On August 6th, 2013, the Global Livingston Institute officially opened and launched the Entusi Resort and Retreat Center along with 28 students and community leaders from the United States at Lake Bunyonyi in Southern Uganda. Over 250 local residents and community leaders including over 70 leaders from the Entusi Women’s Association attended the opening celebrations.
Entusi Resort and Retreat Center: GLI at Lake Bunyonyi acts as a forum for the growing dialogue in social and economic progress within the local and international community at large while providing the space for everyone to experience the natural beauties of Uganda. Consistent with the GLI Mission to positively impact the health and vitality of communities in East Africa and inform GLI participants through research, exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing, Entusi creates a space for this to happen for both the local and international community that it serves.
Jamie Van Leeuwen, Executive Director of the Global Livingston Institute, said “We built this center to create a space for everyone. We are building reciprocal relationships with our partners in East Africa and are eager to change the dialogue on international development.”
Modeled after the Rockefeller Bellagio Retreat Center, the concept is to provide a creative and innovative working space in the Bunyonyi region for travelers, students and community leaders from all around the world to convene to address complex social issues. More importantly, this retreat center is designed to serve as an incubator for learning where the students, community leaders and local partners will work together to reinvest in the Lake Bunyonyi community through education, health, public management and arts and culture. Regan, a local Ugandan who manages the center said, “Never before has our community been so excited for something. Everyone knows about Entusi and they know that this is our project led by our own community.”
The center is funded through support from private foundations, corporations and individuals. The entire project was developed using local labor and supplies, employing over 150 Ugandans in the building of the center and providing 18 local Ugandans with fulltime employment to operate the center. The Executive Director of the center and a native of Pueblo Colorado, Matthew Bravo, speaks to the impact that Entusi is having on the local community. “The people who live and work in this rural part of Uganda know that there is something different and innovative about how this center is engaging and activating the local community. Everyone is welcome and they want to be a part of it,” Bravo said.
Built in less than nine months through the generous support of the Colorado foundation community and local philanthropists, Entusi hosted a Women’s Leadership Retreat in June along with the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, the Buechner Institute for Governance and Makerere University where 33 participants engaged in a dialogue around investing in women’s leadership in East Africa. The State Department recently awarded a grant to Entusi to convene Fulbright Scholars and Hubert Humphrey Alumnae in October 2013.
According to Peter Beaupre, President & COO of PCL Construction and a strong supporter of the Global Livingston Institute, “We are excited about the way this unique organization is engaging students and community leaders from Colorado and Uganda to think differently about how we identify innovative solutions to poverty and impact change.”
Other key sponsors include the Anna and John J. Sie Foundation, the Bohemian Foundation, the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation, FirstBank, Hewlett-Packard, the Kenneth King Foundation, the Morgridge Family Foundation, the Schaden Family Foundation, and Suncor.
About the Global Livingston Institute
The Global Livingston Institute (GLI) is rapidly growing and developing collaborative partnerships in both East Africa and in the United States. The Global Livingston Institute (GLI) is named after Johnston R. Livingston, a visionary, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Colorado. The Institute was founded in 2009, by Jamie Van Leeuwen after he traveled to Uganda and Rwanda as part of the Livingston Fellowship he received from Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. The mission of the GLI is to positively impact the health and vitality of communities in East Africa and inform GLI participants through research, exchange of ideas and knowledge sharing.
To achieve this mission we believe we must: Listen. Think. Act. For more information or to support the work of the Global Livingston Institute, contact John Pirkopf (firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.GlobalLivingston.org.
Jamie Van Leeuwen
Executive Director, Global Livingston Institute