The schools are on a rotating schedule, allowing for 2-3 school visits per day. As a member of the Uganda Community Library Association (UgCLA), the library has four staff members and an active library committee consisting of grannies, local politicians, and teachers. 

PEFO received 1,000 books from the African Library Project. They split these books evenly with their sister organization in eastern Uganda. The 500 remaining books make up about a third of their library. 

The First Daughter Inspired PEFO’s Library Manager

Judith, the Library Manager, made the first contribution to the library when she bought The First Daughter by Ugandan author, Goretti Kyomuhendo. It’s the story of a 15-year-old girl who conceives a child, but receives no support. Her salvation lies in education. Judith was inspired by this novel because she too, was the firstborn girl in her family to receive an education. 

You Can Promote Literacy

Over 4 million inspiring books have been donated through book drives with the African Library Project. Visit our Volunteer page to find out more. 

About This Case Study Series

 Welcome to our Ugandan Case Study Series featuring 10 libraries recently visited by ALP Founder Chris Bradshaw and ALP Container Manager Tracy Gaestel. Chris and Tracy traveled to Uganda to meet with our partners at enjuba and First Foundation Education Trust. Enjoy this deeper dive into some of our Ugandan libraries.

 Collected on June 3, 2023