The work of the Kellermann Foundation, supporting the displaced Batwa pygmies of Southwest Uganda, is nothing short of miraculous. The Batwa were Hunter/gatherers for 1,000s of years in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, until it was named a World Heritage Site in 1992 to protect the endangered mountain gorillas. The Batwa struggled to survive until Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann were asked to go to Bwindi and evaluate the people. What began as a modest medical mission evolved into the Kellermann Foundation, which has built a first-class hospital, serving the Batwa and surrounding people, a nursing school, education programs, agricultural programs and spiritual support. My husband and I met Dr. Kellermann in 2005, and after hearing of his passion and care for the Batwa and their culture, we began supporting KF and have been involved ever since. KF's mission...providing hope and health in Uganda...has never wavered. As a 3-year KF board member, I am continually impressed with the staff's organization, diligence and concern with every detail of the operation of the Foundation. My family is honored to be associated with the amazing work of the Kellermann Foundation.
This is an inspiring organization that brings light into lives that have been shrouded in far too much darkness. Their strong leadership is sincerely committed to their mission.
The story of the Batwa pygmy community, the eviction from their native Bwindi Forest , the prejudice they've endured and their struggles for basic survival has, for the most part, stood in the shadow of the more popular media story about saving the Mountain Gorilla population.Few people know about the Batwa pygmies. One organization however has been shining a light on the plight of the Batwa over 15 years. The Kellermann Foundation, founded through grass roots support for the work of California physician Dr. Scott Kellermann and his wife Carol Kellermann, has intiated programs and projects that directly bring health care, education and economic empowerment to the Batwa and their neighbors. Through the collaboration of committed donors, volunteers and Ugandans they are achieving real and measurable improvements in health outcomes, educational opportunities and economic sustainability. As a long time donor, volunteer and visitor who works with the Batwa, I am inspired by the good work that is taking place in Bwindi and look forward, each time in returning to visit a beautiful area with a warm and welcoming culture.
The Batwa pygmies were evicted from the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 1992 when it was made a World Heritage Site to protect the endangered mountain gorillas. The Batwa were given no compensation and became "conservation refugees". The Kellermann Foundation has helped support health care, education, cultural preservation and income generation for the Batwa and provides them hope for the future. It is fine organization with high integrity.
The Kellermann Foundation, though its support of hospitals, clinics, schools, women's centers, water/sanitation and income generation in southwestern Uganda has dramatically improved the lives of the Batwa pygmies and the surrounding tribal groups. It is a great joy to be involved with this organization. I recently returned from Uganda working with the projects supported by the Kellermann Foundation. The foundation's support of the 120 bed Bwindi Community Hospital has made it a top rated hospital in Uganda and a nursing school was recently opened to provide highly trained registered nurses. Over the last decade maternal mortality has been reduced 60% and malaria rates dropped by 90%. Over 125 homes have been built for the Batwa and their culture preserved. The Batwa pygmies have replaced their cycle of poverty with hope. The Kellermann Foundation makes a difference!
As a board member and volunteer in the Kellermann Foundation, I know first hand that the number one priority of the organization is to address the needs of the Batwa pygmies and surrounding peoples. KF seeks to develop a relationship with the people first, and then determine from them what their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are. Through the hospital, the nursing school, and the development program, not only are Ugandan lives being saved but people are also becoming educated and learning to support themselves and their communities. It's all about a deep love for these people, which started and continues with Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann, and a true desire to come along side them to help improve their lives. I am honored to be a part of this organization.
The Kellermann Foundation has grown over the years from one couple with a vision to improve the lives of the Batwa people of Uganda by opening a small 2-person clinic into a 112-bed hospital and development program that reaches as many as 100,000 of the local people in eastern Uganda. They offer the local people not only health services but also many opportunities to make an impact within their own country. For example they recently opened a nursing school that will educate locals in nursing to serve the people of the Uganda area. And the Batwa Development Program comes along side the Batwa people to provide them the skills they need to become self-sustaining. This is a wonderful organization that is making huge strides towards improving the health and well-being of thousands of people in the Bwindi area of Uganda.
I met Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann about ten tears ago and they invited me to go to Uganda to witness the work they were doing. The were concentrated on work with the Batwa Pygmy people who had been removed from the Bwindi Rainforest in favor of the preservation of the Mountain Gorillas.
