(formerly The Catherine Bullen Memorial Fund)
In the summer of 2002, our daughter Catherine, a fifth year medical student at Bristol University travelled with a fellow student to Namibia via Dubai and South Africa to go on a safari. Two days into the safari, she became seriously ill with a virulent strain of gastro enteritis. Despite valiant efforts to save her, she died in Oshivelo near the Etosha National Park on 23 August 2002 at the age of 22 yrs. Her family, her friends, the university and we were devastated by the death of our daughter who was destined to become by all accounts a brilliant doctor. The waste of her life was incomprehensible to us all. There was a feeling that something positive must emerge from this appalling tragedy and with a matter of days, the Catherine Bullen Memorial Fund was launched.
During her stopover in Johannesburg, Catherine witnessed on the one hand the arrangements connected with the World Earth Summit being held there, and on the other the poverty of the townships with their lack of sanitation. One of the outcomes of the Summit was the commitment to provide fresh water for communities in Africa.
The Fund nominated such a project in north-eastern Namibia in the Omaheke region which was completed in April 2004 (see Projects). In July 2005, the Charity Commission for England and Wales registered the Fund as a charity with the following aims:
"The relief of poverty, sickness and distress and the preservation of health in rural Namibia, particularly but not exclusively for the benefit of the Omhaturua Primary School and the inhabitants of the village of Otjimanangombe in Eastern Namibia, by the funding of community based projects including the provision of fresh water supplies, medical and educational facilities and such other facilities as the trustees shall deem necessary with the object of improving the conditions of life of those persons who may have need of such facilities."
On 1 November 2008, the Fund was renamed the Catherine Bullen Foundation.
By working with local community based organisations in the country, the trustees are ensuring all funds go straight to the nominated projects where relatively small amount of money makes a big difference to improve the quality of life.
On 13 June 2015, it was announced by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs that Linda Bullen had been appointed a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queens Birthday Honours List.
The citation read, "An MBE to Linda Bullen, co-founder, the Catherine Bullen Foundation. For services to relieve poverty, sickness, distress and the preservation of health in rural Namibia".
Roger and Linda Bullen MBE
The Catherine Bullen Foundation