Monday 2nd December 2019


MIDDAY GMT Monday 13th January 2020




We anticipate making 5-8 investments of £200,000 to £500,000 for 36 to 42 months. 

Apply now (opens in new window)


Red Nose Day 2015 saw Comic Relief and UK aid partner to deliver the ‘All In, All Learning!' Aid Match programme. The programme aims to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for the poorest and most disadvantaged children, while building stronger and more inclusive education systems in sub-Saharan Africa.  To date, the programme has supported 23 organisations working in six sub-Saharan African countries. 

Comic Relief and UK aid are investing further funds in the All In, All Learning programme to enhance its impact and reach.  

Under this funding call, we are looking to invest in a group of national organisations in Uganda (see Eligibility criteria below) to work individually, and collectively, to support disadvantaged children of pre-primary age and/or children with disabilities to claim their right to a quality education.

Before beginning an application, please take the eligibility quiz, check our main eligibility criteria and download and read the proposal guidance(opens in new window) thoroughly.

Eligibility Quiz (opens in new window)


Quality education is a human right. And it is one that can enhance economic growth and contribute to a more peaceful and democratic society. These benefits, however, can only be realised if children are in school and learning. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) challenge us to ‘leave no one behind’ – and to reach those who are furthest behind first. SDG 4 sets a bold and ambitious new challenge to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” by 2030. Those furthest behind and hardest to reach form the focus of the work funded under the All In, All Learning! initiative.

This funding call focuses on accelerating change specifically for children with disabilities and disadvantaged children of pre-primary age. Why?

  • Promoting early childhood development: Early childhood presents a window of opportunity to make a profound difference in a child’s life.  A co-ordinated Early Childhood Development (ECD) approach – encompassing nutrition, health, safety and protection, care and stimulation – is one of the most cost-effective ways to break cycles of inequity and inequality that occur generation after generation. The potential benefits from supporting ECD range from healthy development to greater capacity to learn while in school and increased productivity in adulthood.

In 2016, 91% of Uganda’s children were not accessing pre-primary education1.  Over 80% of ECD centres are estimated to be privately owned2 and pre-primary enrolment rates are low, especially among vulnerable children living in rural and post-conflict areas, those in isolated communities, and the urban poor.  ECD facilities are often of poor quality and there are minimal integrated services to help parents support the needs of their young children at home[3].

  • Supporting children with disabilities:Children with disabilities, and their families, face a range of additional barriers to accessing quality education.  Without timely and appropriate early intervention, support and protection, their difficulties can become more severe – often leading to lifetime consequences, increased poverty and profound exclusion[4].   

In Uganda, approximately 2.5 million children are living with some form of disability[5]. Only approximately 9% of boys and girls of school going age with disabilities attend primary school and only 6% of them progress to secondary school6.  While policies are in place to support their access to a quality education, discriminatory attitude, a shortage of specialist teachers and facilities, and a lack of resources and coordination for implementing policy present ongoing challenges.


The All In, All Learning! Programme Framework(opens in new window) has three key outcomes:

  • Outcome 1: Marginalised children are able to access and remain in inclusive, quality education

  • Outcome 2: Education systems and staff have the capacity to deliver safe and inclusive, quality education

  • Outcome 3: Parents, communities and civil society organisations are actively engaged in strengthening inclusive, quality education

Funding is available for organisations contributing to one or more of these outcomes, specifically for children with disabilities and/or disadvantaged children of pre-primary age, who adopt a holistic approach. 

In addition to investing in individual organisations (or partnerships), we will explore the opportunity to bring funded organisations together in a partner-led Learning Network.  This will mirror the approach already taken in Tanzania and Malawi under the All In, All Learning programme. Connections between the networks across the three countries (and beyond) will be established to facilitate learning between countries.  These networks aim to create space for shared learning and joint action, and to find opportunities for greater collective impact by playing to respective strengths and avoiding duplication of efforts.


We will invest in organisations whose work is both delivering change for individual children, and, critically, is contributing to systems-level change through working in partnership with government, civil society partners and communities.

We are interested in investing in work specifically meeting the needs of children with disabilities and/or disadvantaged children of pre-primary age.

