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Martha and Mwalimu

We create and advance an international development model of creative partnership. The partnership of AFPF and URDT, founders of African Rural University, is our proof of concept and action regarding creative partnership. This collaboration provides continuing opportunities for our learning and creating in this domain. We converse with others devoted to advancing partnership globally about successes, challenges, learning, and emergent opportunities to pursue.















(AFPF and URDT Co-Founder)

She created organizational structures to serve partnership in international development; Connected African development professionals with Robert Fritz’s education in the creative process, Peter Senge’s work in Systems Thinking, individual U.S. funders, foundations, and relevant other organizations.



URDT Co-Founder, Chair and CEO; ARU Vice Chancellor
Created and develops African cultural assets (schools, radio stations, etc.) that structurally support and serve the land, people, and sustainable rural development he loves. Influential in Ugandan and international leadership conversations.



URDT Co-Founder and previous Administrator of URDT, Public Health Engineer, Social Entrepreneur, Administrator, Developer of Water and Sanitation Systemsand trainer in technologies for creating and visionary leadership.

Alida Bakema Boon: Co-Founder, URDT Girls School, ARU Council member, URDT Board member, Educator, Rural development and Management Consultant, Administrator, Film Maker, Fotographer. Editor, URDT Remarkable Women Award 2015. Dedicated to supporting the creative spirit in oppressed peoples, and education of especially girls, women as key to well-being of people and planet. , and families living in rural areas who were previously denied education. Alida creates and maintains connections with European supporters of URDT and ARU worldwide.


Fred Musisi Kabuye. ARU Council member, URDT Board member and previous Principle of the URDT Institute. Development planner, Manager, Secondary school teacher and environmentalist by training. Wrote paper: “URDT Experiences in Integrated Rural Development, using the Visionary Approach’’.

Ephrem, Silvana, MM at Graduation
GS Students_edited

URDT was established in order to address the shortcomings of the many development programs found in rural Uganda.


The aim of the URDT development model is the merging of truly functional education and training with a focus on sustainable rural development. This combination has provided an outlet to empower the marginalized people living in rural communities.


URDT put this model into practice in 1987 and has been working with rural people, particularly women and youth ever since. URDT has evolved, applied, and tested their rural development methodology based on the principles of the creative process and systems thinking. This methodology enables individuals and communities to:

  1. Identify their needs and aspirations

  2. Identify locally available resources before looking for outside aid

  3. Become the architect of their future


This has fostered an environment for students to confidently create their own prosperity, peace, health, happiness, and freedom. Visit website....

  • +200 young women and their families educated at URDT Girls School

  • 1,000 young visionary leaders & change agents

  • 4,000+ Back Home projects 

  • 12 additional public schools that are using—two-generation approach

  • 13,500 family members in producing sustainable income 

  • 3M Community Radio Listeners in 10+ Districts 

ARU Graduation

ARU is one of Uganda’s newest universities and the first all-women rural university in Africa. 


Founded by Uganda Rural Development and Training Program (URDT) in 2006, this university is focused on providing women with the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to be effective rural development specialists and change agents in their communities.


ARU has taken the URDT creative process and systems thinking methodologies to create a university curriculum aimed at fostering the knowledge to create the sustainable development the rural communities need.

ARU's Mission: The African Rural University for women provides transformational education to create effective change agents within an African development context. ARU applies theoretical learning, innovative instruction and field practice, so that ARU graduates can create conditions for people to improve their lives, transform their communities, awaken inherent leadership and increase their capacity for self-generating and sustainable change. Visit website...

  • 80+ young women Rural Transformation graduates

  • 51 of them are employed as URDT Epicenter Managers.

  • 540 artisans who were trained by URDT 

  • 34,000 young people. 19,000 of whom have already become entrepreneurs in the last two years.


THOUSANDS OF SUCCESSFUL STORIES. See the Ronnie Murungi Story- 2023 school dropout turned entrepreneur


Ronnie Murungi a resident of Rwengoma Village in Fort Portal, faced school dropout due to financial constraints. Life proved to be challenging until he enrolled at the URDT institute. After completion of the program, he managed to start his carpentry workshop. See Ronnie Murungi clip.

​In 2023, The URDT Initiative focused on individuals with disabilities and school dropoutsURDT was featured on national TV. It highlighted URDT's contribution to curbing youth unemployment in Western Uganda. The initiative has a widespread reach of 540 learning centers, trained 34,000 youth across 20 districts including people with disabilities. 60% of the youth have transited into dignified work. The initiative is aimed at skilling young people, develop their entrepreneurship, leadership skills and innovation capacities in order to create jobs, sustain them as well.  The goal is to train 70,000 youth by 2025.

The Young Africa Works Program is funded by MasterCard.

"Because of the entrepreneur skills I gained from URDT, I am now able to employ more workers and train students in my workshop". 

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