Diakonia works mainly in the north eastern Karamoja region of Uganda, focusing on improving the living standards of the most vulnerable people. Diakonia has also strategic relations with civil society organizations in the capital Kampala, and in other parts of the north of Uganda.
The thematic areas of Diakonia and its partner organizations’ work are: Democracy, Human rights, Social and economic justice, Gender equality and Conflict and justice. Uganda has a population of 32 million, around half of the population under 14 years. Agriculture is the most important sector of the economy, employing over 80 per cent of the work force (2009).
Respect for human rights in Uganda has advanced significantly since the mid-1980s. There are, however, numerous areas which continue to attract concern. The civil war that plauged the northern parts of the country displaced more than 1.6 million people. Although the civil war has ended, the fighting between the rebel Lord's Resistance Army and the Ugandan army has left deep wounds in the Ugandan society. Thousands of children as young as eight were kidnapped by rebels to work as soldiers and forced to kill loved ones and strangers during the civil war. The northern parts of the country are slowly beginning to recover, but it is a process that takes sime and that involves sowing crops again, kids going back to school, alphabetization and healing from physical and psychological traumas.
With emphasis on capacity building Diakonia supports civil society organizations in their efforts to improve the living standards of the most marginalized and vulnerable population and change the structures that creates poverty. The nomadic people of the Karamoja region, are among the most marginalized. They sustain themselves mainly by herding, they also played a difficult part during the civil war which further complicates their situation. Also, discrimination of women and LGBT persons continue with the slow implentation of necessary laws to protect these groups.
Children participating in traning session in Kasekulo in 2011, organized by Diakonia's partner organization Church of Uganda's section PDR- Planning Development and Rehabilitation.