On Friday the 30th of October, a Wilderness Safaris Rwanda and Children in the Wilderness (CITW) team distributed 117 parcels containing essential supplies to 535 Gishwati community members, to provide for them through the upcoming month.
The day before, volunteers from the Rwandan team packed the parcels and divided 1 765 kg of maize meal, 904 kg of beans and 236 soaps into parcels, the size and quantity depending on the number of people in the respective families.
The leaders of the four villages – Rwambeho, Kinihira, Nyarusuku and Ngungura – all situated in the Gishwati area, provided us with a list of the people in most need of support due to the COVID-19 situation. With our partners, The Forest of Hope Association and the Rwanda Development Board, we organised the event.
Wilderness Safaris Rwanda’s COVID-Relief drive started in April, and continued for four months in the five villages surrounding Bisate Lodge. In August, September and October, the support moved to four villages in the Gishwati area. In total 23 tonnes of food have been distributed to date, benefiting 993 families and a total of 4 133 people.
Thank you to our generous Chairman’s Foundation and guests of Bisate Lodge and Magashi, whose contributions have made the support parcels possible.
However, the COVID-19 food parcels are not the only support Wilderness Safaris and CITW have organised over the last month…
Bisate Secondary School received support to start a vegetable garden around the school, to provide food for the students. The school reopened in the first week of November, and the students will be involved in creating the vegetable garden and planting the donated seeds.
At Bisate Primary School, support came in the form of the construction of brand-new hand-washing stations. With more than 1 600 students in the school, the hygiene measures are very important. The teachers and headmistress at Bisate are very proud of the beautiful addition to the school, as they are the first in the region to receive such a high-quality washing facility.
Lastly, the Tuzamurane Co-operative, which is active in the Bisate communities, received generous support to develop a community nursery to benefit the 233 members of the cooperative, and indirectly, the greater Bisate community.
The project will be developed to germinate both agricultural and indigenous plants, the former intended to support the surrounding community with nutrition and additional income. The indigenous plants and trees will be used for reforestation of the area, and the nursery will also provide saplings for Volcanoes National Park’s future expansion.
“We are honoured that we are able to help the communities and schools, especially during this challenging time of COVID-19. Our commitment to the communities that are in the proximity of the areas where we operate is stronger than ever, and I personally feel privileged to be able to play my part in this”, says Ingrid Baas, Wilderness Safaris Rwanda Operations Manager.
Thank you once again to all guests who visited Bisate Lodge and Magashi, who have contributed to the CITW projects at the schools, and the Wilderness Safaris projects in the communities. Together we are truly making a difference.