About Us

Since 1997, the Kasiisi Project has aided education in and around Kibale National Park in rural western Uganda, East Africa. Founded initially as a link between the research-based Kibale Chimpanzee Project and the local community, the Kasiisi Project now works with several research groups in and around the park to target  critical issues for the survival of the forest and support of the local population.  We support early childhood education, promote conservation and health education, provide daily school lunches, train teachers, encourage literacy through libraries and computer usage, fund secondary school and college scholarships, and address the special needs of girls. We work in 14 schools, which support 10,000 primary school children. We are a secular 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.

Founder Elizabeth Ross with Ugandan Primary School Children

The Need

For decades, Uganda’s economy has suffered from economic instability, leaving Uganda as one of the poorest countries in the world. Over 37% of Ugandans live below the international poverty line of US $1.25 per day and the life expectancy is 53 years of age.

Primary school became free for Ugandan families in 1997, which increased attendance by 70% in just one year. Today, teacher-to-student ratios are at a grim level of 1:100. While the gender gap in enrollment between boys and girls is only 1.1% in first grade, by seventh it reaches 16%. Up to 80% of children who enter rural primary schools do not complete it. Of those who do finish, only 40% continue on to secondary education. This means that out of 100 rural children who enter primary grade one, less than 30 complete primary grade seven and only 12 children join secondary school. A good secondary education in Uganda costs between $600-$800+ per year, which is far beyond the means of Ugandan’s subsistence farmers who make up 85% of the population. With the second youngest population in the world (50% of Ugandans are under the age of 15) quality education is crucially needed to ensure the country’s future economic growth and stability.

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Statement

The Kasiisi Project does not discriminate in the operation of its programs or the hiring of any employees on the basis of race, color, creed, national, or ethnic origin, gender, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. This policy also complies with all applicable federal and local EEO laws.