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Supporting the Partnership

Thanks to generous individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies, the Botswana-UPenn Partnership (BUP) is able to leverage the expertise of Penn's faculty and staff and the dedication of Penn's students to work to help find real world solutions to help build capacity in Botswana and improve the health of her people.

There are many opportunities for meaningful giving towards the work of the Partnership or towards major gifts such as establishing endowments for faculty positions or student scholarships. Gifts can be one-time or made in installments over several years.

How to Give

There are a number of ways to make a gift to the Botswana-UPenn Partnership.

Donate By Check

Donors may simply mail a check made payable to the "Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania" to the address below:

Botswana-UPenn Partnership
Attn: Glen Gaulton, Acting Director
University of Pennsylvania
240 John Morgan Building
3620 Hamilton Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6073
Phone: 215.573.8410

Donate By Credit Card

We can also accept credit card donations online through Penn's online donation page here.

Purchase Cards

The Partnership sells printed blank notecards featuring images of quilts from Fiber Revolution, the first American art quilt exhibition in Gaborone that was held in 2008. Cards are $2 ea. or $15 for a pack of 8. You can see the card design here.

Areas You Can Support

From daily operations to the application of life-saving clinical care, the BUP uses the generous gifts of its donors in a variety of ways. If there is a specific part of our mission that interests you, you can make a gift towards that goal. These gifts can be directed towards any of the main areas in which we work or in an area of your choosing, including:

Clinical Care

Partnership faculty and staff are working to improve the lives and health of citizens of Botswana through our clinical programs in areas such as HIV Care and Support, Tuberculosis Prevention and Treatment, and Women's Health. Botswana has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the world with the adult prevalence rate around 24%. TB is also a serious health issue with TB responsible for 13% of adult deaths and 40% of deaths among people living with HIV/AIDS in Botswana.

BUP Faculty provide patient treatment and train healthcare workers on the treatment of HIV, HIV/TB co-infection and Multi-Drug Resistant TB (MDRTB) at major public hospitals and in outreach to district hospitals. We are working with Ministry staff and others to establish national treatment guidelines for a variety of infectious diseases in Botswana.


The Partnership is working in collaboration with the new University of Botswana (UB) School of Medicine to help supervise internships, the internal medicine and pediatric residency curricula, and help incorporate bedside teaching at Princess Marina Hospital and at outreach sites. The partnership also facilitates educational exchanges between Penn and UB at the undergraduate and graduate level through semesters abroad and summer internships, and for faculty through sabbaticals.

The BUP facilitates global health learning opportunities to scores of Penn Medicine students and residents each year by providing four to six week clinical rotations to learn about medicine in Botswana and working in a resource limited setting. Many students indicate that their time in Botswana was the most significant learning experience during their education at Penn.


The Partnership helps facilitate research in Botswana and research collaborations between Penn and UB in a number of different ways including everything from the most basic of providing Penn researchers with a place to stay when in Gaborone to more elaborate such as providing an IRB coordinator to help with IRB review and approval, or collecting, processing and shipping clinical samples. We are in the process of assembling a state-of-the-art research lab space that will allow faculty and researcher from both Penn and Botswana to conduct pioneering research in Botswana.

Operational Support

The Botswana-UPenn Partnership applies for and receives funding for specific clinical or research projects from assorted private foundations and public funding sources. While the grants received may sometimes be quite substantial they often target very specific outcomes and as such, the money for these programs cannot be spent on other areas.

Your gift in support of general operating costs helps keep our operation strong and vibrant across the broad spectrum of our program areas. Operational support, while behind the scenes, is critical to ensuring efficiency and creating an opportunity for us to explore new areas of collaboration and growth.


You are welcome to discuss other specific areas that you would like to support with us. Past donors have given gifts to employ a medical officer to work in the Women's Health Clinic one additional day per week. Others have given specifically to fund resident travel in particular specialties. We are happy to discuss other ways that your contribution can be directed as you wish. Please contact Heather Calvert to discuss ways that you can support the work of the Botswana.

Tribute Gifts and Memorial Gifts

A Memorial or Tribute Gift to the Botswana-UPenn Partnership is an especially meaningful way to recognize family, friends, and special occasions, while also supporting the important work of the Partnership.

