What’s the name of your project?
Gorilla Ambassadors
What problem are you solving with your project?
Located in the east of the DRC and bordering the Virunga National Park, the village of Kibumba is an area affected by several scourges such as insecurity caused by the persistence of rebel groups, and natural disasters but also in this community we observe serious environmental problems such as deforestation, poaching, conflictual cohabitation between local communities and the park.

Aware of the consequences of massive and uncontrolled deforestation such as low agricultural production, disruption and even prolongation of the seasons, and soil erosion that is felt in this village that is totally dependent on rainwater as well as agriculture, the Gorilla Ambassadors project is focused on the communities bordering the Park and particularly on young school children in the mission to raise awareness, spread knowledge and positive values to promote responsible behavior on the protection and conservation of nature and the fight against climate change these to develop skills necessary to participate responsibly and effectively in maintaining and restoring the quality of the environment and/or climate that is currently a problem that affects the world and requires the involvement of community actors for a positive and sustainable change.
How does your project adequately solve this problem?
To address these challenges, through the Gorilla Ambassadors program, several activities are organized with community members such as:

1. Awareness and mobilization on nature protection and conservation and the fight against climate change.
2. Reforestation in degraded areas of the park and around schools.
3. Guided visits to the gorillas with young school children.
4. Art on conservation.
5. Recreational games.
6. Adding a storytelling activity is a measure that is being considered for future years that will allow for the sharing of conservation experiences with their cultures.
What groups of people will benefit from your project?
All communities around the Virunga National park ( youth, young school children, parents, etc).
How do you intend to generate revenue in order to become sustainable?
Awards, donations, creating partnerships with other organizations, implementing socio-economic projects that can generate revenue, etc.
What makes your project unique or better than other projects solving this problem?
The originality of this project resides in the fact that it is an inclusive community project that will be implemented in an area of security tensions and natural disasters. This project is also oriented in the community including the actors of the destruction of wildlife (charcoal makers & poachers) in order to rebuild the climate of understanding and collaboration between the park and the community for the protection and conservation of the mountain gorilla population as well as the restoration of the quality of the environment in fighting against climate change. But also the different projects that will be implemented in this program will create jobs for youth.
What strategies will you adopt to scale the impact of your project in the future?
To increase the impact of my project I intend to involve more community members in the implementation of activities, but also to initiate innovative ideas that can help to motivate massive participation in the program’s activities.
What impact does your project have on your community, region, country, or the world?
In terms of impacts, since October 2021 until today, more than 1500 youth from schools around the Virunga National Park have been educated and trained on the protection and conservation of biodiversity; The significant reduction of threats and pressures of poaching and loss of habitat of the mountain gorillas, which explains the increase of the gorillas’ number in the Virunga with a dozen births registered last year; the involvement and appropriation of the gorilla’s conservation by the local communities and finally the training and mobilization of 10 local educators from schools and villages around the park who continue to train the others; approximately 400 forest trees were planted, some in the schools bordering the park and others in degraded areas of the Virunga National Park in the fight against the climate change.
What makes you the right person or team to solve this problem?
1. I have a strong understanding of the problem that my community where I come from is facing and I am able to communicate that knowledge with the community in an engaging way.
2. Transparent Communication: Problem-solving requires transparent communication where everyone’s concerns and points of view are freely expressed.
3. Open-minded People.
A Solid Foundational Strategy.
4. As un young leader, the community trusts my team and me and it is ready to support us to reach the goals assigned for this project.