The African SOUP is led by a strong Ugandan team and Ugandan Board of Directors. Our US Executive Director and esteemed US Board of Directors act as a fundraising arm and advise the Ugandan team on matters of financial health and strategy.
The SOUP Team
Beatrice Achiro Otto, Executive Director
Beatrice has over 13 years of professional experience as an educator, development practitioner and humanitarian worker with the Embassies of Japan, Ireland and Denmark in Uganda as well as national and international agencies. With a Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor’s degree in Arts with Education, she has been a classroom teacher of English and Literature and has implemented several development projects in education, health, livelihoods, water and sanitation and agriculture. Previously, she supported the development of a program for out of school children in Northern Uganda through an accelerated learning approach which focused on the use of active learning and a child-centered approach to learning to give children a second chance in formal education.
Hailing from Northern Uganda where she grew up and studied for most of her early years, she has had considerable experiences of life in urban and rural settings. Beatrice believes her personal experience coupled with her development and humanitarian work give her an appreciation of grassroots community initiatives. Beatrice has a passion to help, protect and support special groups, particularly children, women and youth, through an integrated and comprehensive approach.
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.
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.
Kenneth Agaba, ALP Facilitator
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."
Co-founder | Country 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."
George Wateta, Director of Operations | Headmaster of The SOUP School
George comes from Kaliro but grew up in Iganga, Eastern Uganda and is married with six children. He has a diploma and degree in education, a degree in social administration and a post-graduate diploma in peace and conflict management. He also has certificates in child development, organizational management, planning, public administration and management, pediatric HIV/AIDS care, and training of trainers in child protection.
His passion for child development started after he graduated with his diploma in education in 2003 and got a job with Compassion International. He felt very fulfilled watching children grow into adults. He joined The SOUP in March of 2014 when the primary school was serving 330 students. He has been a major part in the growth of the school and with the organization at large. He values hard work, compassion, excellence and dignity particularly because he works with vulnerable children and communities. He believes these children hold the future for us and it is his privilege to serve them.
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.
Charles Waiswa, Monitoring & Evaluation Officer
Charles comes from Eastern Uganda. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Adult and Community Education from Kyambogo University, a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) from Uganda Management Institute, and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Last year, he was among the consultants building the M&E system of all NGOs funded by the Segal Family Foundation on the African Continent. As an M&E specialist, Charles is passionate about measuring impact using standard measurement frameworks. Currently working at the African Soup as the M&E Officer, he is committed to giving a sense of direction to all the programs and projects from a data-driven perspective to measure impact. Charles believes that if you cautiously measure results you will eventually reward success. If you fail to measure results you will eventually reward failure. M&E is the “think tank” of any organization heading towards prosperity in all its operations and The SOUP is moving in the right direction in measuring impact.