managed by G. Fred (Communication)
STEP-UG is pro-poor and specializes in remote and hard to reach areas where the organization delivers life –transforming interventions to people, families and communities. To date STEP-UG operates in Eastern Region with over 40 districts each with a focal person coordinating and overseeing the operations there. Our coordinating office is in Mbale municipality.
What we do?
Environmental Protection, Conservation and Education:
STEP-UG achieves this through tree planting, drainage system opening, protection of international water resources and community mobilization about the value of the environment.
Agricultural modernization and education:
Food security, as defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), exists when all peopleat all times have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needsand food preferences for an active and healthy life.
Although Uganda is endowed with fertile soils and favorable climatic conditions, the country regularly faces food shortages. Currently, 80% of primary children (Baby class to primary seven) and secondary students go without food (Breakfast and Lunch) on a daily basis.
It is therefore a priority area in STEP-UG to sensitize the community to actively participate in commercial production by adapting and adopting modern farming techniques i.e. use of manure, mulching, crop rotation among others.
Water, health and sanitation:
STEP-UG has a conviction that for a country to be productive, its citizen must be healthy, hygienic and have access to save drinking water. It is on this basis that we take time to mobilize and sensitize our beneficiaries to demand their leaders the desired services.
Communities are at the heart of STEP-UG’s work. We seek to strengthen health systems and to design and enhance interventions that improve people’s access to health through their active participation. We strive to enable communities to live healthier lives every day. We work with the poorest and most marginalized people in Uganda;those living in remote rural areas and areas affected by disasters. We develop health projects/activities in close consultation with communities so that they are relevant to their specific needs. We help the communities to
Identify their own health needs and then work with them to develop projects/activities that will meet these needs.
We believe that the community is resourceful, and so we put their interests/ opinions first.
STEP-UG enables communities to take control of their own health and to help them demand the assistance and services to which they are entitled too. Within the different communities, we target those who are most vulnerable to ill health such as women, Children under the age of five and youths. Our health focus is, improving maternal and child health, fighting diseases notably HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, malaria and water born diseases.
STEP-UG espouses core values of objectivity, fairness, truth, transparency and collective action. We believe in factual presentation of issues in order to effectively influence the powers that be and thus cause a positive change for the good of the people. This requires information. The focus of this program is to research, manage and disseminate information with the intention of stimulating action from both organization and duty bearers.
Members’ Capacity Development (MCD):
STEP- UG believes in effectively creating greater impact if it carries out its work through its members that are found in virtually in a very district. More so to build a greater clout and become a force to reckon, the organization focuses on building capacities of its members to effectively engage local authorities and monitor performance of local officials in their catchment areas.
Establishing strategic alliances and partnerships:
STEP- UG cannot work in isolation. To effectively carry out its advocacy and capacity building activities, strong alliances or partnerships with strategic stakeholders is established. This involve among others securing membership with strategic national advocacy organizations, creating linkages with government oversight agencies and negotiating a collaboration framework with local governments.
Currently, STEP-UG is coordinating DENIVA activities in Bugisu sub region.
How we operate:
In carrying out project activities, we employ an integrated, consultative and participatory approach that is multidisciplinary in nature. The Organization executes its mandate through a three-prolonged approach, namely:-
Carrying out Civic education, to build the civic competence of citizens so that every citizen of this region becomes aware of his or her rights and responsibilities, and among other things that education for children, food security,and environmental conservation is each of us responsibility which every citizen of this country must take part.
Networking with other stakeholders: We involve both civil society and public sector, to promote Environment conservation, Modern farming, education, health, water and sanitation, capacity building among others.
Through open places like; churches, schools, mosques and other similar places of gatherings (Markets).
STEP- UG has the following core values that guide its dealings with all its members, employees, partners, allies and stakeholders and will often bring these core values to the attention of all the categories of stakeholders at the earliest opportunity possible.
1. Integrity: Be open, honest and ethical in everything we do.
2. Courage:Standup and be heard, do the right thing, take action, make decisions that are appropriate to your level of responsibility.
3. Urgency: Act quickly, our beneficiaries expect a lot from us, our development partners have trust in us.
4. Respect:Listen, hear the value in every ones ideas, and appreciate every one for their own contributions and abilities.
5. Excellence: Striving for the highest achievements in everything we do. Establish a model of excellence for others to replicate. Don’t ever be satisfied. Invent better ways.
6. Accountability:STEP-UG upholds upward, downward and professional accountabilities, respectively.
7. Transparency:STEP-UG performs its mandate of combating corruption, promotion of Human Rights, peace and democratic governance with all the openness.
8. Community-participation:STEP-UG involves communities in the project areas in the implementation of its planned activities.
STEP-UGS’ GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP:
STEP-Uganda has a constitution, and policies, namely, Financial Policies, Human Resource Policies, Good Governance Policies, Conflict of Interests Policies and Gender Policies, among others, to promote the proper governance of the organization.
As part of its governance structure, STEP-Uganda has the following organs of governance:-
General Assembly - the Supreme Policy Making Organ of the Agency
Board of Directors (headed by a Chairman & deputized by Vice Chairman) – is the Policy-making Body, which provides Strategic Management Support to the Secretariat.
Advisory Board (A Team of Patrons & Technical & Legal Advisors) - Provides Advisory Service to the Organization.
Secretariat (headed by the Executive director) is responsible for the routine management of the Organization. Within the Secretariat, there is a Program Manager coordinator supported by a core of full-time staffers who oversee the day-to-day affairs & ensure smooth running of the activities of STEP-Uganda.
Whereas the Secretariat works full time, the General Assembly, Board of Directors and Advisory Board are not, but work based on schedules
CURRENT CONSTRAINTS IN STEP-UG
The following are the specific problems we encounter in managing STEP-Uganda and in pursuing its mandate:-
Inadequate Funds: Whereas STEP-UG has started implementing some of its programmes, especially, in rural areas through volunteer efforts, it finds difficulties in raising its own funds since it is a non-profit-making organization and there is still no donor-funding available to the organization.
However, some of the above problems are being mitigated through in-house training of staff members by the Program Coordinator to integrate the key values of STEP-UG into the organization’s workings, promoting shared vision and mission and enhance relevant skills among the staffers; getting volunteers, periodic monitoring and evaluation of the Organization’s performance, and networking with other organizations which have been there much longer in the area of Community development.