Uganda Martyrs Vocational Institution (UMVI), was established by Soroti Catholic Diocese in 1996, to provide Vocational and Technical skills to youth from poor families that had been affected by the Uganda Peoples’ Army (UPA) war of 1986-1992 and the cattle rustling by armed Karimojong warriors. The UPA war came in the aftermath of the several decades of cattle rustling by Karimojong warriors. After the war and armed cattle rustling that ravaged Teso and left the region in dire economic poverty, many youth (orphans) in Teso were left vulnerable, and they were turning into a security risk for the communities. Most of these youth were already refugees living in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps within Soroti Municipality.
Uganda Martyrs Vocational Institution was started by Soroti Catholic Diocese in 1993, but officially commissioned in 1996. The school formally opened in 1996 with three courses, namely Brick-laying, Carpentry and Tailoring. The institution’s goal was to impart basic vocational and technical skills to primary seven leavers, and to those who have not reached primary seven, so that they could become economically productive in the community.