In 1986, Rev. David Serunjogi, known as Romans, and his wife, Sarah, opened the Trinity Children’s Centre in a slum near Kampala, Uganda. The enrollment was six students including one of their own children. Today, enrollment at Trinity Children’s Centre, open to families and teachers from all faiths, exceeds 1,300 elementary school students spread over four campuses.
In 1998, the Serunjogis opened Centenary High School, a secondary school located across the equator and 80 miles south, in Masaka, Uganda. Enrollment at Centenary is now over 800.
In 2007, the Serunjogis broadened their mission to include health care and disease prevention with the opening of Double Cure Medical Center in Mpigi.
ECHOES Around the World, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, evolved from a ten-year relationship with Romans and Sarah Serunjogi and the schools they created.
In 2011, ECHOES formed a second supportive partnership with St. James School in Philadelphia.
ECHOES supports accountable, visionary leaders like the Serunjogis who are making a real difference in their communities. We do not impose our ideas or values on our partners. Instead, we seek to help indigenous leaders whose projects make sense in their environments and cultures.
ECHOES is committed to giving 90 to 95 percent of every dollar it raises directly to its partner projects.
To ensure accountability, ECHOES stays in close contact with its partners in Ugandan and Philadelphia through multiple personal visits, regular phone calls and e-mails. Six ECHOES Board members have made numerous visits to our Uganda to ascertain needs firsthand and to ensure that our financial support is prudently spent. Both projects have proven their worthiness and accountability.
The children whom we support have experienced a deep loss, the loss of family. In many cases they have lost their parents and have nobody to turn to for help. ECHOES can give them HOPE, and so much more through education and a support system that will sustain them as they build a brighter future.
President, Anne Cunningham has been serving as the President of the Board since January 2016. Anne has chaired four events for ECHOES over the past five years which have included two dinner and auction events at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern, the 10th Anniversary Bash held at La Colombe in Philadelphia and the Boots 'n Bandanas country western themed event held under a tent in Wayne, PA. Anne has been an active volunteer at St. David's Church in Wayne, PA where she chaired several Fairs, Auctions and Art Shows. The events ranged in size from 250 to 3000 guests and raised approximately $300K. She has been an active volunteer for the Main Line Associates for the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Women’s Resource Center in Wayne, PA. She graduated from Lake Forest College with a B.S. in Psychology. Anne is an Office Administrator for Michelle Wenitsky Interior Design and lives in Villanova, Pennsylvania with her husband.
Co-Founder and President Emeritus, Nereida Gordon, is the driving force behind the genesis of ECHOES Around the World. An educator and frequent visitor to Uganda, Nereida has a close personal, and working relationship with the Reverend David Serunjogi and his wife Sarah. She is in contact with the Serunjogis on a weekly basis and oversees the accountability aspects of money expenditures. Nereida first visited Uganda in 1995 and has both led groups and returned on her own. An inveterate fundraiser, her network provides invaluable resources to the Ugandan schools and critical information to the ECHOES foundation and Board of Directors. A world traveler, Ms. Gordon hails from Sydney, Australia, and lives with her husband, Tom, in Devon, PA.
Co-Founder & Director Emeritus, Martha L. (Mel) Bonder served as President of the Board since the inception of the organization in 2005 through 2009, then again from November 2013 through December 2015. As a co-founding director, she has been instrumental in creating the framework for ECHOES. In the fall of 2006, Mel completed the fundraising certification program at the University of Pennsylvania and has used that knowledge to advance not only the operation of the board, but also programs and fundraisers which have attracted both returning and new donors. Mel has sustained and maintained her relationship with the Reverend David Serunjogi and his wife Sarah since her first visit to Uganda in 2000 returning in 2004, 2008 and 2013. She is a frequent visitor, volunteer and supporter of St. James School. She lives in West Chester with her husband, John.
Secretary, Betsy Fadem served as ECHOES' Treasurer from 2007-2010, took a short break and, being passionate about the work of ECHOES, rejoined the Board in her current position. Upon graduating from Lafayette College, she spent eleven years in the financial services industry as a project manager. After that, while at home raising her two sons, she became a dedicated community volunteer, serving on the Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board for twelve years, while also being involved in many school, church, and civic organizations. Betsy has served as an Easttown Township Supervisor since 2014. She is known in the community for being fiscally responsible and fair-minded, and brings those qualities to her work with ECHOES. Betsy and her husband live in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Medical Advisor, Peter Motel, M.D., is a physician board certified in Internal Medicine and Dermatology, in a practice he started and has operated since 1993. He graduated with honors from Muhlenberg College and earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University. He served as a physician in the US Air Force for four years. He is a member of the local school board since 1999 and has served the school board as its President, Chair of the Facilities Committee and member of the Finance, Policy and Education Committees. As chair of the Facilities Committee he has overseen major renovations of five schools, the school district’s administration offices and information technology center. He also has considerable experience as a youth leader with over 20 years as a Boy Scout leader. He and his wife live in Berwyn, Pennsylvania with their three children. Pete, along with Stephen, has traveled to Uganda to help build and educate the facilities and staff at Double Cure Medical Centre.
