I first came to Uganda in 2003 on a kayaking expedition to the Nile River. During this trip, one of my good friends contracted malaria and luckily, I was able to treat him, but this event really piqued my curiosity about the effect malaria had on the local population. I wondered what local people did to protect themselves and if they were constantly sick from malaria.

Dr Jessie Stone

After being introduced to a local woman fluent in both the local language and English who was willing to help me, I began a survey of 50 homes in the village where we were staying, Kyabirwa.

The results were shocking: no one we interviewed understood how they got malaria and no one had a mosquito net. Everyone described taking family members, mostly children, to the local clinic or hospital for malaria treatment every month and spending most of their income on that process, and everyone wanted to learn more about malaria and purchase nets.

Based on these findings, it seemed like an easy intervention could be developed that would be life-saving and help people to help themselves. I started our first malaria education and prevention program selling subsidized mosquito nets in Kyabirwa village not long afterwards. The community response was overwhelmingly positive and we have been gradually expanding, doing malaria education and prevention programs as well as other programs in
Uganda ever since. – Jessie Stone

Location + Map

Soft Power Health's home is in the village of Kyabirwa, Uganda. Kyabirwa is a small subsistence farming and fishing village located on the banks of the Nile River, just 10 kilometers from its source, Lake Victoria. The village has a population of approximately 1,000 people, most of whom live in mud-dung huts. Like many villages in rural Uganda, access to education and healthcare remains very limited.

(click to enlarge)

Our Staff

Jessie Stone, Soft Power Health Founder/Director.

Jessie StoneDr. Jessie Stone is a medical doctor and member of the US Women's Freestyle Kayaking Team. In 2003 a kayaking expedition along Uganda's White Nile first brought her to the region. During this trip a group member contracted a severe case of malaria and while treating them, she became acutely aware of the devastating effects the disease was taking on the Ugandan population as well. Determined to help control this needless health crisis, she founded Soft Power Health in 2004. Today she and her staff continue to expand upon and improve the range of healthcare services SPH provides to the region.

Mary Prendergast, Country Director.

Mary PrendergastMary Prendergast joined Soft Power Health in February 2017 as our new Country Manager in Uganda. She is originally from Ireland and is trained as an occupational therapist. We have worked with Mary in the past during our wheelchair distribution and she has had extensive management experience in Uganda prior to joining the Soft Power Health team.

Dr. Charles Kalumuna, Director of the Allan Stone Community Health Center.

Dr. Charles KalumunaDr. Charles Kalumuna is a Ugandan MD who holds a Masters of Public Health degree (MPH) from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has worked with the National Malaria Control Programme of Uganda and with the Infectious Disease Institute. Dr. Charles brings to Soft Power Health his vast knowledge of tropical disease and patient care, and serves as Director of the Allan Stone Community Health Clinic. He played a crucial role in establishing the Clinic back in January 2006 and we are very fortunate to have him working with us full-time now.

Sarah Muwanguzi, Director of the Malaria Education and Prevention Program.

Sarah MuwanguziProgram Director Sarah Muwanguzi spent five years training and working with Soft Power Health's Malaria Education and Prevention Program and DIG gardening program. Her strong work ethic, capability and effectiveness as an educator made her the natural choice to take over as Director when the position opened up. Today she maintains a busy schedule conducting education sessions, selling nets and beyond. Her efforts have contributed enormously to the ongoing success of this program.

  • Oliver KirabiraOliver Kirabira Clinical Officer
  • Wilson MalingumuWilson Malingumu Clinical Officer
  • Dr Paul SsebowaDr Paul Ssebowa Dentist
  • John Bosco BazibuJohn Bosco Bazibu Laboratory Technician
  • Menya HarunaMenya Haruna Laboratory Assistant
  • Wilfred OketagotWilfred Oketagot Laboratory Assistant
  • Jane MwigoJane Mwigo Naisiga Nurse
  • James MuwerezaJames Muwereza Nurse
  • Doreen NaiwumbweDoreen Naiwumbwe Nurse
  • Mary Esther NekesaMary Esther Nekesa Nurse
  • Margaret KimanywendaMargaret Kimanywenda Nurse
  • Annette NabiryeAnnette Nabirye Nurse
  • Joselyn NazziwaJoselyn Nazziwa Receptionist
  • Esther Mary BalukaEsther Mary Baluka Cook and cleaner
  • Rogers MunyagwaRogers Munyagwa Groundsman and handyman
  • Irene MuseneroIrene Musenero Toilet attendant
  • Joseph KabogozaJoseph Kabogoza Driver
  • Jennifer NamukobeJennifer Namukobe Outreach worker and gardener
  • Esther NaigaEsther Naiga Outreach worker and educator
  • Julius CeaserJulius Ceaser Mpaata Assistant manager and outreach worker
  • Patrick KayimaPatrick Kayima Head garden tender
  • Staffah LubwamaStaffah Lubwama Garden tender
  • Stephen KatoStephen Kato Physical Therapist
  • Amuza BakakiAmuza Bakati Head driver and logistics coordinator
  • Robert WagumaRobert Waguma Laboratory technician
  • Dr. MillyDr. Milly Tibugwisa Medical doctor

Partner Organizations

AFMAfrica Fighting Malaria is a Washington DC based advocacy group that provides information and education concerning all areas of malaria. BestNet BestNet is the maker and supplier of our Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets (LLINs.) They produce the very best mosquito net money can buy. CoRSUCoRSU (Comprehensive Rehabilitation Services in Uganda) is a rehabilitation hospital located between Kampala and Entebbe that provides advanced medical care for complicated conditions such as burns, chronic osteomyelitis, and cleft palate. CoRSU offers free treatment to children and substantially discounted treatment to adults. DIG DIG (Development in Gardening) is a non-profit organization devoted to teaching developing communities sustainable organic farming practices. Inner City Kids Kayak Camp Jessie Stone and some of the world's top kayakers teach kids from New York City how to paddle on Connecticut's white water in this 5 day summer camp. IHK IHK (International Hospital Kampala) is a comprehensive, full service hospital in Kampala, Uganda that provides treatment for complicated medical conditions. IHK is also home to the Hope Ward, a charity arm of the hospital that treats patients who lack the financial means to access care. Jackson Kayak Based in Sparta, Tennessee, Jackson Kayak produces whitewater and touring kayaks. They also provide kayaks to Inner City Kids kayaking camps. Jackson Kayak has been a big supporter of Soft Power Health since our inception. Komo Learning CentresKomo Learning Centres is a non-governmental organization serving disadvantaged Ugandan children with empowerment solutions including education, food security, health, and income generating activities. Marie Stopes Marie Stopes provides reproductive healthcare services for women and families throughout Africa and many other areas of the world. Mt. Sinai Global Health Training CenterThis program offers medical students specialized training to address the health needs of the world's most vulnerable populations. Trainees at all levels can work with partners in developing nations and underserved communities in the United States on public health and research projects. PACEPACE provides reproductive healthcare services and education to Ugandans in need. Peace Corps in Uganda Peace Corps in Uganda sends US volunteers to regions throughout Uganda. Volunteers serve for two years and specialize as Health, Education or Economic Development Volunteers. Segal Family FoundationThe Segal Family Foundation provides funding to non-profit, grassroots organizations throughout Sub-Saharan Africa, and particularly to organizations dedicated to providing reproductive health, food security and youth education. Soft Power EducationSoft Power Education is a Ugandan, non-profit organization that builds and refurbishes public (government system) schools. They also provide additional education to students in Budonodo and Butagaya sub counties in Jinja District, Uganda. Trevor Clark Photography Trevor Clark is a professional photographer specializing in
water sport photography.