Jorge Martinez Lubiano: Helping on a personal and operational level

Jorge Martinez Lubiano: Helping on a personal and operational level

“All this has been possible thanks to the advice of my mentor.”

By mentoring Deo Sekandi, Jorge Lubiano has been able to help him  improve his organisation and potentially the lives of thousands.

“My dream is to be the best motivational speaker and disability activist,” Deo Sekandi told his mentor when they were matched on the Queen’s Young Leaders Mentoring programme.

As a child, Deo was good at public speaking until he was involved in an accident at 13. This affected his speech and consequently his confidence in speaking publicly. He didn’t know why exactly, until he won a university scholarship and learnt that he had cerebral palsy.

These days, as Founder and Executive Director of the Uganda National Association for Cerebral Palsy, Deo needs public speaking skills to raise awareness of the condition.

But public speaking is just one of the many things that – despite being on a different continent – Jorge has been able to help Deo with. 

“We would like to help over 100,000 people with cerebral palsy..."

Starting the mentoring process

Deo started out with a very clear idea of what he wanted to get out of the mentoring process. He was looking for a mentor who could help him build his organisation, specifically by offering guidance on:

  • developing policies and systems
  • strategic planning to get the organisation to the next level
  • funding proposals so that he could expand its work
  • the organisation’s online presence and networking
  • and promoting the work of the organisation globally.

Several Skype meetings later, and both a draft financial policy and a strategic plan had been developed. New funding campaigns were underway and Deo was more confident about who to network with. “All this has been possible thanks to the advice of my mentor.”

“Being his mentor has been both humbling and inspiring.”

Expanding a vision

The mentoring process has helped Deo expand his vision for the organisation over the next five years and to set targets. “We would like to help over 100,000 people with cerebral palsy and… advocate for better inclusion in social, economic, political and cultural programmes.”

Mentor and mentee are organising what Jorge describes as “the biggest fundraising event that Uganda has ever seen”, with Jorge meeting business leaders in Chile to get them involved.

Jorge describes Deo as “unstoppable”. He’s amazed by Deo’s energy and dedication, especially because cerebral palsy makes even the simplest daily task a challenge. “Being his mentor has been both humbling and inspiring, challenging and overwhelming at times,” he says.

Back in Uganda, Deo believes the new skills he’s acquired through the Queen’s Young Leaders Mentoring programme are helping him solve problems and put his ideas into practice. “This has helped me build the capacity of Ugandans with disabilities to raise their voices for inclusion.”

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