Wilderness Rwanda and SACOLA Strengthen Partnership Agreement

Wilderness Rwanda and the Sabyinyo Community Livelihood Association (SACOLA) have signed a new addendum to their contract to further strengthen their partnership, and to extend their mutual commitment to 2057.

Wilderness Sabyinyo is Rwanda’s first community-owned lodge, operated by Wilderness Rwanda but owned by the SACOLA community trust, in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP).

“The funds generated by Wilderness Sabyinyo are used by SACOLA to drive socio-economic development in the Kinigi and Inyange sectors adjacent to Volcanoes National Park. We are proud of the remarkable impact this partnership has made to date, including the construction of eight schools and 64 classrooms, rehabilitating 12 km of road and building 16 bridges, connecting 5,800 homes with power, building a health centre, and paying medical insurance premiums for numerous members of the community. Two villages and over 70 homes have also been constructed for those in need. Eleven water points have been built, serving 12,000 people, and micro-finance and micro-enterprise projects have been initiated and funded that cover dairy, pigs, poultry, bee-keeping, carpentry and fruit-growing”, commented Rob Baas, Managing Director Wilderness Rwanda.

SACOLA’s success is made possible through the revenue generated by Wilderness Sabyinyo. Its mission is to conserve the environment, strengthen the local community and preserve cultural traditions – all to improve the livelihood of the local people.

Pierre Celestin Nsengiyumva, Chairman of SACOLA, added that “due to the hard work, high quality of services and professionalism that marks Wilderness Rwanda, the revenues generated at Wilderness Sabyinyo over the last year allowed us to accomplish much more than what was planned for the past financial year. On behalf of the SACOLA members, we thank the Wilderness Rwanda and Sabyinyo teams, and truly appreciate the good co-operation that exists between us”.

“The partnership between SACOLA and Wilderness Rwanda is a prime example of sustainable conservation tourism that aims to transform communities from poor to progressive, sustainable-income earning members. By signing this new addendum we are highlighting the success of our partnership, and showcasing our mutual commitment and intention to grow further together for many more years to come”, concluded Rob Baas.

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