Home » Supporting Local Communities Around Kibale National Park
Supporting local communities around Kibale National Park is another amazing experience visitors can undertake on top of their Uganda safari in Kibale.
Normally, visitors interested in supporting communities around Kibale forest national park venture into visiting various community development projects.
Among these include KAFRED which standards for Kibale Association For Rural and Environmental Development. This project aims at promoting eco-tourism in Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary and the nearby village.
Other community development projects include Bigodi Women’s Group and the KASIISI project.
Most of these community development projects share a portion of their profits back to the community.
For instance, Bigodi Women’s Group which ventures in handcraft making gives 10% of its sales to community development projects.
Also, it supports vulnerable people in the community such as orphans and widows.
The KASIISI project aims at conserving Kibale Forest and also supporting education in areas around and outside the park.
Supporting local communities around Kibale Forest National Park on your Uganda safari is not mandatory! However, it’s just from an individual’s loyal heart.
Your genuine action of supporting any community development projects around Kibale Forest will help to improve the life of an African man!
Below is how visitors on Uganda safaris can support the local communities around Kibale Forest:
KAFRED standards for Kibale Association For Rural and Environmental Development.
It’s a community-based project set in 1992 to conserve Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, found on the edges of Kibale park. This wetland is home to over:
- 200 bird species counting the Great-blue Turaco
- 8 primate species and,
- Over 100 plant species.
Furthermore, KAFRED is an ecotourism project that supports environmental sustainable enterprises. It aims at conserving biodiversity and community development in the Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary.
The original members of KAFRED with the participation of the local farming community were able to stop encroachment on Bigode wetlands.
This was done by promoting ecotourism in the area by creating guided wildlife trails for tourists.
Revenue from tourism helps to:
- Build a secondary school in the area
- Promote environmental education in the area
- Support a community health center IV hospital in the area
- Create an institutional loan scheme for farming families
- Support a local women’s group that produces beautiful handicrafts
- Offer scholarships for students.
This project also facilitates several groups such as:
- Bigodi Women Women’s Group
- Enyange Dance and Drama Group
- Kiyoima Women’s Group
- Bigodi Peanut Butter Group and,
- The Bigodi Credit and Savings Group.
How Can You Support KAFRED On Top Of Your Uganda Trip In Kibale Forest?
The best way of supporting the KAFRED project is by supplementing a visit to Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary on your Kibale safari.
In the Bigodi sanctuary, you can undertake activities such as:
- Bigodi Swamp Walk
- Undertaking village walks in the Bigodi community and,
- Visiting Tinka’s Homestead, etc.
Any activity offered in this sanctuary gives back 10% of the profits to the community.
Visiting Bigodi Women’s Group
Bigodi Women’s Group is a community development group around Kibale National Park consisting of over 40 voting members and 150 weavers.
This women’s development group is chaired by Betty Tinka.
Women in the Bigodi Women’s Group have worked cooperatively for over 15 years to perfect their crafts and to expand their market all over the world.
This group sells amazing handcrafts such as:
- Wonderful baskets
- Beautiful bags
- Lovely mats and
- Jewelry among others.
While making these gorgeous handcrafts, these women use local materials such as millet straw, banana fibers, raffia, and Phoenix palm leaves as well as natural dyes.
Most of these plants are got from plants that these women grow in their homes!
Normally, their lovely crafts are sold at Kanyanchu Visitor’s Centre in Kibale park and also at KAFRED-office in the Bigodi trading center.
Furthermore, these women sell their crafts worldwide through export.
10% of all their sales from crafts is put into community development projects and over the years, this income has:
- Funded Bigodi Pre-Primary (Nursery) School
- Supported orphans
- Helped Widows and,
- Other disabled and disadvantaged people in the community.
More so, this group promotes conservation and takes schoolchildren on field trips.
Bigodi Women’s Group also produces songs and plays with conservation messages and this is aimed at creating awareness among the wider community.
Please note that, on your visit to Bigodi Women’s Group, you can also actively participate in weaving and after, buy yourself a gorgeous souvenir.
Why Should Travelers Support Bigodi Women’s Group?
Supporting Women in Bigodi Women’s Group is not mandatory for tourists on Uganda tours in Kibale however, it’s someone’s passion.
These women make amazing handcrafts such as mats, sunhats, and baskets which are sold to tourists. And, 10% of their sales are put back into community development projects and aids.
This Women’s group facilitates:
- Bigodi Pre-Primary School
- Conserves nature
- Supports orphans
- Helps widows as well as,
- Disabled people in the community such as those with AIDS.
Visiting KASIISI Project
Travelers interested in supporting local communities around Kibale National Park can also undertake a visit to KASIISI Project.
This project has been in place since 1997, and it has aided education in and around Kibale National Park, in rural western Uganda and East Africa.
Initially, it was founded as a link between the research-based Kibale Chimpanzee Project and the local community.