Memorial Gifts express sympathy or remember someone who has died. Tribute Gifts mark special occasions such as birthdays, graduations, weddings, and anniversaries or can be used to celebrate a holiday with a gift to the Botswana-UPenn Partnership in the name of someone special. 

Joan Bretschnieder Fund

When Victoria L. Rich, RN, PhD, FAAN, the former Chief Nurse Executive at HUP, visited Botswana in 2008 to establish a collaboration between HUP nursing and nursing at Princess Marina Hospital, she took Joan U. Bretschneider, RN, PhD, recently retired Director of Adult Education and Life Long Learning at HUP.  Dr. Bretschneider was an inspired choice, as she was able to make an immediate connection with Batswana colleagues.

Though Joan was not able to return to Botswana, she offered with counsel and assistance to subsequent nursing delegations from HUP.  Her interest in Botswana continued until her unexpected death in December 2012.  

Recognizing the importance of nursing to patients at Princess Marina Hospital and throughout Botswana, a fund had been established in her memory -- The Joan Bretschneider Fund for Nursing Initiatives in Southern Africa.  

To make a contribution click here and note that your donation is intended for the Joan Bretschnieder Fund.

In-Kind Donations

We also accept in-kind donations, such as donated printing, supplies, Botswana-related books and new medical texts, and other items or services that can help off-set our costs. However, because most of our operations — and operational expenses — occur in Botswana, and shipping is prohibitively expensive, some in-kind contributions may only be receivable in Botswana.

What Your Donation Buys

Here are some examples of how your donation could support the work of the Botswana-UPenn Partnership:

  • $25 covers the cost of housing for one night in our rented flats to a visiting Penn medical student, resident, or faculty member completing a clinical rotation at Princess Marina Hospital.
  • $100 covers the cost of Internet services for two weeks at our flats and office in Gaborone allowing us to share research data quickly and efficiently, maintaining open communication between our partners, facilitating regular business operations across two continents, and allowing faculty and staff to access the Penn library including medical information for research projects, or simply to look up patient symptoms to help make a diagnosis from Botswana.
  • $500 provides the cost of a colposcope for our women's health clinic to facilitate the detection of premalignant and malignant cervical lesions.
  • $1000 covers the cost of housing in Philadelphia for one month for UB medical students visiting Penn.
  • $2000 buys one round trip coach airfare for one visiting student, resident, or faculty member traveling to Botswana to complete a clinical rotation or research.
  • $4000 covers all the financial support (airfare, housing, and living stipend) for one Penn student to complete an eight week summer internship working in their area of academic study. Botswana-UPenn Partnership student interns regularly cite their work experience in Botswana as being one of the most meaningful and educational experiences from their whole time at Penn. Past interns have overseen the design and construction of an airstrip in the Kalahari Desert; worked under Botswana's first female high-court judge; and helped extract a Rhino that was stuck in mud.
  • $10,000 buys a used car for the BUP program that is used by doctors and nurses to make outreach visits to the health clinics in the communities where we work.

Big Ticket Wishlist

The Partnership has identified a few "big ticket" items for which we are working to identify support to improve current operations, future needs, or potential growth.

  • $250,000 would allow us to seed a scholarship fund to help support student or faculty exchanges between the University of Pennsylvania and University of Botswana. Most student exchanges are covered under current tuition plans; therefore, the scholarship will be used to support tuition and housing for UB students attending Penn, and salaries for UB and Penn faculty. An endowed scholarship fund would greatly improve our ability to support between our universities.
  • $1,500,000 would allow us to purchase a dorm-like residence close to Princess Marina Hospital to hold visiting students, residents, and faculty that travel to Botswana to take part in our educational programs, provide clinical work, or conduct research. Presently we spend more than $90,000 per year to rent secure housing in Gaborone, so constructing or purchasing a building of our own would be a way to save long-term while investing in Penn's future in Botswana
  • $3,000,000 would establish an endowed faculty chair in global health at Penn. Endowed chairs are teaching or research positions occupied by distinguished scholars. The University provides the teaching or research position and pays the salary of the person appointed to the endowed chairs. The permanent endowed fund created by philanthropic gifts provides perpetual annual income in support of the teaching and research activities of the person holding the chair.


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