New Testament celebration

SIL has recognised more than 7,000 languages used in the world today — more than 600 in Africa alone. Here in Uganda, SIL serves in eight unique language communities.

SIL has played a role in Uganda's language development efforts since the early 1990s. The Ethnologue lists 41 living languages in Uganda including various languages of displaced people groups. In 1993, an SIL linguist conducted an extensive survey of six of those languages under the direction of Makerere University in Kampala. This research identified the need for development in at least five of those six languages.

By 1998 SIL had begun language development projects in four (Lubwisi, Lugungu, Lugwere and Lunyole) languages, as well as continuing work among languages of displaced people groups from surrounding countries. Another language development project was started in the Ik language in 2008. In that same year, a Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up between SIL and Here Is Life (a Ugandan NGO), for SIL to provide consulting and technical support to the Aringa translation project. In 2009 a new translation project was started in Kwamba. In 2010 a project was established in partnership with The Seed Company involving seven languages (Ma’di North, Ma’di Okollo/South, Ndrulo, Rufumbira, Ruruuli/Runyara, Thur, and Kupsapiiny). SIL continues to work with the Ma’di Okollo, Ndrulo, Ruruuli-Runyala, and Thur communities to support their desires for translation and language development.

SIL International is a faith-based non-profit organization and was first registered as an NGO in Uganda in late 1998. SIL has developed partnerships and cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Sports as well as other organizations in Uganda which share similar objectives. SIL was one of the founding organizations of the Uganda Multilingual Education Network (MLEN) in 2010.