I have just returned from Uganda, and thought that you would enjoy an update on the happenings at BLI.
This was my first trip to the Bethany Land Institute, and although I am updated every month, seeing it in person left me even further impressed by the progress that our staff has made. The demonstration farms are beautiful, the animals are healthy, and the reforestation plan is taking hold. The farm produces enough extra to sell to local restaurants and markets, and I had the pleasure of meeting neighboring residents who stop by to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables – they are given tree saplings as well to plant at their own homes! The proceeds from the sales go into the SACCO (Savings & Credit Co-op), insuring a future for our Caretakers.
Our staff and Caretakers respect and treat one another with the spirit and dignity that is the heart of BLI. Each one has a specialized area of expertise, which they share and learn together, resulting not only in cross training, but innovation as well. Note some of their ingenious ideas on the photos here and on the BLI home page. The rule at BLI is Zero Waste – literally everything is reused or repurposed to accomplish that goal.
While there we celebrated the signing of the 99-year lease with the Kasana Luweero Diocese, thus tripling the size of our Institute! This also insures that our mission will long outlive the founders. Our campus will be built on the new land in Nandere, with ground breaking scheduled for the Fall. In addition to the larger size, which will accommodate the campus, demonstration farms, and production fields, the gift includes 60 acres of natural forest, in which we will have an ecological center and a place for visitors and staff to simply retreat and enjoy the serene and bountiful surroundings. The original campus will remain in operation, thus giving us a presence in two locations to further our mission of Integral Ecology and spreading the Spirit of Bethany.
Strategic Planning Meeting
Fr. Emmanuel brought together representatives of both the Ugandan and US Boards, staff, thought leaders and experts in Ugandan agriculture and forestry, all led by a team of professional strategists. The team has their plan in place and is ready to forge ahead! Be sure to periodically check our website for more updates.
With your support we are turning the dream into reality!
We are reminded of the blessings brought to us in so many ways – from this gift of more land, to our supporters both in Uganda and in the US that make the dream possible.
As we prepare to break ground, please consider making a gift to keep the project moving ahead. Visit the website or send a check to the address below.
If you have any questions or would simply like to chat about the project, feel free to reach out to me. My contact information is below. I would love to hear from you!
Thank you for your continuing support of BLI, as we look forward to a strong future for our friends in Uganda.