Peer Nation News



Peer Nation is a mental health service user led and managed organization initiated by participants from the seven-year Brain Gain Peer Support Work Programme, that was managed by the Butabika East London Link in Uganda, from 2011 to 2018. The organization was incorporated into legal status on 12th March 2019 as a charitable company limited by guarantee, making five years today. Our membership is comprised of seventy-two members who include mental health service users that have gone on to train as peer support workers, carers and some mental health professionals.


Vision: Creating a dignified society with mental health for all.

Mission: To attain sustainable mental health recovery by enhancing better living standards for all through knowledge gain, partnership, advocacy and independent living.

Goal: To provide psycho – social support to mental health survivors, those who care for them and their communities.

Shortly after our incorporation as Peer Nation, we submitted our Peer Support Work concept to Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA) in 2019 and luckily enough we got the grant. It was our first grant titled ‘Institutional Strengthening and outreach peer support project’, which ran from January 2020 – July 2021.  With this funding we were able to do a lot of outreach peer support work with health centers in areas such as Kitetika, Nansana, Kitebi and Nkonkonjeru. This helped drive our mission of increasing mental health awareness.  With these funds we were also able to cover some of our overheads such as staff salaries and rent for our office premises. We also capitalised on procuring office furniture and equipment.  The highlight of this project was being able to register Peer Nation as a national indigenous non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Uganda with a five years’ operating permit on the 24th day of February 2021.

Shortly thereafter, we were honored to get a new grant from the UK Department of Health and Social Care (UK DHSC) managed by Tropical Health and Education Trust (THET).  This grant ran from July 2021 – August 2022.  With this grant we were able to carry out activities that included a training of trainers (TOT) for ten peer support workers.  Some of them, alongside our UK consultant, went on to train 20 clinical staff from health facilities in the project areas to serve as peer support worker supervisors.  The identified project areas included Arua and Mbarara Regional referral hospitals, as well as Nakivale and Yinga Imvepi refugee settlement areas.  Ten short films were also produced to complement the didactic peer support worker training.  Seventy-two (72) mental health service users in the project regions were trained to become peer support workers to carry out work in the aforementioned areas.  Additionally, we were able to translate our Mental Health Peer Support work training manual from English to five languages that include Arabic, Kiswahili, Kinyrwanda, Runyankole – Rukiga and Lugbara.  These training manuals, together with the Butabika Recovery Manual, are now hosted on our Peer Nation website ( ready for the general public to download at will and at zero cost.

Between October 2022 – September 2023 we were able to get another Institutional Strengthening Grant from OSIEA.  We utilized this by engaging in community mental health awareness raising through the Kampala Mental Health Film Club, whereby we showcased different films and documentaries every last Tuesday of the month at the National Theatre. We were however challenged with continuing the films due to the need to have them classified by Uganda Media Council as a requirement from Uganda Communication Commission (UCC).  By the time this happened, in November 2023, we had showcased eleven (11) films.  Furthermore, with this grant we were able to further capitalise by procuring more office equipment and provide capacity building training for our members.  As a highlight for this particular project, Peer Nation was awarded charity status with income tax exemption certificate from the Uganda Revenue Authority, something that was long waited for.

The main challenge we are faced with is sustaining the funding to continue the work further.  Along the way we have lost some of our dear members who have gone to meet the lord namely: Rashid Male, Hamza Diambo, Isaac Dhatemwa, Doreen Byaruhanga and recently Grace Tebandeke.  May their souls rest in eternal peace and let perpetual light shine upon them.

As we move forward here are some of our forecasts for the next five years: We would like to have some form of physical presence in all the four regions of Uganda namely; Northern, Eastern, Central and Western region.  We would like to increase our membership significantly by having a national appeal and character. We thank all the funders that have moved with us along this journey, and the respective individual contributions from the various friends that have come to our aid.  We would still wish and love to move with you further afield. That said however, we would still need more funders to come on board to enable Peer Nation to take this work to the next level.  We hope and are looking forward to resuming our Mental Health Film Club at the National Theatre in Kampala, once all the necessary modalities are in place.  We thank all of you who have supported our film club in anyway and in particular we would like in a special way to thank those of you who spared time to come along and attend, making the evenings memorable by voicing your contributions at the discussions after the film screening.

With these few remarks, allow us to say happy anniversary to Peer Nation at 5!!

Peer Nation Secretariat.