About Us

Our Mission

To empower individuals and communities in developing countries to create solutions to their own challenges through access to and knowledge of internet technology.

Our History

U-TOUCH was founded by Deb and Ron Plotkin, two intrepid adventurers and travelers who were so moved by the tragedies they witnessed in northern Uganda that they knew they could not return to “life as usual” without making a significant effort to improve living conditions for the populations of this region.  In their determination to improve the lives of people in this war torn region they began developing Digital Centers, places where young and old alike could come and actually touch a computer for the first time – connect with the outside world, share their stories, and learn that they were not alone in their struggle to regain freedom, dignity, and a purpose in life.

This transformative approach has help thousands connect with the outside world.  U-TOUCH training programs have graduated over 4,000 students with valuable ICT skills that help them get jobs, create jobs, or improve their current job positions.  Many U-TOUCH grads have gone on to start their own businesses, developed mobile apps – things that would have never even been a consideration in their lives without a U-TOUCH education.

Through this U-TOUCH has gained unique expertise in the process of establishing digital centers in challenging regions and we’re evolving our model to have an even greater, more sustainable global impact.  With the right partners and financial support, we can dramatically extend the impact to millions of individuals and communities in the developing world.

TGG is a leading provider of outsourced accounting and business advisory services for small to mid-sized businesses across industries. TGG handles all of the monthly accounting and produces accurate and timely financial reporting for U-TOUCH. To learn more about TGG, please click here.

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Meet our Team

Joshua Kyallo (Chairman of the Board):

Joshua brings over 25 years of International Development leadership experience, most recently serving as Director of Africa Programs for Tobacco Free Kids. His expertise in strategic partnerships, management, presentation and organizational skills are unparalleled.

Deborah Plotkin (Founder):

Deborah is the spark, inspiration and source of boundless energy of U-TOUCH. She brings to her role extensive experience in international development, innovative educational approaches, cross-cultural awareness and communication. She has led projects around the world including building schools high atop Himalayan mountains in Nepal as well as establishing a student sponsorship program in northern Uganda. She has been a champion for children’s rights and for those with disabilities in the US and Africa.


Oceng Denis Paul (Graphic Designer – Gulu):

Oceng is an exceptional Information Technology with expertise in land legislation, policy and rights protection in Uganda. He is a champion for children’s rights, leading his team toward a better and bright future.

Ochan Charles (Country Director):

In addition to providing ICT training in Gulu, Charles is a youth counselor, providing counseling, guidance, life and job skills training and health education. By fostering AIDS and other STI awareness and furthering other health education goals he continues to improve the outlook for his students.

Tabu Joseph (Project Administrator – Gulu):

It is with a warm heart, a deep respect for his culture and heritage and a strong drive that motivates Tabu to strengthen the people of northern Uganda. He is a man of integrity. He teaches technology and inspires his students to actualize their dreams. He is a master at helping others make lifetime change.

Board of Directors

Ron Plotkin, Ph.D. (Vice-Chairman):

Dr. Plotkin has extensive leadership experience guiding non-profit organizations focused on improving educational and psychological conditions in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Middle East. He holds his PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of Rochester and has extensive consulting and clinical experience.

Joshua Searcy (Legal Counsel and Secretary):

Beyond providing legal counsel, Joshua shares his passion and deep interest for empowering individuals and societies to overcome all obstacles and improve the quality of their existence.

Larry Kesslin:

Larry Kesslin is one of the founding partners and president of 4-Profit. Over the past 25 years he has worked with thousands of solution providers, and numerous vendors and distributors to help guide and inspire leaders to reach their chosen business destination.

Advisory Council

Alistair Boyd CMG:

Alistair worked for many years at the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), and notably worked in concert with Mwai Kibaki (now President of Kenya) in establishing the Industrial Development Bank. He was appointed Head of Operations for Africa and subsequently as CDC’s deputy chief executive. Before leaving CDC Alistair received a CMG (Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George) from HM The Queen for services to the “developing” world.  Mr. Boyd serves as Vice-Chair of the Royal African Society.

Noah Wieder:

Noah is an experienced business executive, entrepreneur and inventor, with several start-ups and a venture backed business to his credit. He started a web based company in 1999 and grew to generate millions in online revenue in the past decade and is currently CEO of SearchBug, Inc. and Intelligent eCommerce, Inc.

Chuck Philyaw:

In 1987 Chuck founded Industrial Computer Source (ICS), which grew to $22M in sales with over 100 employees. It was acquired by Dynatech which kept Chuck as a Group VP . With his sharp business acumen he has been involved in several seed investments.   Chuck balances his life with his dedication to his family and his wise counsel to non-profits.

Dr. Norman Jacknis:

Dr. Norman Jacknis, Director of Cisco’s IBSG Public Sector Group (the company’s strategic consulting think tank), is a globally recognized expert in government innovation and transformation.

Dr. Jacknis has extensive executive and leadership experience in local and state government, including Westchester County, and other technology and innovation organizations. Prior to his public service, Dr. Jacknis had diverse experience as an executive in the software industry, with emphasis on Internet applications and distributed computing. Government Technology Magazine selected him as one of the nation’s “Top 25 Doers, Dreamers and Drivers who, using technology … broke bureaucratic inertia to better serve the public“ – a list which included not just technology leaders, but elected officials as well.

Dr. Mike Marks MD:

Dr. Michael Francis Marks received his medical training at St Mary’s Hospital, at the Imperial College of London University.  In response to his many years of humanitarian efforts Dr. Marks has received numerous awards including Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queens Honours List in 2008 for services to primary health care in the third world.  Dr. Mike Marks is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine London and a Member of the Institute of Tropical Child Health at Children’s Hospital London

He is co-founder of the Bush Hospital Foundation and Medical Director since 1996; based in the Channel Islands this organization provides medical equipment and supplies to projects throughout Africa which require health system strengthening.  Dr. Marks was involved in setting up the Nutrition Unit at Blantyre Hospital in Malawi, said to be the largest nutrition unit in Africa.  Dr. Marks is the Project Director of the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Health Initiative, a consortium dedicated to establishing affordable sustainable primary health care systems in the Lake Victoria Basin.


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