Prince's Prize for Innovative Philanthropy 2021
HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco rewards Dr Mutahunga Birungi, on behalf of the Bwindi Community Hospital
Monday, June 7, on the occasion of the 11th edition of the Prince’s Round Table for Philanthropy, HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco has granted the Prince’s Prize for Innovative Philanthropy 2021 to Dr Mutahunga Birungi, Executive Director of the Bwindi Community Hospital, in recognition of the exceptional work carried out by this community hospital, in Southwestern Uganda, in order to provide access to healthcare for the poorest communities.
This prize, created from a joint initiative of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation, rewards and supports innovative projects that encourage philanthropy in the service of sustainable societal innovation.
The Bwindi Community Hospital (BCH) was founded in 2003 by Dr Scott Kellerman and his wife Carol, to help the Batwa indigenous community who used to live in the Bwindi Forest before it was registered as a sanctuary for mountains gorillas.
Each year, the BCH, deals with more than 40.000 consultations and directly hires thousands of people for local actions in the field of healthcare. The health insurance plan eQuality of the hospital allows 28.000 people to have access to quality healthcare without incurring costs that are unaffordable for these communities. The BCH also offers a waiting house for Batwa women with a high-risk pregnancy to ensure they are cared for by a qualified midwife for the labor. This involvement has allowed to increase the number of hospital deliveries to 90%, whereas 10 years ago it was only 35%, while child mortality lowered from 120 to 46 deceases for 1.000 births.
The BCH aspires to become a regional center of excellence providing tertiary healthcare, training high-level professionals, and playing a leading role in the field of healthcare research and innovation.
Rewarded by the Sovereign Prince, Dr. Birungi thanked the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and the Tocqueville Foundation for considering the Bwindi Community Hospital as worthy of this honorary distinction.
“I feel extremely humbled that,from an open-air clinic for Batwa indigenous people eighteen years ago, Bwindi community hospital has grown to make reasonable contribution to improve access to healthcare and health training especially forthose who need it most.Our achievement has been a collective effort of the community, staff and many other peopleacting as individuals or as organisations from different walks of life. " He also said that it is by " acting together we make the world a better living place for ourselves today and for those coming after us."
“One Planet, One Health”
The commitment of the BCH and the conclusion of Dr. Birungi highlighting that “we share one planet”, echo the theme for this 2021 edition of the Prince’s Round Table for Philanthropy: Planetary Health.
Each year, this closed-door event brings together, alongside HSH the Sovereign Prince, major international philanthropists who wish to discuss, among their peers, the role of philanthropy in the face of the major challenges the world currently faces. At a time when the pandemic has turned our societies upside down, it was essential to address the question of the relationship between planetary health and global health.
Ms. Laurence Tubiana, Director of the European Climate Foundation and Chair of the Board of Directors of the French Development Agency, and Prof. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Research Institute on the Effects of Climate Change and Professor of Earth System Science at the University of Potsdam, shared their expertise in climate action and governance before establishing the close link between human health and planetary health.
The Tocqueville Foundation is an international aid and award foundation operating under the auspices of the Fondation Entreprendre. Its mission and vision are deeply rooted in the social and political thought of Alexis de Tocqueville, and in his belief in the fundamental contribution of civil society to democratic and economic development. The Tocqueville Foundation fosters a vibrant civil society through learning, innovation, and engagement. By encouraging strategic philanthropy and social investment, building bridges across borders and generations, the Tocqueville Foundation promotes a well-developed and effective civil society where individuals, acting together, address common problems and build sustainable social equity for future generations. www.tocquevillefoundation.org