What's New


December 04, 2016

YouBelong appoints Dr Shevin Jacob and Dr James Tibenderana to Board of Trustees

Professor Fiona Verity, Chair of the Board of Trustees of YouBelong, is delighted with the appointment of two eminent doctors, who will both strengthen the Board in its focus on Uganda in the years ahead.

Over the next four years, we are particularly focused on moving people out of mental institutions in Uganda and finding innovative ways to strengthen their families and local communities and villages, so that the returning person is supported in the right ways and continues to recover from mental illness in the community. We want to find ways to prevent relapse and return to hospital and we are keen to build a template that can be transported to other East African countries, to continue the work of YouBelong.

In order to form a multi-disciplinary mixed team, we have taken a very clear decision that we want people on the Board who come from a wide range of health and social disciplines who can bring to the table their innovations and new ideas for work in the mental health field. Consequently, we are delighted with the appointments to the Board of Dr. Shevin Jacob and Dr James Tibenderana.

Dr Jacob, a US citizen, born and raised in Chicago, has lived and worked in Uganda for the last 10 years. His knowledge of Ugandan culture and customs, as well as the health system and the operations of NGOs in Uganda, will be invaluable for the YouBelong HOME programme. He is an infectious diseases physician with a Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard. He has an excellent working relationship with the Ministry of Health in Uganda through his research work on sepsis and through his role as Medical Director of Walimu, a Uganda-based NGO which he co-founded. As well, he has expertise in structuring and organizing NGOs to be effective in achieving their goals.

We are very honoured to have Dr Jacob on our Board, acknowledging his leadership role in the recent Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, in West Africa, where he was deployed by the WHO.

Dr James Tibenderana, is a Ugandan citizen. Trained as a medical doctor in Uganda, he has also received an MPhil in epidemiology from Cambridge University, and a PhD in epidemiology, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is an internationally recognized expert in Malaria, and he has recently been appointed to the important position of Technical Director for the Malaria Consortium. He has a deep understanding of Ugandan culture and customs, a thorough working knowledge of the Ugandan health system, as well as a comprehensive knowledge of financial systems, organizational structures, and the way to structure the operation of NGOs to produce successful outcomes.

Dr Tibenderana is passionate about developing programmes to increase the wellbeing of Ugandans and in reducing inequality and injustice.

We thank both Dr Jacob and Dr Tibenderana for their commitment to YouBelong and to the common good of the people of Uganda.