Opening the Institute - 2021

Building upon a dream of Fr. Emmanuel and his fellow founders, the first land was purchased in 2015, and BLI was incorporated as a nonprofit organization in Uganda and the United States. In 2016 BLI partnered with Engineering Missions International to complete a thorough land assessment and develop a site plan. In 2019 we formed an agreement with the Kasana Luwero Diocese to lease 160 acres for 49 years, insuring the longevity of BLI.  With financial support from organizations, foundations and individual donors, we broke ground on Phase I of our building plan in February 2020. Despite an uncertain year, Phase I was completed in January 2021.
Parts of the land have been cleared and prepped, staff has been hired to manage the land, the BLI curriculum and programming is developed, and living quarters have been constructed for the staff and students. We welcomed our first cohort of Caretakers in March of 2021, consisting of current staff and new students, who will earn their BLI Certificates in 2022.
The entire staff is working through the curriculum, alongside 7 new students and 14 Seminarians from the Kasana Luwero Diocese who are joining them for the first three months. By participating in the daily routine of learning farming and agroforestry techniques and classroom teachings, they will fully understand all that comprises the Bethany Land Institute, and they will become the instructors for future cohorts. They are breaking ground, both literally and figuratively, in preparing the land for those who follow. 
With the opening of BLI, we are fulfilling our mission:
Forming Leaders in Integral Ecology for Rural Transformation


We invite you to travel along with us on our journey.


Our first Caretakers - welcomed February 2021!

Our First Caretakers

Welcomed March 2021!

Sylvester Kule
BLI Director
Sylvester Kule BLI Director
Fr. Joseph Kakooza - 
BLI Administrator
Fr. Joseph Kakooza - BLI Administrator
Simon Nyombi - the BLI Coordinator
Simon Nyombi - the BLI Coordinator
Timeline of Our Progress and Our Future
  • Dreams & an emerging vision
  • BLI Concept is conceived
  • Clarifying the vision - conversations in Uganda and the US
  • Acquiring land
  • Surveying & securing the land (fencing)
  • Farm house constructed
  • Hired farm manager, security officer and two farm hands
  • Set up BLI Uganda Ltd (LLC). 1st meeting of BLI Uganda board
  • Topographic survey carried out
  • Master site Campus plan developed by Engineering Missions International (EMI)
  • BLI USA set up as 501(c)3
  • Held 1st meeting US board
  • Held US vision casting meeting
  • Simon Nyombi joins BLI as coordinator
  • Bank accounts and BLI office set up in Uganda; Julius is hired as accountant
  • Fundraising for Phase One of campus construction
  • Staff formation program launched
  • ECI grant secured
  • Susan joins staff as accountant
  • David joins staff. Launch of Lazarus trees program
  • Conversations with Notre Dame
  • Conversations and Grant awarded with Wheaton Franciscan Sisters
  • US Advisory Council Meeting
  • 2 BLI USA Board meetings
  • 1 BLI Uganda Board meeting
  • Martha’s SACCO set up
  • BLI Uganda 5 year strategic plan meeting 
  • Curriculum Development workshop
  • NGO Registration
  • MOU with Kasana Luwero Diocese, who awards 160 acres to build the BLI Nandare Campus, which includes 80 acres of virgin forest.
  • Phase One campus development starts
  • Set up demonstration and teaching farm
  • Joseph Kakooza joins as BLI Adminstrator, overseeing campus construction & development
  • Campus construction and demonstration set up continues
  • Recruit (select) 1st caretaker cohort
  • Preparations for Institute launch
  • Sylvester Kule joins as BLI Director
  • Chris Mukwaya joins as BLI Forester
  • Feb: BLI officially launches: 1st cohort
  • First Martha’s Market
  • 2nd (cohort) intake
  • All BLI programs fully established and running.
  • Development of 2nd phase of BLI Campus
  • Third and final phase of BLI campus development
Campus Plan