Who We Are

The Institute for Social Transformation (IST) is the East African home for Training for Transformation. It is based in Uganda and spreading its services to the seven East African countries; namely Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. It promotes the philosophy and practice of Paulo Freire.


An approach to transformative community development was developed in Kenya in the 1970’s by Sally Timmel and Anne Hope and has continued to expand and deepen until the present.
This integrated approach spread to over 60 countries around the world. The originators of this work captured some of the methods in four volumes called Training for Transformation: A handbook for community workers, which were updated in 1995. These books have been translated into French, Spanish, Thai, Sotho, Arabic, and several pirated editions have been printed. The Training for Transformation books and methods are the key tools for the work of the Institute for Social Transformation.

Between 2002-2004, two pilot training programmes were held in South Africa with 72 participants from 14 countries. The demand became overwhelming for 2006-2008. In these 6 years participants and staff have come from all parts of the world.

In order to respond to mounting pressure on the one centre in South Africa, a group of founders agreed to create centres in various parts of Africa. Uganda is charged with hosting the training for the English speaking countries of Eastern Africa: Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

Our Values:

• We believe in human dignity and equality of all people irrespective of sex, age, religion and capabilities.

• We believe that organic participation leads to the creation of a just society.

• We believe that each human being has a potential to bring about positive social change to build a new just and progressive society.

• We believe that communities must lead their own development processes to bring about ownership and sustainability.

• We believe in holistic development and the interrelationship and interconnectedness of all development aspects.

To this effect we hold the following core values:

• Partnerships.

• Participatory involvement.

• Equality and justice.

• Efficiency and effectiveness.

• Critical strategic thinking and creative [out of the box] responses.

• Team work.

• Individual and community growth.

• Interconnectedness of community components.