Medical Advisor, Stephen J. Gluckman, M.D., F.A.C.P is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Medical Director of Penn Global Medicine. Dr. Gluckman received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and his medical degree from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. He trained in Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been in the practice of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases for over 35 years. Dr. Gluckman has provided care and taught in many countries in a number of different capacities. He has worked and taught at mission hospitals in Liberia and India. He has taught and evaluated HIV and other public health programs for CARE international in Afghanistan, Haiti and Tanzania. He has taught for Health Volunteers Overseas in Kenya and Uganda. He has taught HIV care in China at the request of the Chinese Medical Association. From 2001-2008 he worked in Botswana dividing his time between helping develop the Botswana National HIV Program, teaching on the wards of Princess Marina Hospital and helping establish Botswana's first medical school. He is a founder of Penn's Refugee Clinic which provides free health care to recent political refugees in the United States. He serves on the boards of the African Family Health Organization, which helps to resettle African immigrants and of Calcutta House which provides housing for homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. He and his wife Pat have lived in Mt. Airy, Pennsylvania, for the past 40 years, where they raised their family. They are now committed empty-nesters. Stephen has traveled to Uganda in support of ECHOES to help assess and educate the staff at Double Cure Medical Centre.
Treasurer, Kara O'Halloran
Education Advisor & Assistant Treasurer, Leslie Roy joined the Board in 2015 after making trips to Uganda in 2012 and 2014 and falling in love with the country and our partners. She is currently the liaison for the newly formed ECHOES club at Conestoga High School. Leslie is the founder of Project Ensonga, one of ECHOES' key projects. She has raised funds and mobilized many local community members and high school students to participate in this venture that allows girls to stay in school, no matter what time of the month it is. She serves as the head of the Uganda committee at St. David’s Church. A graduate of Duke University with a degree in computer science and management science, she worked as a computer consultant until retiring to raise her three daughters. She currently manages multiple rental properties and is involved with fund raising at People's Light, a local theatre company. Leslie lives in Wayne, PA with her husband Tom and is looking forward to planning the next trip to Uganda.
Susanna Gold is an art historian and curator who works with museums, galleries, commercial spaces, and private clients to organize art exhibitions and build art collections. After receiving a Ph.D. at Penn, she taught art history for 9 years at Temple University, and gradually transitioned out of the classroom and into curating. She has been working independently for about 3 years now. She is interested in and trying to contribute to a vibrant art scene out here on the Main Line!
Teresa Marlino, M.D.
Kim Marren is a native of the Main Line and holds a B.S. Degree in Design from Drexel University. She earned her Real Estate License after a 20 year career in International Sourcing and Product Development for apparel brands Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Hartstrings, and Urban Outfitters. During this time Kim traveled to Peru, France, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Korea, Hong Kong, and China. Since joining Fox & Roach as a full time Realtor in 2009, Kim has earned multiple awards; her reputation and business is built on her commitment to professionalism, customer service and her passion for real estate. Kim is active in her community; she volunteers in the Tredyffrin-Easttown Township Schools, sits on the Board of her neighborhood civic association, is involved at St. David’s Episcopal Church, and is a Fox & Roach Charities Advisory Council Representative for the Devon Office. In her spare time, Kim enjoys yoga, skiing, cooking, entertaining, travel near and far and walking her two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Kim and her husband, John, live in Wayne and are members of Overbrook Golf Club.
Martin Kimmel is a principal and co-founder of Kimmel Bogrette Architecture + Site, Inc. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Temple University, Magna Cum Laude. He has more than 25 years of architectural design, land planning, historic preservation/restoration and project management experience; his work spans a variety of building types including, but not limited to, higher education, ecclesiastical, corporate, retail, industrial and residential projects. Martin has gained additional experience by being the point-of-contact person on all the firm’s projects. This experience has given him the knowledge and understanding of institutional work, including the true meaning of accountability. Martin serves on several other local boards and is an advisor to several Academic boards. He has held multiple leadership roles at St. David’s Episcopal Church and is a Mission Advisor to numerous faith-based and non-faith based organizations. He and his wife, Sherri, live in Devon.