We are looking to invest in organisations that:

i) demonstrate;

a) a deep understanding of the barriers preventing progress for children with disabilities and / or disadvantaged children of pre-primary age being made towards the three Outcomes above and b) an understanding of the policies and resources that are required to make systems more inclusive and responsive to children with disabilities and / or children of pre-primary age.   

ii) have a track record of successfully supporting children’s development in their early years and facilitating a positive transition to primary education. More specifically, we will invest in organisations that are fostering cross-sectoral collaboration and ensuring quality education-focused interventions are part of broader, holistic ECD efforts (as recommended in the Nurturing Care Framework(opens in new window)), from community to national level in Uganda.    


have a track record of successfully supporting children with disabilities to access a quality education – this will likely include work to address stigma and discrimination, strengthen supportive technologies and services (e.g. assistive devices, adapted learning materials, trained teachers and support services) and improve children’s access to this specialist, tailored support. 

iii) meaningfully involve children, their parents/carers, teachers, and community members in the design, delivery and review of their work.

iv) value working in partnership with other organisations and are willing to participate in a national Learning Network to share their experience, learn from their peers, and be open to collaborate in joint action for greater impact.  

We are interested in investing in a range of approaches across a continuum of activities from those that directly support children of pre-primary age and/or with disabilities, their families and service providers to those that aim to influence national-level policy.  This will likely include:

  • Providing family level support – for parents and carers, and other family members so they can give care that promotes a healthy development of their young children; direct support for children who are marginalised, living in deprivation or living with disabilities; support for children and families experiencing or at risk of neglect, or abuse.

  • Community level support and a holistic approach to ECD – promoting Early Childhood Development and mobilising community action; community-based and pre-school activities that address gaps in young children’s health, nutrition, early learning, responsive caregiving, and safety and protection through a holistic response as recommended in the Nurturing Care framework(opens in new window). 


  • Coordination of, and increasing access to, services – ensuring greater access to available Early Childhood Development services (as identified in the Nurturing Care Framework) and particularly for children with disabilities; facilitating collaboration between communities, non-governmental, governmental and other services for a joined-up approach that links services through referrals, and follow-up. 

  • Creating an enabling environment for inclusive education – developing greater understanding and support among key stakeholders at community, county, district and/or national level; facilitating learning between partners working in complementary areas; influencing policy (including the development and dissemination of guidelines, procedures, policy and implementation plans); contributing to social accountability and the implementation of policies and commitments.

Lastly, funded organisations will be supported to build their organisation’s capacity and resilience with the aim of their contribution to positive change continuing beyond the life of the grant. 


Before beginning an application, please take the eligibility quiz, check our main eligibility criteria and download and read the proposal guidance(opens in new window) thoroughly.

Eligibility Quiz(opens in new window)

For this specific opportunity, organisations that are currently delivering work that is specifically benefiting children with disabilities and / or children of pre-primary age are invited to apply, ensuring that they meet the criteria below:

  • Applications can be made by single applicants.  Organisations can apply in partnership but a lead partner who will hold the grant must be an organisation originating (and registered) in Uganda. 

  • We can only fund organisations that fit in our general income criteria (£75,000 to £10 million). Take a look  here for more information.

  • Applicants are welcome to include collaboration with government bodies in their application, but Comic Relief will not fund government organisations.

  • Funding for £200,000 to £500,000 is available for a period of 36 to 42 months. All funded projects must end by 31st January 2024.

  • We expect all applicants to consider how funding could be used to strengthen their organisational capacity (and that of their partners) and to include budget dedicated to building their capacity. This may be for specific activity costs or allocations to core / indirect costs. 

  • Lead applicants and all partners must have policies and practices in place that keep children and vulnerable adults they work with safe.  (Funding can be used to help strengthen policies and practice to meet  DFID’s Enhanced Due Diligence Standards for Safeguarding(opens in new window).)


  • This is a one-stage application process.

  • Please ensure you take the Eligibility Quiz and read the Proposal Guidance(opens in new window) thoroughly before beginning your application.

  • Your application should be completed through our online system, GEM. 

  • The deadline for applications will be 13th January 2020 at Midday GMT.

  • Applications will then be reviewed and those shortlisted will progress to the next stage which will be an assessment visit.  

  • Assessments will be conducted between 24th February and 19th March 2020. 

  • Funding decisions will be made by the Comic Relief Trustees at the end of May 2020.

1 According to the Budget Monitoring and Accountability Unit (BMAU) of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development  2 FENGOU, 2014 3 UNICEF, 2015 4 WHO, UNICEF 5 Uganda's Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and UNICEF Uganda, 2014 6 UNICEF