Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 year in review: the launch pad

Kelly Child, UVP's Managing
Director, shares about what
we've done in 2015...and
what's next!
By Kelly Child, UVP's Managing Director

Squeezed in to our modest office in Iganga, every staff member of UVP along with Alison, our fearless leader and Board Chair, are sitting focused on Leslie, our Executive Director, while she guides us through the beginning of our strategic planning meeting. This was one of the few moments of quiet during our session. We visited our strengths, explored what was working with our programs, and envisioned our future. 

Although more formal than most, this was only one of many planning meetings that staff held this year. We are laying the framework to make some profound shifts in programming in the coming years with the goal of increasing our efficacy of each of our programs. But these pending adjustments doesn’t mean work doesn’t continue in the meantime. We've done a lot in 2015 -- and the year isn't quite done!

For our fistula program, our partnership with Uganda Childbirth Injuries Foundation is going strong and the Fistula Foundation awarded us a second grant to find, transport, and follow up with fistula patients from Eastern Uganda. This year we provided these services to 46 patients and plan to continue with another camp in February 2016. 

Orrin and Julius, our first cohort of Global Health Corps (GHC) Fellows finished their time with UVP by conducting a follow-up survey in coordination with Iganga District. This survey compared level of education, practice of behaviors, and other public health knowledge areas between intervention villages, ones that UVP had already worked with, and non-intervention villages, ones we have yet to work with. Overall, the level of education and practice of intervention villages was between 10% and 27% higher than non-intervention villages. Our second cohort of GHC Fellows, Ruth and Rachel, will be continuing to refine our monitoring and evaluation processes as well as define and implement communication processes and new elements to our summer internship program. 

Internship this year was very successful! We hosted 40 international and national interns to work in seven villages: 4 launch teams, 1 follow up team, and 2 project teams. One of our launch teams in Nabirere B identified an opportunity to empower young girls in the village by providing a forum to discuss challenges of being a girl in the village, ask questions about health topics, and receive positive support for their future dreams, or just give them permission to dream. Elements such as these are being considered in future programming to provide an even more holistic approach to our Healthy Villages model. 

UVP staff members were not the only ones reviewing and dreaming about the future of our organization. The Board met in Portland, Oregon to review previous versions and draft a new three year strategic plan. From this, we will evaluate the best ways to proceed forward in order to make our programs even more effective. 

All exciting things! 

You see, making changes doesn’t necessarily happen all at once, but then you look back and you see just how far you have gone. We wouldn’t be making the strides we are today without the support of donors like you. Thank you! 

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