About Educate Bwindi

Educate Bwindi is an all-volunteer, 501c3 non-profit dedicated to educating the most vulnerable children of Bwindi, Uganda. Together with our Ugandan partner, Educate Bwindi Uganda, we own and operate the Bwindi Watoto School, a private school serving the most vulnerable and the highest performing children in our community. Support for the school comes from sponsorships and donations. We provide fiscal oversight of all donations as well as strategic planning and problem solving.

All Board members are volunteers. We have no paid employees and, when working in Bwindi, pay our own costs. Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law.

Lorna Gladstone – President

Lorna has been working with the children of Bwindi since 2003. She is a founding member of Educate Bwindi and of Educate Bwindi Uganda.  She has a M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.  She returns regularly to visit and work with the school.

Gina Norgard – Vice President

Gina has a background in psychology, property/staff management, freelance magazine work including cooking and photography and a history of volunteer work. She is a founding member of Educate Bwindi and Educate Bwindi Uganda. She goes regularly to work with the school and is currently building a home in Bwindi.

Elizabeth Mills – Treasurer

Elizabeth Mills has practiced as an attorney for more than 35 years. She has concentrated her practice on nonprofit corporate and tax exemption matters and health law. She has practiced with two large Chicago law firms and most recently in solo practice from her Woodstock, IL home.

Erin Donahue – Secretary

Erin is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Guardian ad Litem for children in Vermont and an intrepid nature traveler. She and her husband Charlie sponsor three children from Bwindi and another eight are sponsored by their family and friends. They are looking forward to their fifth trip to the school.

Tom Hudson – Director

Tom Hudson is Chief Content Officer for WAMU and DCist in Washington, D.C. He writes a weekly column for the Miami Herald and for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service. He has received numerous broadcasting awards, including the 2012 Program of Excellence Award by American Public Television.

Karen Pampush – Director

Karen Pampush has a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in curriculum and instruction. She also holds a Certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. She currently teaches elementary children in the Chicagoland area. In 2019, she spent a month introducing teachers at Bwindi Watoto School to the basics of critical thinking.

Kyasiimire Mercy- Director

We met Mercy when she was only six years old.  At that time, there were no schools in Bwindi. A group of community leaders were trying to raise money for children who had lost parents, many of whom had AIDS, or had been abandoned or just had nowhere to go. Every day, the children danced for tourists, and Mercy was the star.  Before leaving Bwindi, we sponsored several children, including Mercy. Today she has a university degree in education, is happily married with two children and has become crucial to our work on the ground.

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