August 30, 2013
This June, the first class of budding nutrition professionals participating in FANTA’s 1-year nutrition fellowship program in Uganda began working with their mentoring organizations to gain practical experience in real-world settings. Fellows participate in a wide range of activities to develop their skills, such as screening children for malnutrition, conducting nutrition education and counseling, and checking patients’ bedside charts to improve data quality.
An Innovative Program
In 2013, FANTA established the Uganda Nutrition Fellowship (UNF), an update of the successful nutrition internship program FANTA pioneered in Uganda in 2010.
Through the program, FANTA promotes skill-building in leadership, teamwork, communication, and nutrition technical topics through quarterly retreats, a professional development workshop, and opportunities to share experiences. To graduate from the program, Fellows must complete a project that addresses a challenge relevant to their host organization. Through these activities, UNF aims to develop skilled nutrition leaders while also providing host organizations with highly motivated, well-qualified young professionals to support their nutrition work.
UNF’s First Year
In 2013, FANTA created an independent advisory committee that helped select 8 Fellows from over 60 applicants. The Fellows are recent university graduates with degrees in the fields of nutrition and agriculture, whose academic success and personal goals indicate great promise in pursuing a successful career in nutrition in Uganda. FANTA identified placements for them with the Ministry of Health; the Strengthening Partnerships, Results and Innovations in Nutrition Globally (SPRING) Project; Community Connector; World Vision; the Mwanamugimu Nutrition Unit at Mulago Hospital; the Initiative to End Childhood Malnutrition at Nyakibale Hospital; and the International Baby Food Action Network.
The first class of Fellows began their fellowships in June 2013 and will attend their first quarterly retreat this fall. They will graduate in June 2014, and recruitment for the second class will begin in 2014.