Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation

  • CA

About Us

The mission of Friends of Ruwenzori Foundation (FORF) is to reduce 

preventable deaths and foster healthy living among the people of the Ruwenzori foothills of Uganda by supporting the region’s only local hospital and health and empowerment programs.

FORF raises funds in the United States to support the Kitojo Integrated Development Association (KIDA), a Uganda-based nonprofit. Since residents of this remote rural area face a variety of interrelated challenges to their well being, KIDA takes a holistic approach that combines inpatient and outpatient medical services with community education, job training, small business loans, and education of orphans and other vulnerable children. KIDA’s vision for their community is “empowered people taking care of their own lives.”

KIDA was founded by local people in 1999 to provide prevention, teaching and counseling services in a region devastated by the AIDS epidemic, and KIDA’s 30-bed community hospital was built, equipped and staffed in 2011. Because it receives steady funding from FORF donors, KIDA Hospital is able to reliably pay its staff and invest in equipment and supplies, making it one of the best rural healthcare systems in the region. The hospital has received three awards for excellence, and their local reputation has attracted additional support from the Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation, Health Partners, the Uganda Medical Access group, the Kenyan Commercial Bank, and several small NGOs within Uganda.

FORF raised more than $270,000 in 2016, a significant increase from the $25,000 it raised in 2005 when the organization was founded by Gil and Karen Gleason. Today FORF’s revenue comes primarily from individual donors through a combination of events, appeals and personal solicitation. The main fundraising event is the annual Green and Yellow Festival, held in Piedmont, CA each October. The 140-person annual event features dinner, silent and live auctions, games, and more.

More information about FORF can be found online at

More information about KIDA can be found at