Kampala is the capital city of Uganda, and is the most urbanized of Uganda's regions and the country's business hub. In addition to working in the business sector, many families in this central region of Uganda, including the city of Kampala, farm coffee and cotton, and raise goats and cattle to supplement their meager incomes. 

Kampala is the place the country's largest ethnic group, the Baganda, originated from.

Uganda Central Region

The Location


The Population


The Religion

Roman Catholic, Protestant

The Weather

  • Impoverished urban communities rarely have adequate drainage or sanitation. Such unhygienic environments pose a health hazard, especially for children. Uganda Homes on a Dirt Road
  • Compassion-assisted children in Uganda have opportunities to grow and thrive – physically, mentally, socially and spiritually. This often includes receiving a healthy meal or snack. Uganda Kids Getting Served a Nutritious Meal
  • These boys smile for the camera at their child development center, where they have a safe place to learn and play. Uganda Group of Boys
  • Compassion works in partnership with local churches, where caring staff members see that children are known, loved and protected. Uganda Girl Cooking
  • Prayer is an important part of each Compassion center’s activities. Uganda Boys Praying
  • Older children in the Compassion program receive vocational training. For example, these boys are learning tailoring skills. Uganda Boys Learning to Sew

Overview: Central Uganda

Central Uganda, home to the country’s capital city, Kampala, has 16 districts. The region shares a large portion of Lake Victoria with Tanzania to the south and Kenya to the east. The country’s largest ethnic group, the Baganda, originated around Kampala.

With the capital city and the country’s only international airport, the central region is also Uganda’s business hub. It is the most populated region, with nearly 1.6 million people living in the capital alone.

In addition to working in the business sector, many families in the area farm coffee and cotton. Often, families also raise cattle and goats to supplement their meager incomes.

In central Ugandan districts, more than 85 percent of the 9.7 million people practice Christianity. The remaining 15 percent practice Islam or traditional religions.

Lake Victoria is Africa’s largest lake and the world’s second largest inland freshwater lake, after Lake Superior. The lake has more than 200 species of fish, including tilapia, the most important economically. Among Lake Victoria’s many islands is the Sese archipelago, known for its great natural beauty.

The soil in the lake region is especially fertile and among the most productive in the world. The annual rainfall can be as high as 80 inches, occurring mostly during two rainy seasons — March to May and September to November.


Culture Corner


Make this easy, traditional Ugandan dish featuring plantains, commonly found throughout the country.


  • 8-10 green plantains
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 chili pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Salt, coriander, cayenne pepper or red pepper
  • 1 lb. beef stew meat, cut in bite-sized pieces
  • 1 c. beef broth


Peel the plantains, cut into cubes, sprinkle with lemon juice, and set aside. Heat oil in a large pan. Fry the onion, tomatoes, green pepper, chili pepper, and garlic together. Add spices to taste. Add meat. Continue frying and stirring until the meat is nearly done. Add broth, and bring to boil. Reduce heat. Add plantains. Cover and simmer over low heat until plantains are tender and meat is done. Serve hot.


Life in Central Uganda

Uganda’s central region is the most urbanized of the country’s regions. This region is a melting pot of ethnicities, including groups from Rwanda who fled their country during the 1994 genocide. These different groups can be distinguished by their dress, common greetings, and foods.

The central region also has a variety of religions, from Catholicism to Protestantism to Islam. The primary language spoken is Luganda.

Adults in the central region generally work in the cities’ industrial sectors. Many also depend on subsistence farming and raising a few goats or cows to meet their families’ needs. The climate in this region, with abundant rainfall, is usually ideal for farming. However, flooding occurs occasionally.

Children at Home

Urban homes in central Uganda are usually small structures, with mud or brick walls and metal roofs. In urban centers like Kampala, the government has sponsored housing development projects to keep up with the growing population. Over recent years, the number of street children and impoverished people in Kampala has increased noticeably.


Community Issues and Concerns Community in Uganda

Unemployment is a critical issue in Kampala. As a result, groups in Uganda occasionally hold demonstrations against the government. However, economic improvement is slow, and urban Ugandans continue to live in conditions of great suffering and need. Sadly, because of the lack of opportunities, many of the city’s youth fall prey to drug abuse, crime and gang activity.

Also, a large part of the capital city is located in a flood-prone region. The seasonal floods often lead to outbreaks of cholera and other illnesses caused by drinking unclean water. And standing water — a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes — leads to thousands of cases of malaria each year. Children are affected more often than adults.

Local Needs and Challenges

Children face many challenges in central Uganda’s cities, including drug and alcohol abuse and the temptation to join violent gangs. Also, most TV and radio programs for youths are imported in developing countries, so much of the content isn’t relevant to local culture and often conveys violent images. Other dangers to children include sexual abuse and neglect, domestic violence, and disintegration of families. Malaria, HIV and AIDS, malnutrition, and lack of access to clean water also threaten children’s health.


Schools and Education Education in Uganda

The school year in Uganda has three terms: February through April, the end of May through mid-August, and early September to late November. Students typically attend school about 250 days each year. Sadly, among Uganda’s population, only 66 percent of those age 15 and over are able to read or write. Among women, fewer than 58 percent are literate.

At the Compassion Child Development Center

Compassion child development centers provide registered children in central Uganda with the resources and learning opportunities they need to overcome poverty. Medical attention, extra nutrition, academic tutoring, and vocational training help ensure that they will grow into healthy, happy, responsible adults. Most important, the children have the opportunity to learn about the love of God and gift of salvation in Christ.


Working Through the Local Church

Compassion’s mission to release children from poverty is carried out by local churches. Our church partners are in the heart of the communities we want to reach. They understand the challenges local children face, and they reach out to them regardless of gender, ethnicity or religious belief.

Recently in Uganda, when a Compassion-assisted child’s family was presented a gift from his sponsor, his Muslim caregiver said, “If this is what it means to be Christian, then let me accept Jesus Christ.” He was overwhelmed not only by the sponsor’s generosity but also by the fact that in a country where corruption is commonplace, the church presented him the entire amount that was sent.

How Compassion Works in Uganda Compassion in Uganda

Compassion’s work in Uganda began in 1980. Currently, more than 77,000 children participate in 300 child development centers.

Compassion partners with local churches, helping them provide Ugandan children with a long-term program of physical, educational, social and spiritual development. Through this partnership between Compassion and local churches, children in need have the opportunity to rise above their circumstances and fulfill their potential in Christ.

The Role of a Partnership Facilitator

Partnership Facilitators are an important link between Compassion and the individual church partners that implement our program. In Uganda, each Partnership Facilitator, or PF, oversees 12 local churches that operate Compassion-assisted child development centers.

PFs play a critical role in empowering local church partners to be the best they can be at meeting the needs of their communities’ children. Ugandans themselves, PFs understand the local reality of the churches they serve and are best able to represent the churches’ needs and challenges to the national Compassion office.

Uganda’s PFs demonstrate a selfless commitment to their demanding jobs. They have a passion for children and never pass up an opportunity to speak out on their behalf.


Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the improvement of the economy in central Uganda and an increase in job opportunities.
  • Pray for the protection of urban youth from drug addiction and a lifestyle of crime and gang activity.
  • Pray for abundant harvests for families who depend on subsistence farming.
  • Pray for the health of children and families during the seasons when diseases from unclean water are common.
  • Pray for Compassion center staff members, who diligently strive to meet the needs of the children in their care.