Volunteer Cordinator: Email:jmlugemwa@gmail.com 
                               Tel: 763-291-1102

 Summer 2005 Student Volunteers

College of St. Benedict/ St. John's University, Minnesota

College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Uganda Volunteer Crew, Summer 2005


The bios were writen before the trip..

Cassandra M. Neuhaus:

Cass is from Benson, Minnesota.  She is a junior Psychology/Peace Studies double major.  Cass works for the Central Minnesota Taskforce on Battered Women in the Children’s Department and is excited to work with the youth of Uganda.  She is looking forward to experiencing Uganda’s unique culture and getting to know the Ugandan people.  She is also eager to build strong relationships with her fellow group members and to share this once-in-a-lifetime experience with the CSB/SJU community.   Cass will be staying in Uganda until August and will be doing an internship with Give Me A Chance Africa, based in Kampala, Uganda.

 Benjamin J. Kaster:

Ben is from Maple Grove, Minnesota. He is a Junior Pre-Medicine/Biology major with an interest in Primary Care medicine. Ben’s understands there are many problems that our world faces and hopes that through this trip he can be in solidarity to the aids movement and gain an understanding of the problem behind the numbers and facts he has read in books, and see how it affects the people directly.  This journey will be an eye opening experience into life that will inspire me to realize the world in which we are a human family.   Once out of med-school Ben hopes to be involved in doctors without borders.

 Erica H. Layer:

Erica is a junior chemistry major from Elk River.  She plans to go into a Ph. D. program in chemistry and become a college professor.  She is very interested in global issues and hopes to connect with people abroad and better understand the struggles facing developing nations.  She would like to give thanks to John Mary Lugemwa for his tireless efforts in planning to trip; this experience would not be a reality without him.

 Amanda C. Enzler:

Amanda is from New Brighton, Minnesota.  As a sophomore this year studying Psychology and Philosophy, she is looking forward to this amazing international experience.  Being embraced in a culture very different than her own, she is ready with an open mind to broaden her knowledge, her views, and obtain a new outlook on life.  This experience will help her relate to different communities when she dives into the work force in the near future.  With an amazing group of individuals joining her on this trip and a great support group back home, this shall be an experience that she will remember forever.

 Chelsea A. Cohrs:

Chelsea is an Honors, Pre-Medicine/ Biology student at College of Saint Benedict.  She grew up in Alexandria, Minnesota where she developed her interests in reaching out to others in need.   Her interests were broadened throughout her undergraduate experiences including mission trips around the U.S. and studying abroad in London, England where she was able to learn about and from the incredible societies and traditions speckled throughout Europe.  Now, Chelsea is “thrilled to be immersed in a new culture where she can dive right in and personally show victims of this universally known struggle, HIV/AIDS, that the world does care.”  In the future she hopes to continue relations with the global community and frost her own community with the awareness and understanding that she gains.  She would like to graciously thank all of the amazing students she is working with for their dedication and drive to make this dream a reality.  Also, she would like to thank her parents for truly believing in her dreams and aspirations.

Megan M. Peterson:

Megan is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a sophomore Pre-med/Peace Studies major.  Megan is very excited to work with AIDS patients in Uganda and experience a life so different from hers.  She hopes that this trip will be a pre-cursor to a future career in third-world medicine.  She is very thankful for all the support she has received- especially from her mom and dad!!!

 Jared V. Anderson:

Jared is from Dawson, Minnesota. He is a Junior Pre-Medicine/Biology major with an interest in Pediatric/Osteopathic medicine. Jared is ready to dive into this trip and start a path of volunteer work which is related to his potential career. Jared comes from a small community and is eager to travel outside the United States. "This is a once in a lifetime experience with an amazing group of people and I will treasure it/them the rest of my life."

 Erin E. Wentz:

Erin is from Rochester, Minnesota. She is planning to major in English and minor in French.  Erin is looking forward to the new perspective, international contact and support, and service opportunities provided by this trip to Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya.  She adds her thanks to everyone who has helped support this trip and keep it going.

 Jennifer E. Kruse:

Jen is from St. Cloud, Minnesota.  She is a junior Pre-Medicine/Biology major with a passion for and a minor in music, and is a member of the 34th ID Band unit of the MN National Guard.  She volunteers in the monastery housing at St. John's and is eager to further her volunteer efforts abroad.  She is inspired at the prospect of interacting with and learning from the Ugandan people, and becoming immersed in their rich culture.  She is thrilled to be part of a student based initiative that seeks to give service on a deeply personal level and to work beside fellow group members who are committed to their efforts in both mind and spirit.  She believes that this journey will be her critical step in forging a path toward future volunteer efforts abroad as a physician.

 Peter E. Coonrod:

Pete is from Hastings, Minnesota.  He is a sophomore Pre-Med/Biology major.  Pete’s opportunity to live as a minority for five weeks and have his daily routine flipped upside down has him excited to take the trip.  He is eager to have the opportunity to be a positive ambassador for the CSB/SJU community and is ready for a “hands on” experience to better our global community.  He also adds his thanks to the extremely ambitious group of students who put an ample amount of time and effort into organizing this trip.

 Emily H. Graham:

Emily Graham hails from Cottage Grove, MN and is a sophomore Political Science major with a minor in Communication studies.  As Executive Liaison of Student’s for Global Solidarity at CSB/SJU, this trip to Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda to work internationally in the true spirit of service is nothing short of a dream befalling reality.  Her hope is that this journey will be the building block to a future of heightened awareness of not only the ravaging effects of HIV/AIDS on a continent of such beauty and history, but also the beginning of a relationship propelled by a greater sense of understanding between our local and global communities.  “I am so honored and blessed to be surrounded by a group of such dedicated, impassioned students.  We are all so unique, but are bound together by a common love for humanity.”  Emily would like to thank all who have been a part of this experience, especially John Mary for his efforts, and all those who have been in support of this from the beginning.

John Mary Lugemwa, OSB 

John Mary is from Masaka, Uganda- East Africa. He is a junior with a double major in Computer Science and Philosophy. After graduating from St. John's University, he plans to undertake his priesthood formation (graduate studies in Theology) in Rome. His one year experience in civil law at Makerere University law school in Uganda sparked off his interest in law. He will therefore be undertaking studies in Canon Law and his goal is to serve the church as a priest and Canon Lawyer. Other possible assignments at the Abbey might include teaching, network maintenance, and web designing—which he is already doing. "It is a privilege to work with a group of wonderful students who aspire to make a difference in the world. Although I was raised in Africa,  I can’t claim that I know everything about Africa or AIDS; I am also looking forward to learning more about my home continent. It will indeed be an amazing experience.  This program has so much to offer," says John Mary. He is grateful to his colleagues for their hard work and to all those whose support is making this project a success.

What We Do

URF operate: an orphanage, a vocational high school, after school programs, women empowerment programs, child sponsorship, and many more.

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About Us

URF is a 501(c)(3) charity registered in Uganda, USA, and Canada. We focus on education, health, and community development in the most rural areas of Uganda.

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News and Events

- Community Empowerment Seminar attended by 600 people
- 3 new homes built for child headed families.
- Men's group launched.
- Agriculture workshop for August. Business training workshop set for Sept.

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