There will be little cheer in Congo this Christmas. Though a fragile peace may have now returned to the city of Goma, its residents are still struggling to get back on their feet after enduring more than a year of fighting between government forces and rebel militia.
Throughout these difficult times, the staff at the Gorilla Organization's Goma Resource Centre have bravely pushed ahead with their vital work. Programme Manager Henry Cirhuza knows just how important it is that our work carries on, however tough it gets. Maintaining a visible and active presence in this volatile region is imperative, and the consequences of stopping our projects, even temporarily, don't bear thinking about...
With mountain gorilla numbers still perilously low, a single death can have huge implications, perhaps depriving a gorilla family of a breeding female, a new baby or a dominant male. The loss of forest habitat is also a threat we cannot afford to ignore for one second. A powerful 200kg silverback can eat 25kg of vegetation in a single day and lead his family for several miles in search of food and shelter. By destroying this habitat for short-term gain, people continue to place the survival of gorillas in grave danger.
Regular ranger patrols to keep the forests free from snares and rebel militia are vital and must continue. But Henry and his team in Goma desperately need your help if they are to equip the brave rangers, heavily outnumbered by rebel soldiers and poachers. He needs money to train people in sustainable agriculture so that they need never set foot in the gorilla habitat again, and he needs help in funding our outreach work, so vital in raising awareness of the plight of the gorillas.
How your donation could make a big difference:
- £5 helps plant trees to protect the gorilla habitat
- £10 buys seeds and tools to grow vegetables and provide food for people who might otherwise be driven to poach
- £15 helps buy a firewood-saving stove, which burns 75% less illegal charcoal from the gorilla forest
- £20 helps clear the forest of hundreds of poachers' snares that trap and kill gorillas and other forest animals
- £50 helps equip and pay a forest ranger, who risks his life everyday to guard gorilla families