Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of the few destinations with unique experiences where tourists from all corners of the world travel for a once-in-a-lifetime encounter with the rare Mountain Gorillas. Bwindi is surrounded by more than 100,000 people within 5km of its 115km long boundary.
Almost everyone living in these communities literally depends and survives on an income affected by tourism. This has recently come to a complete stop due to the worldwide pandemic.These people have completely been forgotten by everyone, especially during this trying period.)
The National Park staff including Rangers and Gorilla guides, lodge/hotel staff, porters, vendors, teachers who used to live in the forest before it was gazetted, inter alia; are under the mandatory lockdown as required by the government. However, this is a brilliant idea to keep everyone safe; the saddest part is that a lot of people are starving because not even the government rescue meals reach most of these places.
Phenny Mbabazi was born and raised in the Bwindi region. He is the cofounder and the operator of Expedite Wildlife Tours Ltd, a tour company operating in Uganda and Rwanda.
Having recently returned to the community after tourism was closed down, due to covid 19 and lockdown, he saw a critical need for food relief and support.
He started this fundraiser with Kim Schnarr, his long time Canadian friend, who has been often to Uganda and this region while involved in various charity activities.
Looking at both communities, our first goal is to fundraise money for food (posho (Corn flour), legumes for immediate consumption), salt, masks and soap since they are the most essential during this period. Our first target for the communities is $5000 which will feed thousands of vulnerable people living around Bwindi National Park. Our main target is to provide food for the locals that live deep villages where government relief will not be reaching.
The global community has shown amazing support for the endangered Gorillas and other wildlife of Africa, but we sometimes forget the people whose lands, livelihood and history are a vital part of the region. Most of the locals have undoubtedly been lucky and witnessed the generosity and kindness from tourists from all corners of the world that come to see the mountain Gorillas.
We all understand that times are hard almost everywhere because of the Coronavirus outbreak, but some people are and were hit harder.
Kindly don’t hesitate to donate any amount; more or less will still do something in relationship to providing relief to these communities. Thanks for your generosity and kindness.
Regular updates will be given as well
- Jaques Lamac
- Barbara Wenger
- Chris Roughley
- Lori Ferland
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