we are $21,000 closer to our goal!
Our 2017 Spring Fundraiser raised $21,000! Thank you to all of our generous friends who joined us for delicious food, drink and conversation about the irrigation system the Brothers' are building in Kitereddre, Uganda. Once finished, the irrigation system will tremendously improve the lives of those who live there and their surrounding communities.
While all the money for the project has yet to be raised, we know through your continued support and prayers that we will reach our goal.
To see our full thank you letter from our board, please click below to download!
Join us for the Feast of St. Charles Lwanga
The Bannakaroli Brothers Second Annual Spring Fundraiser is almost upon us! Join us June 3rd at Loyola University Chicago to help build a water irrigation system for
St. Joseph's School in Kiterredde, Uganda, which is suffering from drought.
The Bannakaroli Brothers estimate it will cost U.S. $35,000 to build the irrigation system, which will help them water their crops throughout the year, improve the students’ nutrition, and ensure food security to the surrounding communities.
To attend the fundraiser or simply contribute to the irrigation system, please print out this letter (download below) and detach and return the bottom portion in the enclosed envelope by May 30. If you have questions, please leave a comment below. Thank you; we look forward to seeing you on June 3!
The Bannakaroli Brothers (The Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga) (BSCL) are the first indigenous religious order of men in Africa South of the Sahara. Brothers of St Charles Lwanga are locally known as Bannakaroli brothers. The name Bannakaroli bears the connotation of “Banna” meaning “those of” “Karoli” for “Charles Lwanga”, Lwanga being the surname of “Charles”. Charles Lwanga was the leader of the Uganda Martyrs.
The order was founded in 1927 by the Late Archbishop Henry Streicher, one of the early White Father Missionaries (Missionaries of Africa), who preached in Africa, South of the Sahara Desert Region. Brothers of St Charles Lwanga soon became an outstanding African Religious Order of Brothers especially in Eastern Africa. The Brothers have their Mother House located at Kiteredde, in the South Central part of Uganda in the Catholic Diocese of Masaka.
The members of the Order number to almost 500 and serve in the three countries of East Africa, i.e., Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. The Brothers serve God through teaching, performing as catechists, technicians, male nurses, masons, carpenters, electricians, Shoemakers, and social workers.
The Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga in their consecrated life to God, devote their lives to educating the youth and training them in artisan work. The brothers are credited in the region for training artisans in varied skills especially carpentry and joinery, brick laying and concrete practice, tailoring, shoe making, mechanics and plumbing. The Brothers are accredited for their quality works and innovations, charity and voluntary service to the needy and national service in their localities.
Thirty years ago, Fr. Raymond Baumhart, S.J. formed a partnership with the superior General of the Bannakaroli Brothers whereby Loyola University Chicago would provide complete tuition scholarships for several brothers to study at Loyola, and the Jesuit Community agreed to provide room and board, inviting the brothers to live with them in their Jesuit community. For all these years Brothers have stayed at Gonzaga community which has almost become part of their community also. In the early years, there were four-four brothers a year studying at Loyola in undergraduate programs’ in more recent years, it has been two brothers usually studying in graduate programs per year. Well, over 30 brothers have received degrees—mostly MA degrees—in various disciplines. After being formed, Brothers go back to East Africa, and server as leaders and administrators in one of the 21 primary schools, 10 vocational schools, seven high schools, and two orphanages staffed by the order in Uganda, the congregation of Brothers is always very grateful for the kindness and generosity of the Society of Jesus for the tremendous generosity to the Brothers.
Below are some of the Brothers that have passed through Loyola University:
Special thanks to Brother Austin Gumisiriiza for writing this post on the History of the Brothers here in Chicago.
Dear Friends of the Bannakaroli,
It has only been four short months since our very successful fundraiser this past June, and there is already much more to share with you about the wonderful work of the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga. First, we are extremely grateful to all of those who were able to attend the fundraiser. We raised over $20,000, thanks to your generosity! Since then, we have sent a little over $5,000 to support students with their school fees and nearly $16,000 for the construction of the maize mill, which is progressing very well. Photos of the ongoing project are visible under of "What We Do" tab explaining our work.
Second, we have been working on applications to foundations and for placement in the Kenedy Directory, the official directory of Catholic churches and organizations in the U.S. Placement in the Directory that would make the name of Bannakaroli more widely known in Catholic charitable circles. Our Board members worked hard to collect all the necessary information and to submit our applications, and we are especially grateful for the support of the Jesuit community.
Third, we want to report on the ongoing needs of the people who are served by the Bannakaroli and ask for your continued support. We are in close contact with the brothers in Uganda, and they have reported that global warming is having a very negative effect on their agricultural work. Brother Isidore wrote to us recently and informed us:
“With the advent of climate change due to Global Warming, Uganda is increasingly facing severe droughts which lead to failure of crops. This year we lost almost one square Start of construction Nearly finished! kilometer of maize due to inadequate rainfall. We want to start crop irrigation to ensure food security in our schools and communities and stop depending on rainfall which is very unreliable these days.”
A photo of the damaging effect of the drought on the year's crops can be seen at the bottom of this post. The brothers are working on the details of a crop irrigation system and our next priority is to assist them in this project. As you can see from the wonderful progress of the maize mill, the money we contribute has a direct effect on the brothers’ work, but the needs continue. Please consider making a tax-free contribution to the work of the brothers; we are a 501(C)3 organization. We are very grateful for your past support! Checks can be made to “Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga” or you can make a contribution under the "Donate" tab of our site.
Thank you for your generous support of the Brothers’—and God’s—work!
Board of Directors Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga Foundation:
Micael Clarke, Chair
James Salvatore, Board Member
Wanda Glitz, Board Member
Gordian Twesigye, Board Member
Austin Guma, Board Member
Melissa Warden, Board Member
Susan Ross, Board Member
Raymond White, Board Member
In June 2016, the Brothers of St. Charles Lwanga Foundation reached a significant fundraising goal. The Board of Directors held a fundraiser on the Loyola University Chicago campus where more than 60 people attended to raise money toward replacing a maize mill in Uganda with a modern hammer milling plant.
Construction on the maize mill was initiated in August 2016. The plant’s purpose is to improve the lives of women and children in Kasaali Sub County who manually pound maize, millet, rice, and cassava. A modern food processing facility will provide employment opportunities, provide cheap food stuffs for all Bannakaroli Brothers’ schools in Uganda, and help fight hunger. The Bannakaroli Brothers estimated that this new plant will help almost 14,000 people living in this area and will cost $25,000 U.S. After expenses, the Foundation’s June fundraiser netted $15,000 toward the goal. In August, the Bannakaroli Brothers began clearing the land in Uganda where the plant will be built in anticipation of the Foundation raising the remaining amount of funds.