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Conexa East Africa

UBUNTU

In 2023, partnering with local leaders, we embarked on the goal to restore Ugandan communities through relationship transformation.  This effort is now expanding as we build communities of support and training into other parts of East Africa.

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A Couples and
Family Therapy Initiative

Empowering the counselors and leaders of East Africa.

Restoring our community through relationship transformation

In East Africa, intimate partner violence affects almost half of the population.

Increased rates of dysfunctional couple and family dynamics has led to a crisis in relationships with many divorces and separations, overwhelming both mental health professionals and leaders in communities trying to support people in distress. 

Countries like Uganda are largely communal societies, meaning relational violence and couples distress affects more than just immediate family and children, it hurts the entire community. 

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This initiative, with a team of trainers, therapists and leaders from multiple countries seeks to:

  • Provide a large scale trainings in Couple therapy, family therapy and trauma to professionals.

  • Provide workshops to leaders in the community to introduce them to relationship concepts and empower them to help each other.

  • Provide therapy opportunities to counselors and leaders in East Africa.

  • Build relationships and mentorships where clinicians in East Africa and Western countries may learn from each other and collaborate.

  • Train professionals from the West in cross-cultural collaboration.

We need your support to restore relationships
in our community.

With your help, we raised close to $50,000 to bring a team of therapists to Uganda to provide the first ever training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT).  Our campaign sponsored numerous clinicians from all over Uganda.  

 

The work is not yet done.  

 

We must raise funds to continue training clinicians, developing supervisors, and expand to our next project: Kenya.

Want more information or to join this project?

Fill out our contact form to receive updates and information about how to get involved.

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Meet Dr. Ronald Asiimwe

Uganda Couple Therapist and Professor at University of Minnesota

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Hello, my name is Dr. Ronald Asiimwe. I grew up in Uganda, East Africa and am currently an assistant professor in the Family Social Science Department at the University of Minnesota in the United States. Prior to moving to the USA, I attended Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda where I earned my BA in Community Psychology. In 2016, I moved to the United States to pursue a masters in Marriage and Family Therapy at Oklahoma Baptist University, and later a Ph.D. in Couple and Family Therapy at Michigan State University.   

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I am a dynamic family therapist and prevention/intervention researcher with a passion for cross-cultural exchange of scientific knowledge. As a therapist, I have clinical experience practicing in the U.S. and in Uganda. My research integrates attachment theory and multicultural perspectives to study how trauma affects parenting, child/youth outcomes, and overall couple and family relationship functioning in underserved communities in the USA and in Sub-Saharan African contexts. Alongside this research is my passion to grow the practice, research, and training in Systemic Family Therapy on the African continent. I am driven to discover culturally responsive systemic interventions to support couples and families in underserved communities, negotiate crises, improve parenting, relationship functioning, and overall mental health. 

While in the US, I discovered and was trained in Emotional Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), one of the most powerful couple and family therapy models. Over the course of using EFT with my clients in the US and in Uganda, I have developed a passionate belief and conviction that EFT could profoundly impact the work of couple and family therapy in Uganda and other East African cultures. Thus, through Conexa and in partnership with the Uganda Counseling Association and my Ugandan colleagues Dr. Rosco Kasujja, President of the Uganda Clinical Psychology Association, and Pendo Galukande, a dynamic Uganda Couple/Marriage and Family Therapist and PhD student at Michigan State University, I led a team of international mental health professionals to engage in cross-cultural partnerships to grow EFT work in Uganda. After the first week, completing the first ever EFT Externship in East Africa with trainers Dr. Elmien Lesch and Dr. Paul Guillory, the team visited various sites, led multiple consultations with Ugandan mental health professionals and led both a couple’s workshop and a parenting workshop.  

With my team at Conexa (in collaboration with the UCA), we are continuing efforts to develop and sustain attachment/EFT and trauma work in East Africa. Part of this work involves research projects that are exploring the cultural acceptability and applicability of the EFT model in the Ugandan/East African settings. 

I am excited to invite you to join us on this journey; to partner with us to accomplish the mission of improving mental and relational health for the people of East Africa. I would be happy to share with you what we have done so far, and our hopes for the future. I can be reached at asiim004@umn.edu. I am looking forward to partnering with you. Remember the African spirit of Ubuntu, “I am Because We are.” Thanks for visiting our website.

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