The Big Picture

Will Rogers Airport with boxes of Medical Supplies

Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (DFGFI) has achieved great strides towards the preservation of natural habitat of gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

They started with the development of services for a local village population like primary school, clinic, clean water and an orphanage (under construction). This village became a pilot project to convince local tribal leaders of the benefits that conservation could bring to the lives of their communities. Based on the development they saw in the Tayna Reserve, a coalition of tribal leaders established  UGADEC for the purpose of desperately needed humanitarian aid and the preservation of 7200 square miles of natural habitat for gorillas and numerous other species of wildlife.

This vast new Nature Reserve would eventually need many medical /educational/construction services for the communities and professionals to fill positions of management for the new Reserves. There were soon jobs without trained professionals to fill them. So a small college with an emphasis in conservation and community development was started. It is called Tayna College of Conservation Biology and has 400 students. The notion of jobs without people to fill them is almost unheard of in a place like DRCongo.

Every time an orphanage, school, or clinic is built, widows and orphans come to make bricks for income and workers earn wages to construct these buildings.

This is one place in the world where any donations or services offered to the village communities also contributes in a direct way to the preservation of the natural wilderness and the protection of the last gorillas in the wild.

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