The SOUP Team
Co-founder | Executive Director
Michael Kaidhiwa has an infectious love of his country and his people. He believes we are all capable of doing great things, “even the little children”. Michael was born and raised in Nabikabala Village, where The African SOUP is located. He reminisces on the days when he would sit beneath the mango trees and watch his nine siblings play soccer with a ball made of banana fibers and rope. He knew his community was capable of doing great things – he saw it in the spirit and the love of his own family. However, his village lacked formal education and his parents spent all their money to send him and his siblings away to school.
After achieving a master’s degree in conflict studies, Michael is now revolutionizing the educational opportunities for hundreds of children in Nabikabala. His mission is to love these children and provide them with an opportunity to create their own future and become the change makers in their community. Michael describes, “we will start in my village first, then one day we can change the entire country – children in Uganda deserve an amazing education."
Rebecca Mirembe, Active Learning Project Director
Rebecca Mirembe hails from Eastern Uganda and is a mother of four lovely children. She has a bachelor’s degree in Education which she attained in 2012 from Makerere University and is studying to obtain her master’s degree in Education Management and Administration at the Islamic University in Uganda. As an educationalist, Rebecca has love for education not just as a discipline but also in giving comprehensive attention to the needs of both the instructors and students. She believes all teachers in Uganda have the ability to provide quality education to the children and only need support and encouragement to do so. Rebecca happily takes up this task and facilitates active learning adoption with help from her team of field officers. Rebecca is a leader within the education community and works continuously to grow and expand her knowledge. For career development she hopes to participate in conferences, workshops, and earn certifications in project management. Her mission is for teachers and students in Uganda to adopt critical, creative, and ethical thinking practices. Rebecca sees these skills to be essential to the advancement of Uganda and challenges Ugandans across educational institutions to join her in this mission.
Kenneth Agaba, Active Learning Project Manager
Kenneth graduate with a BA in Arts & Social Sciences from Makerere University. He is passionate about meeting the needs of disadvantaged groups (children, youth & women) through education. He has extensive experience working with civil society organizations towards achieving results through cost effective deliverables. Kenneth is a specialist in play-based learning and is one of the facilitators for the Active Learning Project. Kenneth is also a co-founder of X-SUBA Sport4Development Uganda, a youth-led nonprofit organization using the power of sports and play to provide education opportunities to disadvantaged children and youth in Jinja communities. "I enjoy working with The African SOUP because it presents a model where children are placed at the center of learning and I personally think that this has great potential to change the way children learn in Ugandan classrooms."
Emmanuel Muyinda, Director of Emma’s Baby SOUP (EBS)
At The SOUP, we firmly believe that medical care can change the trajectory of a person’s life, especially in developing communities. One of our first Ugandan staff members, Emmanuel (Emma) Muyinda experienced first-hand the benefits of extraordinary health care at a young age. At a mere seven years old, Emma suffered from a severe and excruciating infection in his right leg. The extent of damage caused by the infection led to the need for amputation. However, Emma’s disability marked a beginning and not an end. Recovering in Kampala under the vigilant care of the Red Cross, Emma picked up English as a second language and was inspired by how adequate medical attention transformed the lives of those around him. Emma states, “Losing my leg was one of the biggest blessings in my life.” As a young adult, Emma was employed by The African SOUP due to his bilingual abilities and urge to contribute to his beloved community. Although Emma has worked several positions at The SOUP, his role as the community outreach coordinator and head of “Emma’s Baby Soup” has been the most fruitful.
Jill Kuhn, Director of Development
Jill has spent her career learning how to best serve vulnerable communities through grassroots, context-sensitive approaches. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from SUNY Geneseo, a Master of Education degree in Elementary Education from Delta State University, and a Master of Public Health degree in Population and Family Health from Columbia University. Earlier in her career, she served as a Teach For America corps member in the Mississippi Delta region and taught elementary education at a public school in New York City. She has also managed the development of new teachers participating in national-level teacher development programs in urban and rural regions of the United States.
Jill first came to East Africa for several months in 2010 to coordinate an education program in rural Tanzania, then traveled to Uganda in 2016 to evaluate a peer education program implemented by a local NGO. After completing that assignment in Uganda, she moved to Tanzania to serve as the Program Director of a U.S. State Department-funded initiative seeking to incorporate peace building and conflict resolution approaches into community education projects. Jill joined The SOUP in 2019 and is thrilled to work in partnership with the dedicated team toward the achievement of high-quality, accessible education for students in The SOUP’s area of operation.