International Outreach: Humanist ‘Missionaries’ in Uganda

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International Outreach: Humanist ‘Missionaries’ in Uganda

October 15, 2016 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Hank PellissierHAAM is extremely pleased to announce that we have a very special guest flying in from San Francisco, California for this meeting. Hank Pellissier is the founder and director of the Brighter Brains Institute (BBI), an California-based non-profit organization that builds and supports schools and health clinics in Uganda (as well as other locations in Africa).

The term “missionary” brings to mind black robes, white collars, and forced conversions, but of course with Humanist missionaries this couldn’t be further from the truth. Ugandans are a pragmatic people who are eager to adopt a belief system that can provide an escape from poverty and ignorance. Humanism fits the bill because it works.

In 2014, BBI established a clinic at Kasese Humanist Primary School, one of the two Humanist schools that already existed in Uganda. This clinic provides free medicine and medical care to the 320 pupils, including an ongoing program to fight parasitic infections in the student population. Additionally, the BBI provides the school’s orphans with shoes, clothes, tuition sponsorships, and scholarships, and set up an after-school Creativity Lab with donated video and music equipment.

Kasese studentsIn 2015, BBI raised funds to build – brick by brick – the “world’s first atheist orphanage” in nearby Muhokya. They collected sufficient funds from humanists and atheists worldwide to build boys’ and girls’ dormitories, a kitchen, dining room, latrine, clinic, and roadside stand to sell beverages and snacks. Next, they built a primary school with 9 classrooms, and then a mile away in Kahendero, a nursery school with 3 more classrooms, as well as another clinic.

In 2016, BBI began “converting” schools near Kasese to Humanism. The Humanist Principles set out by Kasese United Humanist Association (KUHA) , plus financial aid, were quickly accepted by eight other schools. Three more orphanage schools adopted KUHA’s secular guidelines, and four female-led schools, attracted by the Humanist emphasis on women’s equality, partnered with Brighter Brains. BBI guides these newly-converted schools by teaching the basic principles of Humanism to the staff and students, tailoring the instruction to address each school’s particular circumstances and needs. It assists with lunch programs, classroom construction, clean water projects, teachers’ salaries, orphan sponsorships, and medical clinics. It also supplies AFRIpads (reusable sanitary menstrual pads) to the older girls, and provides the Humanist secondary school with sex education classes and condoms.

For over a year now HAAM has supported Kasese Humanist Primary School (KHPS) in Uganda, and we are committed to sponsoring a child for the full length of his schooling at KHPS. Our sponsored child is John Bogere and he is doing well in his first year of school. We will meet John and KHPS’s founder and director Robert Bwambale at our meeting via recorded video, to give us more background on Kasese and the explosion of Humanism in Africa.

Please join us for what will be a thought-provoking, insightful, and entertaining meeting.

Bogere 2Charity of the Month

In October we’ll be raising funds for John Bogere’s annual tuition and the Kasese Humanist Primary School.







About Our Meetings

If you’re new to HAAM, welcome! Our regular monthly meetings are always open to the public. Come early for dinner, drinks, or just to visit. Late-comers and drop-ins are welcome, so if you can’t make it on time or stay till the end, don’t worry. You can eat during the meeting if you’re late – the buffet is open till 8:00.

Our other events are intended for paid members only. If you would like to check us out, you are welcome to attend one or two events before becoming a member. After that, if you wish to continue to participate, we ask that you support the group by joining.

All events are subject to change, and some details may be TBA. In the event of inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances, events may be subject to cancellation or details may change.


October 15, 2016
5:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:




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