In 1992, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest was made a World Heritage Site to protect its endangered mountain gorillas. As a result, a tribe of indigenous Batwa pygmies were exiled from the rainforest where they had thrived as hunter-gatherers for millennia.
They were left with no compensation, no titles to land, and little understanding of their new surroundings. A generation has lived in extreme poverty.
Your support can help empower the Batwa to flourish again.
The Batwa Pygmies
This proud people group has struggled since the exile in their new environment, the isolated mountainous regions outside the rainforest. A generation of children had no formal education, families had little income and few permanent homes, and their health was poor. Malaria and malnutrition were rampant; 38% of Batwa children died before they reached the age of 5.
The Batwa themselves appeared endangered.
Scott Kellermann, a family physician, and his wife, Carol, an educator, arrived in Uganda in 2000 as medical missionaries to survey the Batwa’s health.
The couple was so inspired to help the Batwa that they moved to Uganda in 2001. Dr. Kellermann began treating hundreds of people who lined up each day for his open-air clinic under a ficus tree. Over the next eight years, they bought land, built homes, started schools and mobile clinics, initiated clean water and sanitation projects, and showed the pygmies how to grow healthy food. They also founded a hospital that has extended health services not only to the Batwa, but also all other residents of the region, a population of over 120,000.
The Kellermann Foundation
The Kellermann Foundation was founded in 2004 to build on the work the Kellermanns had begun. The foundation honors the work of its founders and continues to spread faith, hope, and compassion in southwest Uganda by focusing on three top priorities: healthcare, nursing education, and community development.
In just over a decade, your support of the Kellermann Foundation has helped these programs evolve immensely. The Kellermanns’ open-air clinic has blossomed into one of the most successful hospitals in Uganda, and a much wider network of programs now offers new possibilities for the Batwa and their neighbors. The region now enjoys a 112-bed hospital and an advanced-level nursing school. The Batwa of this region now have access to educational support at all levels, permanent homes, gardens, spiritual outreach, literacy, economic development, and more. Programs continue to address the root causes of extreme poverty and poor health throughout the district.
Will you join us in this important, growing work?