Currently, this project works with several research groups in and around Kibale.
Aims Of KASIISI Project
KASIISI Project aims to conserve Kibale Forest and support the local population around the park through:
- Supporting early childhood education
- Encouraging health education through building extra classrooms
- Supporting conservation education
- Providing daily school lunches
- Funding extra teachers in schools around Kibale Forest
- Encourage literacy through libraries and computer usage
- Fund secondary school and college scholarships and,
- Addressing the special needs of girls.
KASIISI Project works in 14 schools, supporting over 10,000 primary school children. They are a secular 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization based in USA, Cambridge, and Massachusetts.
On top of your Uganda trip in Kibale Forest, you can visit this project for a donation.
Regardless of the amount you donate, it’s of great value to the life of a Ugandan child. Also, your funding will contribute to the conservation of Kibale Forest, home of the endangered Chimpanzees.
In summary, visitors undertaking Uganda tours in Kibale park are encouraged to endeavor miss supporting local communities around this park.
Among these include KAFRED, Bigodi Women’s Group, and KASIISI Project.
This is an ideal way how travelers in Kibale Forest can also participate in supporting the local needy communities around this lovely park.
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FAQs About Supporting Local Communities Around Kibale National Park
What To Pack While Planning To Visit Community Development Projects Around Kibale National Park?
Usually, visits to community development projects are always additions to chimpanzee trekking in Kibale National Park. Therefore, the packing list might look more or less the same! So, its ideal for visitors to have the following:
- A sunhat: This is so vital as the sunhat will protect you from the direct scorching sunlight while in the field.
- Sunscreens: Also, this helps to safeguard your skin from the strong tropical sun rays.
- Sunglasses: These will help to protect your eyes from the direct sun rays.
- A camera: It’s ideal to always move with a camera as it helps while capturing photos.
- Backpack: This helps to keep all your gadgets safe. For instance a camera and extra clothes.
What Is The Ideal Time Of The Day To Visit Community Development Projects Around Kibale Forest?
Visitors can visit all the community development projects around Kibale Forest all time of the day however, most visitors always make it during the afternoon hours.
Normally, this is after the morning chimpanzee trekking session in Kibale Forest.
What Are The Precautions On The Dressing Code While Visiting Any Community Development Project Around Kibale Forest?
While visiting any community development project around Kibale Forest, travelers should put on long pants.
Please note that short dresses, skirts, and tight shorts are not ideal for community visits in Uganda.
Currently, in Uganda, it’s improper for women to wear mini-skirts as well as tight shorts.
In actuality, people in Uganda contempt men and women wearing short pants. Therefore, it’s proper you put on at least a knee-length cloth!
What Guidelines Should Be Followed While Visiting Community Development Projects Around Kibale National Park?
Below are the precautions travelers should follow while visiting community development projects around Kibale:
- You’re highly reminded to always give respect to the people you’ll encounter. Never despise anybody!
- Always value the customs, beliefs, and traditions of the native people.
- You’re also reminded to put on decently, knee covering clothes are recommended for women.
- Time management is another key point to note. Ideally, you should keep time so that you can exploit the work of these projects fully.
What Is The General Way Of Spotting Local Communities Around Kibale National Park?
Travelers undertaking Uganda safaris in Kibale National Park can support local communities in many ways and some of them include:
Purchasing Local Hand Crafts From Communities Around Kibale Park
While on your visit to Kibale National Park, you’re encouraged to always buy handicrafts from these local people. Among these include hand-woven baskets, mats, and sunhats.
The action of you buying a crat from them helps to raise their income.
You can visit Bigodi Women’s Group for beautiful crafts and these can act as souvenirs of your Uganda tour.
Giving Out Donations To Community Projects Around Kibale Forest
Travelers who are in a position of giving out donations can also go ahead to support the community projects around the park.
Please note that most of the community projects help to run communal infrastructures such as schools and health centers.
Also, they support the lives of vulnerable people in society such as widows, and orphans, as well as giving scholarships for school-going children.
Visitors can donate also by giving scholastic materials and clothes to orphans as most can’t afford to buy such essentials. Sewing machines can be donated to Bigodi Women’s Group to ease their work while making crafts.
Volunteering In Community Projects around Kibale NP
This is also another way how visitors can support local communities around Kibale Forest.
Professional travelers for example physicians and teachers can volunteer and work in a health center or a school around for a specific time. This will help to share the quality work rendered in your to Uganda.
The natives will be so appreciative of your compassionate heart!
Venture In Community Tourism
All travelers undertaking safaris in Kibale National Park are encouraged to supplement a community tour on their visit.
For example visiting Bigodi village, undertaking the Bigodi swamp walk, as well a visit to Bigodi Women’s group. This helps the local people to generate some revenue as tourists buy beautiful handcrafts and the local guides also end up earning some money.
In the end, this raises their disposable income.