Virunga National Park in the Congo DRC is Africa’s oldest national park and home to a quarter of the world’s mountain gorillas, and while in this park do not miss to visit Nyiragongo for the amazing hiking and this hike takes one day ascending and one day descending and on top you take an overnight stay in the Nyiragongo shelters.
Virunga’s widows of Fallen Rangers gather outside the completed sewing cooperative with park staff and GEO, Eva Danulat.
After several years of planning and building, Virunga’s Sewing Workshop for the Widows of the Fallen Rangers has opened. The workshop was created to help widows regain a sense of control over their lives after suffering the devastating loss of their ranger husbands. These women have faced challenges that most people can’t even imagine, yet as you can see from the images that follow, they are doing so with grace and determination.
The ultimate goal of the Widows Sewing Workshop is to help support these women to get beyond bare subsistence. Equally important is to foster a sense of community and strengthen their optimism for what the future holds. If you want to visit this Community Based Tourism program visit the Virunga National Park for your Congo gorilla safari and you will if have time visit them and participate in their daily work.
The much anticipated grand opening of the Widows Workshop was organized with the help of the Mikeno Lodge team in Rumangabo and special guests. Deputy Director and Southern Sector Warden, Innocent Mburanumwe opened the ceremony along with Eva Danulat from GEO Rain forest Conservation.
Innocent opened by thanking the widows for their role in protecting Virunga National Park. Innocent also asked everyone in attendance to observe a minute of silence to honor all of the park’s Fallen Rangers. Although this moment brought tears to the eyes of the widows and others, sadness gave way to a deep sense of pride and appreciation.
Eva Danalut of Geo Rain forest Conservation cuts the inaugural ribbon. Unfortunately, representatives from Rain forest Rescue, the other key donor, were unable to attend. Photos by Kate Malone