Uganda Wildlife Authority management and staff on Wednesday donated assorted items including foodstuffs, drinks and clothes to the Missionaries of the Poor who look after over 400 disadvantaged children and young adults in Kisenyi and Busega homes, in the outskirts of Kampala.
The UWA team was led by the Executive Director, flanked by the director for Tourism and Business Services, Mr. Raymond Engena, Human Resources Manager, Mr. Chris Mwesiimo and the Public Relations Manager, Ms Lillian Nsubuga among others. Dr. Andrew Seguya who was received at the Bethlehem home by the in charge, Brother Sonny Borras, said Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) is happy to associate with Bethlehem Home by providing food items with the babies and young people that are being looked after at this home.
“One of UWA’s main objectives and goals is to share with the communities the little money that we collect from our activities in the national parks. Last year, we were able to donate food and scholastic materials to the Missionaries of the Poor in Kisenyi and therefore contributed to improving the welfare of those children”, said UWA’s Chief Executive Officer.
Uganda Wildlife Authority is a semi-autonomous government agency responsible for managing the wildlife and protected areas of Uganda. We manage 10 national parks and 12 wildlife reserves located in different national parks. Dr. Seguya said Uganda Wildlife Authority is keen to ensure that Ugandans share in the benefits that accrue from having wildlife in our country. We have the Revenue Sharing policy whereby we give 20 percent of annual revenue from park entry fees to the communities neighbouring the national park. This money has been used to build schools, classrooms, teachers’ houses, health centers, as well as rehabilitate roads and begin income-generating activities.
The much needed food items donated by UWA included sugar, maize flour, beans, rice and soda. “We are aware of the difficulty of putting food on the table for a big number of children given the high food prices on the market. We understand that you have over 206 children here as well as 50 adults; therefore we hope that our donation will go a long way in improving your operations. Under our CSR program, we shall continue to strive that various communities benefit from tourism and wildlife” he promised.
Brother Borras who appreciated the UWA gesture, said some of the children are orphans, victims of accidents, those abandoned by parents due to mental and physical handicap. He said Missionaries for the poor was founded in 1981 by a former priest who used to teach in Boston and has today grown to serve in eight countries. He said it was an uphill task catering for over 400 residents basic needs without any steady sources of income except for donations from philanthropists.
Good tidings yet again rain in the gorilla park of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in southwestern Uganda. For their dedicated efforts and determination to keep the gorilla habitat well and alive, the rangers and porters of Bwindi have been appreciated by Gosmile,a Ugandan Non Governmental Organization(NGO registered both in Uganda and Germany. The organization whose three Pillars is to support children and, women with start-up support to improve family welfare and health care has pledged to support primarily the guides, trackers and law enforcement rangers as well as porters of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park with school tuition and scholastic materials for their children. This comes on the heels of the accolade the park received from Trip Advisor has tourists’ favorite for visitation in 2012 with a five star performance. The decision to support the staff followed a discussion between the management of Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Area (BMCA) headed by the Area Manager Mr. Pontius Ezuma and the Directors and sponsors of Gosmile. The Directors of GoSmile who called on the CAM- BMCA Mr. Ezuma last week were happy to partner with the park and also commended management for ensuring that the estate is well run and protected. They revealed that earlier, GoSmile had been undertaking such sponsorships through community groups around Bwindi but such help channeled had been mismanaged without reaching the intended benefactors. They were however happy to get engaged in conservation with UWA through BMCA and have every confidence that much will be achieved in this sponsorship. It was envisaged that by linking conservation to through the help rendered to staff and porters with their immediate family, it will greatly encourage them double efforts, reduce illegal activities but as well make a contribution to the local communities as a conservation benefit. A majority of the ranger force of the CA and all porters are born from the villages neighboring the park. The head guide Bwindi Sgt.Maj Ndayakunze Sunday on behalf of the benefitting staff pledged the commitment of the field team in ensuring that their efforts are doubled to make eco-tourism appreciated around the park. He thanked the management of Bwindi Mgahinga- CA and UWA as a whole for being committed to ensure staff welfare improves. The Country Director Gosmile Mr. Moses Kiiza pledged to further hold more meetings on how best to effect and develop clear guidelines on implementation of this partnership. They left a few pens and pencils, flasks, sources, warm blankets, socks and lunch packs for rangers at the end of the discussion where they are optimistic to working with us to effect this support. The chairman of the porters Association Buhoma Habomugisha Edward was so moved with this gesture and pledged even further support to protect the home of the mountain gorillas.