About Alice Achan
In 2002 Alice Achan founded CCF Pader, the not-for-profit organization responsible for the Pader Girls’ Academy, in response to a need to help girl mothers arriving back from the war traumatised, physically and spiritually broken.
For the past 10 years Alice and her organization have brought hope and practical support to hundreds of young boys and girls firstly by reuniting families separated by war, and more recently by focusing on educating, restoring and training the young mothers.
Like the girls she now cares for, Alice is from the Acholi tribe, a proud and enterprising people known for their stature and dignity. Before the conflict they tended their fertile land and lived in relative prosperity.
Alice is no stranger to the suffering of the girls, having grown up through the conflict in northern Uganda and fleeing to the bush each night to escape abduction.
When she escaped to the capital city of Kampala in her late teens she decided to put her past behind her and make something of her life. She never imagined that she would go back to the source of her painful childhood, but felt called back to the north in her twenties once she finished her counselling training.
The day she arrived back in her village of Pader in the north as a young woman she was reminded of the devastation she had left whenthe LRA rebels attacked the Pader town camp and slaughtered innocent people. When she found a one year old baby girl still suckling on the breast of her dead mother she broke down.
She has lost count of the number of innocent nieces, nephews, other close family members and friends abducted or brutally killed in the conflict.
For the past twelve years she has worked tirelessly to help her community. She started the school to provide a haven for the girl mothers and their babies, but Alice and her board of CCF Pader see the need far beyond that education. They are now looking to livelihood for the girls, to providing a future for the babies of the girl mothers and to reaching out to the most vulnerable in surrounding communities.
One CCF Pader program reaches out to needy and elderly people in isolated communities. Called the “Seeds of Love” (SOL) these women operate as caregivers, providing prayer, practical support and daily needs to the most marginalized around them, despite being in similarly poor conditions. The Seeds of Love started as an outreach in the IDP (internally displaced persons) camps where up to a million Acholi people lived for twenty years.
In addition, CCF Pader has established a restaurant called Mega Ber in the town so girls studying hospitality can learn and practice their skills. The restaurant sells fresh bakery products and local food. CCF is now opening up scholarship opportunities for the PGA girls to study nursing and teaching, in partnership with supporters.
PGA has a nursery for the babies and toddlers so the girls can study undisturbed, and will soon open a pre-school for the children of girl mothers.