Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge finds it critical to play a role in order to continue seeing the environment, communities and wildlife around us exist and grow. We operate interactively and support various initiatives across Nteko ridge and Rubuguri regions. We work on initiatives for economic empowerment to improve the standard of living of communities and enriches lives of individuals. Development of communities where we do business is very much part of our culture.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge continues to support the fight against climate change by initiating conservation of environment measures in our operations. We enforce measures on responsible waste management, conservation of water and tree planting.
It also gives us great satisfaction to see the environment conserved, economic growth, community having access to education, good health and overall being able to improve their standard of living
The Nkuringo Youth Initiative was initially started in 2008, but has now been incorporated under Nkuringo Bwindi Youth Organization in 2016 under registration DGCS/809/2019; with the main aim of sensitizing and empowering children and youth through conservation, education, sports, health and development skills.
The Nkuringo Bwindi Youth Organization now has over 143 members, exclusively for youth around the regions of Nkuringo, Nteko, Kikomo and Kikobero villages.
Members sensitize the rest of the community through drama, song and dance on conservation of the environment and health. The organization promote innovative solutions to environmental challenges. Their performances portray the benefits of conservation to our environment, which in the long run benefit our economic livelihood.
The organization has empowered many children and encourage education, often supporting them with school supplies like books and pens.
The organization also encourage children to take ownership of their own waste management, tree planting and facilitate a culture of being environmentally conscious throughout the livelihood. Clean environment also has positive effect on their health.
Sports has been of enormous benefit to youth where they are engaged frequently thus they avoid staying idol and fall into vices.
The organization also mentor members on development skill in either craft, rearing of chicken and sheep. The members are trained on craft making, drawing and basket weaving which they usually showcase and sell to tourist while performing dances. Chicken and sheep have been distributed to members, which provide products that help enrich their status. These have multiplied and distributed to other members, therefore, a benefit to many of the members.
Running the organization is entwined with quite a number of challenges, mainly lack of facilitation to reach more places. The costs for costumes or training equipment is a challenge to the organization. Donations from well-wishers have gone a long way in providing food and fees provisions.
The group performance for guests staying at Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge and this gives them platform to sale their crafts to the guest, encouraging fair-trade.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge operates as a Carbon Neutral lodge. We work through the Uganda Carbon Bureaus to offset our carbon footprint. The indigenous tree planting initiative is an opportunity for guests to leave a lasting memory in our lodge.
We support our eco-system to promote conservation and restoring forest cover in the area. We acknowledge the importance of forests, which can reduce natural disasters and mitigate the effects of climate change.
Reforestation is a cornerstone to Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge sustainability efforts. As a strong advocate for environmental sustainability, this initiative supports and addresses environmental issues relating to all terrestrial ecosystems including wildlife, biodiversity, and forests.
We are conscious of the environment and action towards litter collection, waste management, water conservation, recycling and re-use of resources.
Nkuringo Health Center Grade 3 is mainly an outpatient center located in Kikomo area. Strides towards good health can be made when we work together with local communities at Nkuringo Health Center to respond to the communities’ needs. Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge has made significant efforts to support and ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. These efforts are varied, ranging from information workshops, to donations of medicine, equipment and supplies to Nkuringo Health Centre.
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travelers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.
Nkuringo Vocational Secondary School was started in 2017 to provide access to education for the community around Nteko ridge. The school has been able to provide awareness and O’ level education to under privileged bright children. The school has now grown and can accommodate students to Senior 4 classes.
The school provides opportunities for students to succeed and thrive as leaders in their communities through a holistic education and economic empowerment program. Many donor sponsor individual students through their years of education.
Starting the Sewing machine project with one machine, the project has grown with more women trained and more machines bought. These women have then passed on their knowledge and trained other women in the surrounding community. They have been able to pay for their children’s school fees, buy land for investment and meet their basic necessities and needs.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge support these women in purchasing some of their products for lodge use and promote their work in the gift shop.
A shed has been built to provide a more conducive working and training environment for these women. More machines will be purchased to accommodate the increasing number of women.
Nkuringo Lodge has partnered with other Tour Operators that make donation to the project and this has helped with purchase of Sewing Machines – that are donated to the women in the community of Rubuguri and managed through the Nkuringo Culture centre.
Nkuringo Cultural Center was developed to promote conservation and cultural education. The center which exhibit their activities through cultural performances, cultural exhibition, habitat conservation, skill development, education and forest and community experiences.
The cultural performances are performed by the pigmy ‘batwa’, elderly and youth dances. Cultural exhibition is through a homestead set-up, local brewing, herbal medicine and a museum. Habitat conservation is exhibited through the Indigenous Forest Owners Association located in Rubuguri. The Association aims to maintain a ‘Go green Rubuguri’ philosophy in order to mitigate climate changes that may affect the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. This is done through guests adopting a tree which will be named after them.
Development skills promoted by the center is training farmers on agricultural activities like farming organic foods, rearing pigs, chicken, fish farming and cattle. Illustrations of the farming activities can be viewed at Itambla Demonstration Farm.
The center is in partnership with Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge with projects on tailoring, craft and weaving training.
Education is key and the center is involved with donors who sponsor individual children.
One can explore and be educated on the different cultures through cooking classes, community walks or going through the Bwindi Batwa Forest experience.
Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge in collaboration with Nkuringo Walking Safari is a fair trade where walking safari guides are able to provide services to our clients, while they earn a living. We sponsor the guides with training in tour guiding courses and further sponsorship is extended to the guide’s children in our Nkuringo Junior Stars Program. Where each staff of the Lodge and walking safaris guide get sponsorship for one child, where we aim to ensure children have access to education and are kept in school without interruption with focus on Girl Child Education.
In tandem with Nkuringo Bwindi Youth Organization, we facilitate and distribute goats, train the community, assess their progress. We provide sufficient support to community and encourage farming. The project is aimed to grow and benefit more of the community as the goats reproduce and they are then distributed to a new family.
Junior Stars Program is a sponsorship program for the children of Nkuringo Bwindi Gorilla Lodge employees. Sponsorship is given to at least one child of long serving employees who have served for more than 2 years. We support our stars with fees for one year, school supplies and uniforms.
The aim was to start the community-based projects as an economic empowerment initiative but it has grown to become a sustainable business, where the lives of children, women and their families are immensely enhanced.
Some of the projects have reduced our carbon footprint and at the same time, financially reduced our cost of doing business with getting fresh produce from the community. We are in line with our practice to assist local communities in and around Nteko regions.
We foresee some of these initiatives contributing to the broader economy by way of encouraging reduction in the rural-urban migration, community empowerment, healthy and educated population that we would like to see others in the industry also emulate.