Mothers' Union

Family Life Programme

The Mothers’ Union Family Life Programme is a unique grassroots initiative set up and run by local people - workable, sustainable grassroots development. It's simple - communities themselves addressing the issues they identify surrounding their family life - their homes, children, and community. The projects that they start are as diverse as the people who start them, and affect and enhance one another - agriculture enhancement, health and sanitation, addressing soil erosion, poverty alleviation and income generation, HIV/AIDS awareness and care, family and community relationships, gender equality, addressing domestic violence seven large rural areas of Uganda, FLP is ordinary people, changing their own communities from the inside out.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 1:46 PM, 7 November 2008 to 9:20 AM, 1 August 2013

Registered Charity in England and Wales (240531)





  • Community Support & DevelopmentCommunity Support & Development
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment
  • Environment/ConservationEnvironment/Conservation
  • Human Rights/AdvocacyHuman Rights/Advocacy
  • Poverty Alleviation/ReliefPoverty Alleviation/Relief


  • Children (3-18)Children (3-18)
  • Older PeopleOlder People
  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
  • OtherOther



Long-term sustainability and local people’s ownership are commonly-decried difficulties for NGOs in developing countries, but radical as it may sound, in Mothers' Union, ownership and sustainability are inherent because projects are set up and run by Mothers’ Union members, in their own communities - not aid workers sent out from another country. Wholly grassroots, FLP's momentum is entirely local people: their own commitment, energies and impetus. The Family Life Programme works from a simple principle: a community puts itself into groups to start to think about the problems they’re facing in their community life, and how they can combat them. They choose a facilitator from the group, to be trained in their local diocese on issues they decide will help them: examples are health and sanitation, farming techniques, HIV/AIDS awareness, poverty alleviation or income generation, and awareness of their natural environment. The group learns together, through participatory learning and action, and through the group facilitator’s channelling and diffusion of knowledge and skills to the group. The results are tangible, and very organic: flourishing, confident communities, with demonstrable, practical developments in their farming, community relationships, and homelives. In learning income-generating skills, thus gradually and naturally raising their self-belief and confidence, most groups have now been able to buy a number of animals – the Family Life Programme does not give participants livestock on a hand-out basis. This is authentic ownership, demonstrable in the fact that FLP group members know how to care for, and create income from, their animals. In communities and homes, changes like these are clear: hygienic latrines that participants have built and learnt for themselves how to maintain; thriving vegetable gardens; healthier children; reductions in domestic violence and alcoholism; growing home income generation; environmental issues such as soil erosion being addressed with local method like tree-planting. HIV/AIDS stigmatisation is being addressed and sufferers are finding themselves cared for by their own neighbours. We also see vastly improved relationships and respect between genders, as wives and husbands start to talk about and share decision-making and caring for their families. Most of all, the Family Life Programme sees communities emerging, who know with confidence and a real sense of accomplishment that they can help, teach and support themselves and each other.