We run a number of projects in the DRC as per our objectives and availability of funds. All projects are tailor-made to meet the need at hand. We are presently running 4 projects across the country in and around four national parks in the DR Congo.
The following projects are currently underway:
The Salonga Corridor Initiative
This initiative was conceived with objectives to put back the Salonga national park back on the map but also to uplift communities in the Tshuapa Province, to fight against poaching and to ensure food security. The project is a good example of humanitarian work meeting nature conservation.
Our main focus is currently on:
- Adult basic education/training for pygmies
- Subsistence Fishing; cassava, goat and pig farming
- ‘No to bushmeat’ campaign
Together with the local communities, we conceive and run projects which are tailor-made to their needs. We encourage the participation of everyone in the community via weekly, monthly and seasonally meet and greet sessions we hold in communities. This enables us to thoroughly scratch where it itches in our endeavours.
Shujaa-Volunteer Ranger Support
This initiative which is at the core of our activities was designed as a response to the high prevalence of commercial and subsistence poaching in all our parks. This program addresses also the risk our rangers are exposed to while carrying out their duties. Last year alone, almost 200 were killed in the line of duty. Less than all rangers in the country are actually without or with just basic training; Many at times find themselves very poorly equipped than the poachers they fight daily. ‘Shujaa’ means brave/Hero in Swahili, hence our volunteers are considered heroes in the wildlife conservation sphere. Rangers are the most affected group in nature conservation fraternity, yet these are the front men who put their lives at risk daily to protect fauna and flora at a meagre remuneration of 53 dollars a month. There has been even rumours that some of the rangers are accomplices to poachers due to their minimal wages and appalling living conditions.
All these factors combined, have shortened the number of required park rangers drastically.Faced with these challenges, we came up with this program, which is the core of our existence and presently yielding results even though at a slower pace than we wish.
The aim is to carefully and strictly select volunteers from students, and communities who show a sense of care and responsibility towards nature. we then train them, equip them before deploying them to various national parks and nature reserves across the country. The volunteerism period is for 12 months after which the volunteer can either decide to join the permanent forces or to go back to their usual activities.
On the other hand, we give refresher training to existing rangers as well as logistic support in terms of equipment, food and medical supplies as they lack even in the basics.
Our future vision is to form a special SWAT team, responsible for a speedy and effective response against poachers across the country.
Scientific and Research Promotion
As part of our objectives, we have managed to lobby local and international universities , scientists and researchers through exchange programs, conferences and workshops. We actively engage them in capacity building as well as research in various fields inclined toward nature conservation.
We also aim to build a modest but full-fledged laboratory in the Salonga National park for research use. The lab would be accompanied by 20 cabins, a storeroom and decent ablution facilities.
Nature in Sound and images
As part of our responsibility to sensitize masses in matters of nature conservation, we came up with this initiative which consists of educating remote rural areas communities in Congo on their responsibility in conservation. It’s a concept consisting of treating villagers to a wild life film once every week. The film is translated in the local vernacular as an education tool in nature conservation. After the film, a brief exchange takes place in which communities share views, knowledge and experience as nature conservation is concerned.