Hi, this is Tuver,
Just a few days ago, the Chairman of the Gorilla Organization, Ian Redmond, came to visit us here at the Goma Resource Centre, in eastern DR Congo.
Meeting with both myself and the country programme manager Henry Cirhuza, Ian was especially interested in learning about the work we have been doing in getting young people interested in conservation. Since he himself got involved in gorilla conservation while still a graduate student – remember, he helped Dian Fossey in her research! – he wanted to know all about our education programmes and how they are helping inspire a new generation of gorilla guardians!
Aside from our education and outreach efforts, Ian was also keen to learn more about what we have been doing to help the communities living alongside the gorilla habitat and how me have managed to keep going despite the recent insecurity.
Henry and I took him to see a store full of equipment we will be using to install solar power in the villages around Mount Tshiaberimu, at the northern tip of the Virunga National Park. Once this is fitted, these communities will have a reliable source of power for the first time, meaning they will be able to study and work well into the night and they’ll also be able to use mobile phones – a real lifeline for rural communities in this part of the world. What’s more, by having power, people will have less need to go into the protected forest for things like firewood and food, which is excellent news for our cousins, the gorillas, living there.
Here are a few pictures of Ian’s visit to the Goma Resource Centre. I hope you like them! And if any of you are ever in Goma, you should drop in and say hello, too…!