Invisible Children

Impact: Enhanced training and resources for 6 teachers affecting over 300 students, and this effect will expand over time. The program will bring 6 Ugandan teachers to the U.S. for a week long intensive teacher-training program after which they will return to their schools and spread what they’ve learned.

Invisible Children’s Teacher Exchange program was created to enhance present educational models, and to establish long-term learning opportunities for both international and Ugandan teachers.

Teachers in northern Uganda have limited opportunities for personal and professional development. Classrooms in the north typically have huge student numbers, often complicated by a lack of space, a lack of furniture, and a lack of textbooks and other resources. So as Invisible Children’s Schools for Schools Program works to address problems with space and supplies, the Teacher Exchange provides a dynamic opportunity for educators to engage in team teaching,

information sharing, and skill building – all with the purpose of generating collaboration among teachers from around the world.

Invisible children has begun measuring the success of its education programs, which includes the Teacher Exchange. The 11 schools that Invisible Children began its partnership with were in steep academic decline in 2007 when the program began, since the intervention, however, the decline has been dramatically slowed and measurable academic progress has been made.

We’ve also included some incentive money in our grants so that the teachers in this program that bring the best improvement to their schools will get an extra reward, helping to ensure the efficacy of the program.


The Reciprocal Teacher Exchange Program is providing a dynamic opportunity involving three teachers in each setting. The Ugandan teacher is paired with a Host teacher (a former Teacher Exchange participant willing to open his/her home to the Ugandan teacher for one month), and a Partner teacher (a teacher who teaches at the Host’s school, is willing to share his/her classroom, and does not have prior experience with the Teacher Exchange). The experience had such a remarkably formative impact on all of the teachers and their school communities that their 2010 Teacher Exchange participants, Schools for Schools and The Teacher Exchange have agreed that Invisible Children has to continue this incredible program.

Get a glimpse of the impact from the 2010 Teacher Reciprocal Exchange with the quotes below:

“Lydia is a most amazing individual. We enjoyed having her at Ridge View so much. We (the teachers) learned so much from her. With all the education cutbacks we are suffering across the US, Lydia’s ability to share how little they have to teach with has made us stop and take notice of all that we have to be grateful for. She opened many a student’s eyes when she told them that their children are very grateful to even be in school. I do believe our excesses are debilitating in many ways. We expect everything and when a little is taken away, we wonder how we will function. So many lessons can continue to be learned through these teacher exchanges and the impact they have on both sides of our world! Thank you to Invisible Children for all they do to keep us all aware!

Much love to Lydia!! We miss her!”
~Mary Harmon and Diane Melton

“Allow me to say this has been an experience of this millennium and my fun and exposure in New York City, and now with the exciting girls of Nerinx Hall High school, makes it incomparable to any other experience. This venture will prove to many Ugandans that teaching is noble and that it is a globally treasured profession.”
~Okaali John