A message from our Founder


Can we talk?

We will not give up a belief [or “fact”] even if we discover it is false – if it will cost us.

Can we really talk? Where you listen to my words and contemplate them, play with them, explore where they challenge your beliefs, opinions, and life experiences? So, let's chat about education in Uganda.


First, let's look at some facts. Facts are directional due to rounding and research methods.

  • 80% of NGO/Charity donations go to administration, meetings, research, marketing, more meetings, seminars, more seminars, and business class air travel to conferences. Then comes corruption, then the easy path, and very little goes to really help those that need it...
  • The Ugandan government sends each school 10,000 shillings ($3.50 USD) per student per year.
  • Mexico spends $2,700, Switzerland spends $17,700, and the United States spends $11,800.
  • 90% of a child’s brain is formed by the time she/he is age 5.
  • Emotional intelligence, relationship intelligence, and cooperative intelligence (grit, persistence, optimism, executive functioning) are largely formed by age 5.
  • As we age, we can still learn, but it gets harder.
  • We become more creative as we age.
  • How we feel (safe/loved/important/worthy) affects our ability to learn and thrive.

Now, let's look at some inferences based on observations I have made that guide our mission to create an environment where every child in Uganda has the potential (unencumbered by a limited education) to be happy, flourish, be solid in virtue and character, and become successful as an adult. 

With this, STEPi and our partners will place an emphasis on creating products, seminars, books, trainings, toys, videos, and school support to help provide “tools” that promote the 6 foundational factors children need to succeed. 

Paul Sutherland Logo

Founder / Director STEPi
Kampala, Uganda
5th October 2017


About Paul H. Sutherland

South Africa Jul 2016 - 180.jpg

Mr. Sutherland's Biography

Paul Sutherland

Paul Sutherland, age 62, is a husband and father. Sutherland reads to children often and creates his own stories that he sometimes turns into children’s books. He is an author of many children books, including Finding Utopia; Mani and Pitouee; Amani the Boda-Boda Rider; Sharon’s Song; Do You Like Grasshoppers and Chapati?; and others.

Currently he lives with his the family in Kampala, Uganda, where he is involved with helping entrepreneurs, schools, and teachers, as a guest lecturer at universities and schools, writer, toy designer, creative team member, and seminar presenter. Mr. Sutherland is a transformational figure: one of his key commitments is to help support children from pre-natal to age six, and early childhood education; and elevate the importance of supporting families and communities so they can support young children. 

Mr. Sutherland is the Founder and Director of Squaring the Education Pyramid Institute (STEPi), that works to create products to help parents, educators, NGOs, churches, religious leaders, government education ministries, and others in their work to create programs that support the nurturing of literacy; a love of books, art, learning and story; and inspire a child’s natural active, happy, emotional, cooperative, and relationship intelligence. 

Mr. Sutherland has worked in the investment and financial advisory business since 1975. He is the Founder and President of Financial & Investment Management Group, Ltd. (“FIM Group,” founded in 1984), a registered investment adviser that manages investment portfolios on a discretionary basis for individuals, trusts, foundations, and retirement plans. Mr. Sutherland served on the board of directors of Utopia Funds, a registered investment company, between December 2005 and March 2009. 

Mr. Sutherland is Chairman and a founding board member of the Utopia Foundation and is also author of various adult nonfiction and fiction books including Emmanuel’s Prayer; Zenvesting; Virtue of Wealth, Creating Life Success the Zenvesting Way; The AMA Guide to Financial Planning; and others. Mr. Sutherland is also owner of Spirituality and Health Media, LLC, the publisher of Spirituality & Health magazine. He is part owner of SmartwiredLLC, owner of The Smart Parenting Revolution, which provides educational tools for parents, and educators, and owner of Yen Yoga and Fitness LLC, the largest yoga, spinning, and fitness studio in Northern Michigan.

Mr. Sutherland is on the board of GAIA, an online streaming and video service that entertains, informs, and helps people pursue their highest purpose. GAIA’s biography of his background states, “Mr. Sutherland has significant senior leadership, global investment, business, entrepreneurial and financial experience, the board believes that he brings to the board a broad understanding of the business aspects of the sustainable health, transformation, consciousness, spirituality and well-being movement and market in which GAIA operates.”

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This work by STEPi: Squaring the Education Pyramid Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.