BOSCO USA was founded by Gus Zuehlke in 2007. Gus traveled to Northern Uganda previously and established relationships with the Archdiocese of Gulu, specifically with the Archbishop John Baptist Odama and Fr. Joseph Okumu, who is now the BOSCO-Uganda Chief Executive Officer. At this time, northern Uganda was benefiting from a recent ceasefire, yet nearly 1.7 million people throughout the region remained isolated in Internally Displaced Person (IDP) camps.
Gus discussed some of the needs and challenges the archdiocese and the people of the Acholi region were facing. The Archbishop’s priority was to end the severe isolation these Acholi people of northern Uganda were experiencing in the camps. Connecting these schools, community centers, parishes, and health clinics to the outside world through the Internet allowed the community to work towards ending their isolation by advocating for their own cause.
Gus assembled an all volunteer Board of Directors and incorporated BOSCO Inc. as a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization shortly after founding BOSCO USA. In April of 2007, with the help of Inveneo and BOSCO’s Founding Technical Director Ted Pethick, BOSCO deployed the first set of low power, solar PCs with long-range WiFi Internet in 6 site locations.
Today, a Ugandan-based staff and administration has expanded the BOSCO Uganda network to more than 30 sites. BOSCO has since attracted partnerships from both local and international development organizations to further its mission in the Acholi region and expand its reach to communities all over northern Uganda.