ERIC’s mission is to save lives through early recognition. In June of 2022 The Paul McBeth Foundation offered ERIC the chance to join them in Uganda as they built the community of Katosi a disc golf course.
Initially, the plan had been to run a single educational event. However the team knew this project’s potential impact was large enough to warrant more research. They connected with Jamil Kisubi, a former resident of the Katosi region, avid frisbee enthusiast, and now Program Director of Uganda Projects for ERIC. After hearing ERIC’s plan for Uganda, his opinion was that more could be done for the people of his home region. We offered Jamil the position at ERIC to lead this and future projects and he accepted.
If we truly wanted to make change, Jamil told us, we’d have to have an outreach campaign, create and host numerous educational events (not just the one), and finally we’d have to provide continued support after the Paul Mcbeth Foundation event came to an end.
We got started on outreach first. Jamil made contacts with people he knew in Katosi to help inform the community of a future event. ERIC Program Coordinator, Damalie Musasizi and Jovia, her assistant, both Katosi residents, became the vanguard charged with spreading the word. They did so through word of mouth, but also via a survey that ended up receiving over a thousand responses. More than that though, they assisted in teaching self screening practices to as many people as they could. One such interaction actually led to a local woman identifying a lump. ERIC assisted in finding treatment for her and happily received a negative test result.
Concurrently to the survey, ERIC coordinated with the Ugandan Institute of Cancer to plan short, one hour events for any who wanted to attend. This training model ultimately led to the grand event on 12/10/2022 where 80 Village Health Teams (local units of people charged with learning the latest in health and wellness and disseminating that information to their community) were in attendance.
After all the time and effort to plan, the event ended with the VHT’s, members of ERIC, and the Paul McBeth Foundation playing a round of disc golf in the newly built course. The feedback we received from the event was tremendous and due to the success in Katosi, Jamil, Damalie, and Jovia are using it as a model for spreading health and wellness to neighboring regions. We renewed the contracts for our staff for 2023 and are currently planning the next project in the Mukono area and beyond. Stay tuned to this blog and our social media accounts to hear more about our work in Uganda.
Jamil, ERIC’s Program Director, and point of contact for all Ugandan Projects, answered our interview questions this month. Check out what he had to say!
(1) What fictional character do you wish existed in real life?
(2) What advice would you give yourself five years ago?
To enjoy every step of life, To never give up
(3) Given the opportunity to live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
(4) What’s an old wives tale, myth, or motto that you’ve never forgotten?
You reap what you sow
(5) What do you hope comes to pass in a hundred years?
A world without borders