Children in the Wilderness and Wilderness Safaris’ essential supplies support to the Gishwati communities continued in April with a food parcel distribution to 160 families; Eco-Clubs also resumed at Gisunzu Primary School and Aline checked up on the chicken project in the villages.
A year after our first COVID-19 relief project in April 2020, where we supported the Bisate villages, we are still continuing our support for community members struggling to feed their families during this challenging time. Over the past year in Rwanda, we have distributed a total of 34.5 tonnes of food, benefiting in total 1 420 families consisting of 6 088 people.
On Thursday the 22nd of April, a team of volunteers, under the experienced leadership of Aline Umutoni, packed and prepared 2 790 kg of maize, 1 715 kg of beans and 343 soap bars, all worth a total of USD3 000. On Friday the 23rd of April 2021 the parcels were distributed to the 160 families, comprising 749 people, from five villages situated close to the Gishwati area of Gishwati-Mukura National Park. The size of each food parcel is determined by the size of the family, so that bigger families receive an extra-large food parcel to ensure that they have sufficient supplies.
The village leaders of the five Gishwati villages – Rwambeho, Kinihira, Nyarusuku, Ngungura, and additionally, Nteko this month – provided us with a list of the people in most need of support due to the COVID-19 situation. We organised the event with our partners, The Forest of Hope Association, and with the members of our Gishwati Community Committee.
Earlier this year we were able to assist Gisunzu Primary School and the surrounding Gishwati community with a special chicken egg-farming project. We strive to support the poverty-stricken families affected by COVID-19, to fight against malnutrition and to educate the children on the importance of taking care of animals, and the benefits of doing so. All the families were previously consulted, and agreed to give the chickens a place in their households, and after completing their training and education, we organised for all of the 216 school students at Gisunzu Primary School to receive two chickens each to take home. The eggs that the chickens produce will be used for the families’ daily meals. Together with the 432 chickens, we also donated medication and food for the chickens to all the families.
Last week Aline Umutoni visited some of the proud chicken owners to see how it was going, and of course, to check if the chickens were doing well. We are delighted to say that the chickens are all healthy and have grown to their full size. In the pictures you can see for yourself how proud the children are of their lovely chickens!
Meanwhile, weekly Children in the Wilderness Eco-Clubs have resumed for the 64 learners at Gisunzu Primary School, situated close to Gishwati Forest. All the children have planted their own indigenous tree around the school grounds, and look after it on a daily basis. In April the learners built small fences around their trees to protect them from goats and cattle.
Thank you to our generous Chairman’s Foundation and guests of Bisate Lodge and Magashi Camp, whose contributions have made the support parcels and the chicken project possible.