James Conley is heading up this operation. 


Hi All,

As I reported today, the Board voted on Tuesday to support the international humanitarian project of The Uganda Nursing School, Bwindi.  This project is being developed by Dr. Scott Kellerman of the Nevada City 49er Club and the Reno Monday Noon Club. 

The purpose of the project is to help change the lives of the indigenous people of Southwestern Uganda in Kanungu district near the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. One of the oldest tribal groups in Africa, the Batwa Pygmies, were evicted from their ancestral home in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in 1992 by the Ugandan government to preserve the forest habitat for the Critically Endangered Mountain Gorilla. Of the total 600 Silverback Gorillas in Africa, 350 are located in Southwest Uganda in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. These beautiful creatures continue to live a somewhat endangered life in the forest preserve but are no less challenged in their own way than the Batwa.


The Batwa, as hunter/gatherers, were removed from the forest without provision of land or means of preserving their lifestyle. This resulted in a variety of problems including poverty driven by lack of education and opportunity, a broad range of health issues, high mortality rates for children under 5 and loss of their culture.

The personal commitment of Dr. Scott Kellermann and his wife Carol started in October, 2001, when they went to Uganda to measure the mortality rates of the Batwa. Dr. Kellerman found serious problems and that medical facilities were sorely lacking. In repsonse, he started the drive to built the Bwindi Hospital. Then, this rural area--approximately 6000 feet--in the mountains was unable to attract nurses. So, Dr. Kellerman is now building an adjacent nursing school.

The nursing school building is complete but it needs $250,000 in equipment and supplies to begin to offer the three year program designed to train nurses. The Reno Rotary Club has agreed to serve as an international grant sponsor and will soon be submitting a Rotary International Foundation Global Grant to purchase furnishings, classroom and lab equipment. This will be the largest project the Reno club has ever undertaken and it can only work with our support. The club is contributing at least $25,000, and to date, six other Rotary clubs have signed on as co-sponsors. In addition, individual members have stepped up to make personal contributions which will leverage our money even more through the Global Grants program. A $100 donation will likely turn into $750-$1000 through matching grants.

We signed on as a co-sponsoring club at the $1000 level for the following reasons:

* This is an excellent humanitarian project that will offer hands on service trips. You will have the opportunity, if you wish, to travel to Uganda and volunteer in the hospital; help complete the nursing school; build houses for the Batwa; enjoy a homestay and cultural events; and visit the adjacent Gorilla sanctuary. There will be several trips. Dates TBA.

*The $1000 club donation will help the Reno club reach its goals and we see a bright partnership on international projects with them in the future.

* We will likely have Dr. Kellerman as a guest speaker in the 2013-2014 Rotary year to give you prespective on where our funds are going and to drive entuasism for international service. Hopefully, he will inspire some to travel to Uganda.

* We may have the opportunity to take the lead on a future Bwindi project or elsewhere with the partnership of the Reno Club. Global Grants will require us to partner in the future with other clubs in the district due to changing rules.

* We have arranged for individual contributions to count towards your Paul Harris. This gives you the opportunity to contribute directly to a specific RI Foundation project. Now, you will know exactly where your money is going and what good it is doing.

I have attached three documents if you would like to review more detailed information on the grant application and the project. You may also want to go to the Bwindi Community Hospital website at www.bwindihospital.com

If you are interested in supporting the school and participating in one of the truly great humanitarian projects our club will undertake, please consider making a personal pledge and donation. To make a pledge, please indicate to Carla the amount you want to pledge and we will make sure that you will receive Paul Harris credit. Remember any donation counts, regardless of amount, and we will work with you to recognize someone on your behalf if you wish. Checks are to be made out to the Reno Rotary Foundation or The Rotary Foundation and given to Carla. For the Global Grant applicaiton to be the most effective, we need to know pledge amounts, and if possible, have all checks to Carla by July 1, 2013.

Thank you to all of the memebers that donated today. As individuals, we have already exceeded the $1000 the club pledged!!!

In service,

James Conley
Rotary Club of Truckee