By the time I arrived Scott had already improved the life of the Batwa people by purchasing land for settlements and providing medical care that had increase life expectancy dramatically. The had also opened a hospital that was serving the needs of all who lived in this remote area of Uganda.
Over the years I have visited several times and have seen the mission grow in ways beyond my imagination at my first visit. The hospital has become one of the finest rated hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Foundation has worked to help the Batwa people hold on to their prehistoric heritage that is threatened by their removal from the forest. Clinics have been built and maintained. Schools have been built offering education to the Batwa for the first time ever. And in recent years, a new nursing school has been opened allowing for healthcare to expand to the remotest villages in Uganda.
I have been blessed to witness lives changed and lives saved in the most difficult of circumstances. It has been my great pleasure to support the Kellermann Foundation and witness that its work is making a tremendous difference for the Batwa people and the people of the Bwindi area of Uganda.
After reading about and getting to know Dr. Scott and Carol Kellermann and their medical mission work in Uganda, I decided to see it for myself. I made my first visit to Bwindi in 2013 and now make Uganda my home.
The Kellermann Foundation made my visits in 2013 and 2014 very comfortable and fulfilling. They provided fine accommodations and I was fortunate to help the Bwindi Community Hospital communications team.
It is amazing how much has been accomplished in Uganda by the Kellermann Foundation. With Dr Scott and Carol launching a field medical clinic it has expanded into a 120-bed hospital, administration building with community health outreach.
Lives in the community here have been saved due to the hospital's work. At the same time volunteers like me have seen their lives changed by the experience.
Well done, Kellermann Foundation!
We were recruited by Kellermann Foundation (KF) to serve as volunteers with their Ugandan partner, the Batwa Development Program. We will have served for three years in January, 2017, when our time in Bwindi, Uganda, ends. Our work has involved financial consulting and linguistic research into the Batwa narrative tradition.
We have excellent communications and support with KF. They are keenly interested in our reports, and do a great job of partnering with their Ugandan partners. At least once a year, sometime more, KF home office people, as well as Scott Kellermann, the founder, come and visit.
KF has set up three Ugandan partners: Batwa Development Program, Bwindi Community Hospital, and Bwindi Nursing School. All three are Ugandan administered and effective in their outreach.
Long term volunteers come and work with all three Ugandan partners. They have come from the UK, Canada, Switzerland, and the United States. Examples of these include medical people, managerial consultants, clergy and linguists. KF will partner with other sending organizations. One of these, my own sponsor, is SIL International.
For the past two and a half years I have volunteered on the ground in Bwindi, Uganda working with a small team of 12, 7 of whom are Batwa. They administer funds from Kellermann Foundation. At present, these funds are schooling 242 primary students, 17 High school students, 5 vocational students, and 1 nursing student - all Batwa. Training women in income-generating crafts has expanded to an additional two settlements for a total of four. Funds from Kellermann Foundation have also paid for health insurance and treatment for 344 Batwa, covered additional treatment of Batwa at two distant clinics, run agricultural workshops in 10 settlements, provided small animal husbandry projects, and with the Batwa, have built seven houses with latrines and kitchens and improved several older homes by adding latrines and outdoor kitchens. In addition, they provide the means to run classes at each settlement on community living, governance, and conflict resolution, all necessary for a successful transition from independent hunter-gatherers to self-governing productive communities.
I travelled to Uganda six years ago and spent a week in Buhoma, the village in which the Bwindi Community Hospital, begun through the efforts of Scott and Carol Kellermann, is located. The lives that have impacted in this part of the world where access to basic healthcare is scarce is indeed impressive. But the most striking achievement is their focus on public health from the get go. By training and sending nurses and others health care workers out into the villages, especially Batwa Pygmy villages, the hospital and the KF which supports the work, have been able to teach village residents the basics of infant nutrition, the need for vaccination as well as the use of netting to prevent malaria. These efforts and many others have significantly reduced infant mortality, malaria and overall have contributed to health education and awareness of the local residents. Dr. Scott Kellermann's drive and vision begun this work and now well trained Ugandan doctors, nurses and administrators run this hospital and its ongoing public health programs. If you are a Pre-med student, look into the opportunities to intern at Bwindi!