|Dear friends and partners of Bethany Land Institute (BLI), I have been thinking about you over the Thanksgiving weekend. We at BLI have a lot to be grateful for this year. As I reflect on what has been an extraordinary year for BLI, my heart is filled with gratitude for all that has been realized and for your friendship and generous support that has made it possible. Please see my short end-of-the-year video below as well as some highlights from the year at BLI.
|“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family.”
– Pope Francis, Laudato Si’ #52
|Reflecting on 2022
Cohort II Joins BLI: In February, BLI’s second cohort of Caretaker Trainees officially joined Cohort I on BLI’s campus. This new cohort includes six young women and four young men from various regions of Uganda. The new trainees have been attending classes, learning in the fields, and living in the dormitories for several months now. Read the bios of all current Caretaker Trainees here.
Family Day: In July, the Caretaker Trainees invited their families to the BLI campus in Nandere. The families were able to tour the campus, hear about what the trainees have been learning, and see the trainees’ work in action.
The Public Launch and Commissioning of First Caretakers: The Public Launch of BLI on July 29 was a resounding success. With over 1,400 guests and Uganda’s major media outlets in attendance, Bethany Land Institute was able to expand its reach across the country. At the launch, BLI also commissioned its first group of Caretakers, sending them out to share the joy of creation care with others. The group included 7 individuals who stayed on as teaching staff (incubators) at BLI, 14 seminarians, Archbishop Paul Ssemogerere, and our first woman Caretaker, Maria. See coverage of the launch here and here.
Season of Creation: September marked the Season of Creation, a time to celebrate and renew our relationship with all of creation. Under the theme of “Listen to the Voice of Creation,” BLI held and participated in a number of community events and programs to sensitize the community to the cry of the Earth. Activities centered around the need to care for our Mother Earth and included programs on local radio stations, community meetings, and sporting events.
Visitors: BLI has hosted a great number of visitors at the BLI campus this year, including Dr. Gian Battista Piragi (Italian Bishops’ Conference); delegations from Ndejje University and the University of Notre Dame; members of the Batwa Development Program (BDP), Sonde Rotary Club, and Tree Adoption Uganda; and many others from around Uganda and the globe.
Cohort I Starts Internships: A key component of the Caretaker Trainee program is the internship period. Before BLI officially commissions trainees, they go out into the community and participate in a structured internship, putting their newly acquired knowledge to practice. This past fall, Cohort I participated in a group internship at Uwepo Tree and Plant Nursery. In February 2023, they will return to their communities and set up their projects reflecting what they have learned at BLI.
|As we look forward to 2023, we are excited about the opportunity not only to welcome a new class of Caretaker Trainees, but to deepen and grow our caretaker training program, the community outreach program, and our Nandere campus. To this goal, we are excited that Ray Archuleta, renownedsoil scientist and conservationist, will be visiting BLI in February 2023 to work with management and staff on the ground. Ray is a soil expert, farmer, entrepreneur, and speaker whose work is featured in the award-winning 2020 documentary Kiss The Ground. It can be streamed on Netflix.
|Help BLI Continue Its Mission in 2023
As we grow and deepen, we ask for your continued support towards realizing BLI’s mission of transforming rural Uganda through conservation agriculture, care for creation, and economic empowerment for young people.
Please consider supporting us in one of the following ways
– Join our Scholarship Program by supporting one of our Caretaker Trainees
– Support one of our campus projects
– Help complete the campus through our Capital Campaign
– Make a one-time gift toward our operating expenses
Introductions to other funding sources are always appreciated. If you would like to host a fundraiser for BLI, or have any questions about our projects or campaigns, please reach out to Theresa Murray, Development Coordinator.
You can also send a check to BLI at the following address:
P.O. Box 6391South Bend, IN 46660
|Again, thank you for your continued support. I wish you a blessed Advent and a good end to 2022.
Father Emmanuel Katongole and everyone at BLI
|“Love Mother Earth, Make Everyone Happy”
BLI’s 2022 Motto