I am reaching out to ask for your help in supporting the children of the Bwindi-Bohuma community in Uganda, Africa. I hope to raise at least $5,000, which will be used to build school buildings and provide children with food, school supplies, and medical care. Here is the story of why this project is important to me.
In 2019, my husband Rob and I took a trip to the Bwindi National Park to see the mountain gorillas. We came home with beautiful memories and another unexpected gift – an ongoing relationship with the people of the Bwindi-Buhoma community. During our visit, we met Nixon, the headmaster of the Bwindi Grand Haven Orphans Rescue Center, and some of the friendly children under his care. The orphanage was building a new bedroom for the children but had very few resources. Over the last three years, we have sent occasional gifts to assist them. Through our correspondence, we met Manase Twinamatsiko, the founder of Rescue Africa Uganda organization. His organization oversees not only the orphanage but also the Grand Haven Orphans School and the Bwindi Heritage High School, as well as programs to assist the Batwa people and the Bwindi Community Women’s Skill Center.
Unfortunately, the Bwindi-Bohuma community was severely affected by the Covid-19 crisis. As a result, tourism, upon which this community is very dependent, ended for a while. While it has returned to a small degree, the community continues to face huge difficulties in meeting the needs of the people.
Manase explained it this way, “The people who suffer the most are dependent on tourism, like the orphans who dance and entertain clients for their daily living, food, clothes, pens, books, and medications. The craft sellers have also suffered. Communities neighboring these sectors have benefitted from tourism to see the gorillas whereby the government used to bring back some percentage to be shared with the community. Those funds cannot now be accessed.”
The loss of income from tourism led to terrible consequences for much of the community. Many children dropped out of school. Some have resorted to stealing food, while other young people have left the community to search for work in more affluent households.
Mr. Twinamatsiko has been very transparent, providing me with his government licenses and sending frequent photos of how they have used our previous smaller gifts. I am confident that your contributions will be used for the good of the children of Bwindi.
Because Uganda is not on the list of countries directly served by GoFundMe, I will be collecting your contributions myself. Then, when the fund reaches our goal, I will transfer every penny of the money to the bank account of the umbrella organization of Rescue Africa Uganda.
Thank you so much for considering my fundraiser!