Imagine you are a doctor working in sub-Sahara Africa. Whilst there you observe numerous organisations attempting to finance and fight disease such as malaria, HIV or tuberculosis. You know that without access to basic health care that this fight is futile. It becomes acutely apparent that organisations financed from overseas are often temporary and struggle to make a difference. Alongside these organisations you see the potential of ambitious African people, people who want to study but not have the financial means for it.
This is the story of the founders of the iSTEPup foundation. The iSTEPup foundation was founded because of the boyhood dream of Paul Kalungi, our first student.
Our first student; Paul Kalungi
Paul Kalungi from Uganda dreamed of working in healthcare. Whilst trying to earn the finances to afford university he was in a tragic accident, leading to a lower limb amputation. This meant that he was no longer able to find work to finance his study. I (Jan Henk) met Paul at the surgery department, where I was working as an intern. Like many other international interns, I became inspired by his story and his miraculous recovery. Paul proved to be an intelligent and careful thinker who was very grateful for his blessings, instead of giving up because of the bad luck he had experienced.
Together with many others from across the world, I decided to help Paul. I have been coordinating donations from more than 30 donors from six different countries. I am often told that the transparent way of donating to a clear goal is greatly appreciated and makes donating more appealing. Paul is now fulfilling his dreams. He is in the second year of his studies and is achieving good results. Paul keeps us up to date with his progress on his personal website. Paul has become an example to others with his untiring dedication to improve healthcare in Africa, including his own volunteer work talking to communities about amputees. Unfortunately there are many more ambitious young people, like Paul Kalungi, who have the knowledge and motivation, but not the financial means. This also applies to Paul Kwofie from Ghana. For these young people, the iSTEPup foundation is committed, so that they can contribute to a healthier Africa.
Our mission is to contribute to healthcare in a sustainable way. Without your support we cannot accomplish our mission and we will not be able to help students like Paul Kalungi and Paul Kwofie. The students are able to keep their donators updated on their progress via the website. Furthermore, like all our students, our ambition is unbridled. Our ambition is to help more students. With your support we hope to make this happen!
Jan Henk Dubbink, Nikki van der Velde and Nick Blok
The founders of iSTEPup.