STEP-UP (Sustain Train, Educate and Promote Uganda) is a Karuna Center program involving a group of volunteer U.S. professionals (health and social services) who have developed an ongoing partnership with a community based, non-profit organization based in Northern Uganda, STEP-UP Uganda (SUU). Northern Uganda was the site of a 20-year armed conflict and the region lacks adequate roads, water, electricity and economic resources. It has high rates of infant mortality, child health issues, malaria, war-related trauma and other serious medical and psychosocial conditions. The goal of the project is for the US team to offer medical capacity building through training and consultation with SUU and Ugandan health workers through annual visits as well as year-round online support, using a training of trainers model. The project is predicated on the belief that medical and psychosocial well-being are inextricably related to infrastructure development and sustaining peace and reconciliation. In its first visit in 2011, STEP-UP worked collaboratively with local Ugandan health providers about malaria prevention, safe sex, neonatal resuscitation, avoiding child dehydration and how to respond to a range of other medical challenges.
STEP-UP is also working to increase the organizational capacity of SUU to access resources to respond to the region's needs. SUU has been implementing programs in Northern Uganda by partnering with service providers to deliver essential health care services, education, psychosocial support, agriculture and infrastructural development. SUU has also been working with partners in the field of democracy and promotion of good governance. As a goal SUU wants to help increase the number of women involved in and holding high political posts and participating in the electoral process.
In the words of SUU, "we envision a world in which individuals, families, and communities have the capacity and hope to build conditions that promote total health, education good governance and livelihood. The activities of SUU are therefore meant to address health needs, good living standards, timely delivery of services, promotion of democracy, good governance and open opportunities for the young to build a strong nurturing working society in the whole Acholi sub-region."
Support STEP-UP Directly
To donate directly to the STEP-UP project, please write a check payable to STEP-UP and mail it to:
Karuna Center for Peacebuilding, 447 West Street, Amherst, MA 01002
To learn and read more about STEP-UP, check out the most recent field reports below: