about us

Our story begins in 1977, when Dr. Hugh Austin Windle Pilkington established Windle Charitable Trust in Kenya (now Windle International Kenya).  

Hugh was teaching at the University of Nairobi in the early 1970s and pursuing his interest in ancient scriptural texts, which were written in the Ethiopic language of Geez. Through his work he met young refugees who had fled violence in Ethiopia, desperate to continue their education but unable to do so.

This encounter with the refugees drew his attention to the desperation of young people abandoning their education and countries to secure their lives. It dawned on him the fundamental role education plays in helping young people secure a future for themselves and their communities.

Using his own funds and contacts, he sought to secure places at Cambridge and Oxford (where he had studied for his own Bachelors and PhD), and at other universities in the UK and elsewhere to give the young refugees an opportunity to fulfil their education potential. A visionary of breadth and insight, Hugh could see the transformative power of education and made a decision to establish a charity to invest in the education of refugees.

In 1986, Hugh Pilkington was tragically killed in a car accident when undertaking a lecture tour of Canadian universities to promote study opportunities for refugees. He left his personal estate to be used to expand the work of Windle and to continue his support of refugee education more widely. In 1988, the Hugh Pilkington Charitable Trust (HPCT) was created to hold the legacy left by Hugh. HPCT used the funds to expand the work of Windle in Khartoum (1989) and Uganda (1996). Later when South Sudan became an independent country, Windle Trust International (WTI), a sister organisation of Windle International opened operation in South Sudan in 2005. WTI manages Windle’s work in Sudan, South Sudan, and Oxford, UK.

In 2019, Windle International registered and became operational in Somalia as Windle International Somalia. To date, the HPCT has continued to support the work of Windle in line with Dr. Hugh Pilkington’s legacy and wishes.

Windle International is a charity registered in the UK. It coordinates the work of Windle in Uganda, Kenya, Somalia and is currently working towards expanding the work of Windle work in Rwanda where it has recently registered.  Windle International has fundraising and marketing offices based in North America and Europe, who support the vision of Hugh Pilkington by raising awareness and diversifying Windle’s funding base for its work in Eastern Africa.


Windle International Uganda (WIU) is an International Non-Governmental Organization registered in Uganda providing access to Education for refugees in 12 refugee settlements country wide. Our mandate is to expand access to and improve the quality of education for refugees and communities affected by conflict, neglect, or discrimination.

WIU is a member of Windle International which also implements educational programmes in Kenya and Somalia through Windle International Kenya and Windle International Somalia. A sister trust, Windle Trust International implements educational programmes in Sudan and South Sudan, and a postgraduate scholarship programme for African students at UK universities.

WIU was established in 1996 with the aim of promoting peace and development in communities. We provide access to quality education and training and advocate for the rights and needs of the underserved people.

In partnership with the government of Uganda through, the Prime Minister’s office and development partners, we operate on all stages of education, from early childhood development to primary, secondary, graduate, post-graduate and vocational training. Our education interventions help students to think creatively about development challenges, and discover ways to solve them.

Over the last 27 years, we have made great strides in delivering education programmes for refugees in the districts of; Yumbe, Koboko, Adjumani, Moyo, Obongi, Arua, Madi-Okollo, Terego, Kiryandongo, Kikuube, Kyegwegwa, Kamwenge, Isingiro, Lamwo and in Kampala where the head office is located.

WIU currently employs over 3,000 humanitarian workers across 11 refugee settlements in Uganda to deliver our program areas of; Education Management, Scholarships Management, Research and Policy Advocacy, Youth Engagement, and Institutional Management. WIU approach in managing education helps students to think creatively about development challenges, and promote self-realization

Windle International's Timeline
mission and vision

All young people are empowered, resilient and inspired through education and training to transform society


To provide opportunities and access, influence and advocate for quality education and training for refugees, the marginalised and conflict affected communities to create lasting change in their lives and society



WIU core objectives
  • To facilitate access to safe and quality ECD, primary and secondary
    education to refugees and people affected by  conflict.
  • To facilitate access to scholarships for secondary, tertiary and vocational education for refugees and people affected by conflict.
  • To strengthen youth engagement for improved skills and knowledge.
  • To support and facilitate research for evidence-based programming and advocacy.
  • To strengthen organizational systems and policies for institutional development. institutional growth.
WIU Core Values

Respect for Individuals
WIU shall value and uphold with dignity the potential and worth of every individual, including beneficiaries, staff, partners and stakeholders.

WIU shall promote fairness through equitable treatment and nurturing of staff and beneficiaries.

Honesty and Transparency
WIU shall operate with honesty and transparency with donors, beneficiaries, stakeholders and within the organization.

Professional Conduct
WIU shall adhere to the highest professional standards in the management of its programmes.

WIU shall practice responsible stewardship of resources by ensuring efficient and prudent use of funds and equipment & by always seeking value for money.

safe guarding

At Windle International Uganda, we understand our increasing role in the humanitarian space and the need to work with other aid agencies to safeguard those we serve from sexual harassment, exploitation and abuse. The safety and wellbeing of all Persons of Concerns as they come into contact with our services across all operations is something we take seriously.

Safeguarding is therefore a vital process that protects children and adults from harm, abuse, and neglect.

As passionate advocates for fundamental human rights, we have dedicated measures in place that prevent the abuse of all people, particularly those who fall within our support systems, including women, children, and vulnerable people. We are aware that the opportunities and services provided through our programmes can create a power differential between those who are employed by us and potential programme participants. We acknowledge that there is a risk for this power imbalance to be exploited.

We have put in place guidelines and policies to ensure that those under our care are protected from any form of abuse. It is the duty of every WIU staff member in a school or at a workplace including contractors to safeguard all children, provide awareness and the right services to those who are unable to protect themselves from abuse, harm and neglect.

We also have a comprehensive Global Safeguarding and Protection Framework which has been developed to ensure the maximum protection of programme participants across all countries of operation from exploitation, and to clarify the responsibilities of our staff, volunteers and visitors to the projects and the standards of behaviour expected from them.

Download our Global Safeguarding & Protection Policy Framework 

Download our Safeguarding Code of Conduct 

Download our Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) Policy

board of trustees
the secretariat