The Republic of Uganda is a country in East Africa similar in size to the state of Oregon. Straddling the equator, this land locked country is bordered by Tanzania and Rwanda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, Sudan to the north, and Kenya to the east and it has a diverse terrain with plains, forests, lakes, swamps, and mountains. Much of the south is forested and most of the north is grassland. The country’s high altitude moderates the tropical climate. Uganda is generally rainy with two dry seasons from December-February and June-August. The population is largely rural; its density is highest in the south.
Uganda’s population is just at 38 million and is made up of a hodgepodge of African natives where no one ethnic group dominates. 42% of Ugandans are Protestant, almost another 42% are Catholic, and about 12%t are Muslim. English is the official language and Swahili is a second official language used particularly in the north. Other languages, such as Luganda, are used for small-scale commerce.
Sub-Saharan Africa, where Uganda lies, bears the heaviest burden of the AIDS epidemic. Data gathered in 2014 by the CIA World FactBook shows that 1.5 million Ugandans are infected with the AIDS virus. Due to the AIDS epidemic and other deceases such as malaria and past civil wars, there are approximately 2.5 million orphans. 50% of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15, the lowest of any nation in the world, with a life expectancy of 55 years and high infant mortality rates due to scarce medical care.
Uganda is one of the poorest nations in the world. Working class citizens in the larger cities may take home the equivalent of $150 US dollars, or less, per month. Yet, 80% of the population live in rural areas and mainly labor in the agriculture fields receiving far less. Orphans, as young a 6 years old, will work in the fields for nothing more than a daily meal.