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Dr. Scott Kellermann has dedicated his life to the Ugandan Batwa Pygmies: Helping them move From Poverty to Self-Sufficiency

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Posted July 14, 2012 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in Batwa ~ 7,218 views

     

Dr. Scott Kellermann has been selected out of 2400 nominees as a U.S. Western Region Top 5 Finalist for the 4th Annual CLASSY Awards. The CLASSY Awards Ceremony is the largest philanthropic recognition ceremony in the U.S., celebrating the achievements of charitable organizations serving in over 70 countries.

This is a tremendous honor and will make a difference for so many in Uganda, particularly our fellow Ugandans, the Batwa. Let’s all vote—together and help move Dr. Scott’s nomination to the next level!

AOL.com has said “Hollywood has Oscar, Broadway has Tony, and now Philanthropy has the CLASSYs!”The award is decided 50% by public online voting and 50% by a judges’ panel. Votes need to be completed online by July 26 at: http://www.stayclassy.org/classy-awards/vote

Below is Dr. Kellermann’s Achievement Story. You can also read it at at this link: http://www.stayclassy.org/stories/batwa-pygmies-from-poverty-to-self-sufficiency:

In the year 2000, my wife, Carol and I came to Uganda to perform a medical needs survey on the Batwa pygmies. We discovered that they had some of the highest mortality rates in the world; 38% childhood mortality and a life expectancy of 28. Without intervention their survival was impossible.

After much prayer and consideration, Carol and I returned to the US and sold our possessions, and moved to Uganda. For the first several years we lived a good part of the time in a tent, learning the language, culture and traditions of the Batwa. It became obvious that because of abject poverty they had little or no access to health care, education, sanitation, land, or income generation, and were losing their cultural identity. We performed mobile medical clinics, treating patients under trees, using vines to hang the IVs from branches.

In 2002, we built a small clinic near the spot where our mobile outreach routinely treated 300-500 villagers a day. For many patients, it was the first time in their lives to see a physician. One definition of poverty is a lack of options. In this remote, isolated region, the Batwa and their neighbors had very few options, especially without an education. We started a small school and gradually increased educational outreach.

Today there are over 600 students in three well-appointed schools; the children attending them will be the future leaders of this area. Over the last 10 years, the clinic has grown into a first rate full-service 132-bed hospital serving a population of over 60,000, run entirely by Ugandans and is ranked one of the best hospitals in Uganda. It was the proud recipient of the 2011 STARS Impact Award in Health for the Africa-Middle East region. Over 250 acres has been procured for the Batwa and more than 120 homes built. On a 100-acre ancient forest, the Batwa have created a living history cultural site with a traditional settlement.

Batwa children regularly stay with the elders, learning Batwa legends, songs, dance, and forest ways of life. Visitors are welcome. Batwa craft sales help artisans support their families and provide funding for health and education. The Batwa are proud of their culture and now have opportunities for a better life. Each year, over 100 volunteers come from around the world to assist with our projects. We are proud that the hospital and outreach programs are now being managed by local Ugandans.

Carol and I served full-time in Uganda for 10 years, now spending more time in the US raising awareness and funding. It is an honor and privilege to serve the Batwa and their neighbors. Kokunda Sylvia is currently studying at university, one of the first Batwa women in Uganda to do so. Sylvia is committed; “I want to make a difference for the Batwa, build up my family, and encourage my community and to be a leader of my people.” 10 years ago as a hungry, impoverished child, one would not have predicted such a future for her. I feel blessed to have played some small part in the change.

Check out Dr. Scott Kellermann’s Blog where he  shares more in-depth experiences of the amazing work being done for the Batwa: http://scottkellermannblog.wordpress.com/

Read more about the Batwa here: http://kellermannfoundation.org/ and also on this website: http://www.batwaexperience.com/


About the Author

Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment


  1.  

    Let’s help Dr. Scott receive this award, he deserves it! Thanks to all who have helped already, please spread the word!





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