Donna Stone is a graduate of Indiana University of PA with a B.S. degree in Biology. As a Laboratory Technician and Training Coordinator she worked at DuPont Marshall Laboratory until she retired to stay at home with her 3 children. While raising her children she had the time to enjoy many wonderful volunteer opportunities including Girl Scout Leader, Boy Scout Committee Secretary for Devon 50, Sunday School Teacher, and P.T.O. President. For 6 years she worked in the T.E. School District as an aide in the learning support classroom at Beaumont Elementary and continues to substitute when needed. In the summer of 2015, she began to schedule regular volunteer hours at the St. James School and now enjoys working in reception and as volunteer coordinator assistant, as well as in the gardens. The faculty, staff and students are inspirational in their quest for excellence in education and being on campus brings her joy. Donna traveled to Uganda in the fall of 2014 to visit the Trinity Children's Centre and the Double Cure Medical Centre and was witness to the wonderful workings of these institutions and their relationship with ECHOES. Recently, she and her husband David moved to center city Philadelphia, where they enjoy all of the theater, art and history the city has to offer.
Advisory Board Members
A. T. Chadwick Co. Inc.
Jack and Kathy Donnelly/LF Driscoll Company
Brandywine Realty Trust
Betsy and Bob Legnini
Bonnie and Pete Motel
Betsy and Jay Aikens
Mel and John Bonder
Cissy and Bill Claypool
Anne and Terry Cunningham
Dinsmore & Shohl, LLC
Eastwood Family Foundation
Pat and Stephen Gluckman
Goshen Hill Foundation
Michele and Sean Legnini
Pam and Kevin Mahoney
Caroline and Rich O'Halloran
Pennoni Associates, Inc.
The Rev. Marie Swayze
JJ White, Inc.
Unified Door & Hardware Group
Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania
Dr. Audrey Evans
Ewing Cole Architets
Ritson and Julie Ferguson
Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Fowler
The Gordon Family
Leslie Roy and Tom Johantgen
Betty and Bud Hirsch
Manatt, Phelps & PHillips, LLP
J.C. Douglas Marshall
La Colombe Coffee Roasters
Perkiomen Tours and Travel
Many who have traveled to Uganda have supplied us with their snapshots and memories: Tylee Abbott, Cynthia Anderson, Mel Bonder, Joe Bonn, Alison Cutler, Carolyn Fox, Debbie Geffken, Nereida Gordon, Barbara Hartman, Stephanie Hedges, Jeff Kaiser, Peter Keeling, Sean Legnini, Betsy Legnini, Carol Madeja, Teresa Marlino, Frank Mobilio and Julia Urwin.
We thank Ballard and Spahr of Philadelphia for starting us off on the right legal footing and for Fred Clark for introducing us to his firm.
To Our Many Friends
Please look at our wonderful donor lists in our Annual Reports for those who have been with us from the beginning as well as those who have joined us this year. All are important and we treasure their support.
One child at a time, one community at a time, one donation at a time.
La Colombe Coffee Roasters has been a partner since 2007, specifically paying the salaries of the matrons (house mothers) at Trinity Children's Centre. With help from the sales of their coffee, AFRIQUE, the number of matrons caring for orphaned children attending Trinity has tripled in the last several years. La Colombe was also the lead contributor to a fund to replace the boys' dormitory, lost to fire in 2013. Company co-founder Todd Carmichael highlighted Trinity on an episode of his Travel Channel TV show, "Dangerous Grounds." www.lacolombe.com
Several local clubs have supported the building of a dormitory at Trinity Children's Centre and a home for the workers at Double Cure Medical Centre.
The artistic people at this company developed our first web site, created several brochures and annual reports, making our window to the world look educational and fun.
Dr. Pete Motel continues his support of ECHOES as a board member, adviser and traveler to Uganda in 2010 and 2012 to share his medical skills with Double Cure Medical Centre.
Deahla is a charity platform built for millennials. The startup finds great causes; makes inspiring, short films about the people they help; and makes donating easy. Deahla partnered with ECHOES in 2013, traveling to Uganda to make two films about Trinity Children's Centre and the Double Cure Medical Clinic. See the films at www.deahla.com.
Penn Medicine has sponsored our last three Call to Care fundraisers. Our partnership began in 2010 when Penn Medicine supported Operation Healing Hands, a fundraiser that made possible the expansion of Double Cure Medical Centre in Mpigi, Uganda. Penn's Dr. Steven Gluckman was honored at this event for his health outreach work in the developing world. Now a board member, Dr. Gluckman has become an invaluable resource for ECHOES' work for Double Cure, which he visited in 2012.
A new ECHOES supporter, this full-service law firm is based in Cincinnati, Ohio and maintains offices in Chesterbrook, PA.
A sponsor of "Building Futures," our 2014 Call to Care event, Elliott-Lewis is a commercial HVAC/R, mechanical service and construction, and energy solutions company headquartered in Philadelphia.