We met some incredible people and animal organizations on our recent two trips to Rwanda! We love to connect our travelers with the amazing work that is being done in the destinations we visit to gain a deeper understanding of what’s being done to help animals and perhaps be of some support. This time it was inviting these lovely people to lunch to find out more about the work they do. These heroes deserve a shout-out and a big thank you for coming to join us.
Citra Afia Organics
Afia Organics is known by Citra Mohammed and she has a little vegan restaurant that is also creating delicious seitan and tofu for the local market. She also is an incredible baker and she has a huge range of non-dairy milk. We were connected with her by another amazing woman Jeanine Munyeshuli a vegan who was so helpful in the planning of our World Vegan Travel tour of Rwanda in July 2019. Citra provided many of these products to our hotels which helped them make many of the dishes Brighde had suggested to them. We didn’t have time to eat in her restaurant but it is very cute and we can vouch for the delicious food that Citra makes.
Yves Ndindabahizi Sarkozy
Yves is doing some fantastic work in Rwanda to help animals. He is not only the admin of the active Facebook group Rwanda Humane Society and although it is not an approved organization, he is also single-handedly lobbying the government to introduce Rwanda’s first laws for animal welfare. He’s also considering opening a chapter of Anonymous for the Voiceless in Kigali! We were thrilled to be able to offer him the opportunity to see the gorillas. One of our travelers had to drop out at the last minute and we were able to transfer the permit to him. Most Rwandan people have not seen gorillas (as a permit is $1500) so this was a lovely thing to be able to give to Yves.
Heather from WAG Rwanda:
Their goal is to provide a safe place for abandoned/street puppies in Rwanda with nowhere else to go. Through the generous support of animal lovers, they also provide support to dog owners in Rwanda. WAG Rwanda is 100% non-profit and is simply a handful of passionate dog lovers trying to meet a serious need in Rwanda. They also sell the cutest collars and leashes.
Julius Nziza from Gorilla Doctors
The Gorilla Doctors are dedicated to conserving wild mountain and eastern lowland (or Grauer’s) gorillas through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach. Our international team of veterinarians is the only group providing these critically endangered animals with direct, hands-on care in the wild. Their veterinary team regularly monitors the health of mountain and Grauer’s gorillas and intervenes to treat individuals with life-threatening illness or injury whenever possible. The Gorilla Doctors also help rescue and treat mountain and Grauer’s gorillas orphaned by poachers.
Veronica : The Dian Fossey Fund
Veronica Vecellio from The Dian Fossey Fund Center where she has been working since 2005 as the Gorilla Program Senior Advisor and regional PR Director. Veronica took our clients on Rwanda 2 on a behind-the-scenes visit to the Dian Fossey center where we learned about the amazing work this organization does. She is clearly very passionate and communicated in such an engaging way with our clients as she showed us the labs and the archives! The Dian Fossey fund protects gorillas, conducts research into their behavior and the issues impacting them, They also help the surrounding communities to coexist with gorillas as well as educate the next generation of environmentalists.
If you are ever there, we recommend you try to participate in this activity. We know it might sound tempting to skip it for an extra hour and a half in the park looking at the animals, but we guarantee if you do you will walk away with a huge appreciation of the very successful work they are doing despite incredible challenges that they face. It’s a success story that deserves to be shouted from the rooftops!