Q2/3 Progress Update: One hundred adults and children of the Gahinga community of Batwa pygmies now reside in the permanent settlement made possible by the Volcanoes Safari Partnership Trust (VSTP), with a community center and 18 homes that were designed and built by the Batwa on 10 acres of their own land next to the Mgahinga National Park in Uganda. Farming plots for each family were marked and are now being cultivated, along with the acquisition of 12 sheep and 2 goats, with a goal for the Batwa to be able to harvest and sell produce in the future, The Gahinga Batwa Village was officially opened on May 31st, with representatives of the Kisoro District, Uganda Wildlife Authorities, and the United Nations GRASP in attendance along with gorilla doctors and the local community. Looking forward, local authorities are assisting in the implementation of health, water and education programs to ensure a satisfactory quality of life for community members.
About Grantee: The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT), established in 2009, is a non-profit organization that connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to the neighboring communities and conservation activities. The VSPT aims to create long-
term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
Project Summary: The project will provide a permanent settlement dedicated to the Gahinga community of Batwa pygmies, a group of about 90 adults and children, who were displaced from their ancestral homeland in Mgahinga twenty five years ago and who have been living as marginalized landless squatters since then. Their ancestral land was gazetted as a national park to promote mountain gorilla conservation.
Project Nominated by ATCF Member: Volcanoes Safaris
Project Name: Permanent Settlement to Batwa Pygmies
Grant Amount: $16,500
Grantee Name: Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust
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