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The Astrid Uganda Foundation was established in the memory of Astrid Joosten, who deceased of the consequences of the Marburg virus . She died on 11 July 2008 of the effects of the Marburg virus. Astrid caught the virus in Uganda during a visit to the Python Cave (bats cave) in Maramagambo.

Astrid Joosten is the first European tourist ever to come back from Africa with this virus. Marburg is related to Ebola, and no medicine exists to cure it.

Who gets infected will almost certainly die. The chance to be infected is very small. Until 2008, for more than ten years, tourists visited the cave every day. Nobody was infected. The cave is closed to visitors now . Astrid’s death was world news.

School in need

A few days before the visit to the Python Cave Astrid visited the Green Valley School in Bwera (Kasese district, on the border with Congo). Most of the children at this school were orphans. These children led a hard life. They often lived far away from their family, lived like  nomads and slept over at school. The school had eight classrooms, with only holes as windows or doors. The classrooms were too small for the average of 45 children in each classroom. They sat with their books and  exercise books on their lap. All kinds of facilities that we take for granted, were partially or completely missing here. Hardly any sanitation, no electricity, little school material and no playing material. Because the children had no homes or lived in very poor circumstances, the school also provided food and school uniforms (mandatory in Uganda).

Personal Commitment

Astrid was greatly moved by the fate of these children. Once back home she wanted to start supporting them. That’s what she had promised Tusiime Nelson, founder and director of the school. But her very sudden and tragic death made this impossible. Her husband Jaap Taal therefore took the initiative, in the memory of Astrid and the wishes she had, to establish a foundation.  

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On 14 November 2008 the Astrid Uganda Foundation was a fact.

The community around the Green Valley Nursery and Orphanage Centre School  in Bwera was the first to benefit from the unique approach of the Astrid Uganda Foundation. Since February 2010, the foundation also supports projects in the Kiryandongo district and in Lira since 2012. Read more about the projects of the Astrid Uganda Foundation and see for yourself that they really deserve your support.

Check out the film, that has been made in 2008 at the Green Valley School in Bwera.