Pat Robert Larubi has joined Mental Health Uganda as Communications Officer.
The seasoned journalist joins organisatiion following a successful term working as a disability blog/ media consultant with National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) where he focused on popularizing the inclusion of persons with disability in Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), 1, 2 and 11. Prior to that, he was engrossed in his activism work with Pats Journal, an online, media and human rights Non-governmental organization working towards inclusion, ending stigma and discrimination faced by persons with albinism.
He is expected to oversee the day to day general communication needs of Mental Health Uganda.
This comes after he quit his work in mainstream media where he had worked for years in varying capacities. With the PatJournal, he worked as the director of communication and head of strategies where he oversaw the provision of person centered support, recognition and medical need of persons with Albinism besides their mental health and social care services through numerous outreach programmes.
Working as volunteer communication manager with Source of the Nile Union of Persons with Albinism (SNUPA), Pat led a team of ten youth with albinism for the first ever Mr and Miss Albinism East Africa regional contest held in Kenya.
Held under the theme of “Beauty Beyond the Colour” the event was aimed at creating public awareness across the region and the world on factual aspects of albinism, ending prejudice, social oppression and discrimination against persons with albinism besides exposing the contestants to the vast existing opportunities across the world through this unique space.
Participation in this event earned Uganda a mark the support, protection and recognition of the varied ability vested in the persons with albinism. Indeed, through these endless efforts, Olive Auma, a dental surgeon based in Moroto was crowned as the first Miss Albinism Uganda while Paul Wakibona, a student of Industrial Art and Design from Kyambogo University emerged as Mr Albinism Uganda.
Prior, Pat worked as an independent investigative journalist, special features TV News producer for BBS Terefayina. Lifestyle, reporter and travel photographer for Soft Power News. He is re-known blogger and award-winning disability rights activist who has been covering a number of issues around health and disability.
Pat is famous for his mind blowing report on the plight of children battling nodding syndrome in Northern Uganda. In 2018 he scooped an award for his outstanding and exemplary positive portrayal of persons with disability in the media organized by East African Centre for disability Law and Policy. In 2017, he was third best portrait photographer in the Ugandan Press Photo Awards.
A former ICT junior lecture at UMCAT School of Journalism, Pat is a graduate of Journalism from the same institution and also holds a Bachelors degree in business computing and information system management. He also has a Pedagogical teaching certificate besides being an acclaimed DW Akademie – Tell the Story – Conflict Sensitive Journalism and Foundry Foundation Photojournalism Fellow.
He is also the acting chairperson of Conservation, Tourism and Media Association of Uganda (COTMA-U), a journalist’s association that creates positive destination perception with accurate, balanced and fair tourism tales in a bid to market destination Uganda.
“I am glad and welcome Pat as our communication officer. His addition to our team is a plus for reviving and strengthening our media relations, our visibility and repute. Above all, it will expand our conversations around mental health in the country and beyond,”Derrick Kiiza, the Chief Executive Officer Mental Health Uganda said in his orientation remarks.
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