A helping hand in developing (eco-tourism) Uganda.
There we stood in the office of Moliz tours and Safaris, in Rwamabondo Town part of the great rift valley.
It was our first step to, what was called in our program, "volunteership".
Moliz Tours and Safaris, together with the Local people of Nyamiko Community organized a volunteering program for us.
Below was a description of what we experienced in
1-5 days of volunteering during our stay of 4 weeks in Uganda.
At first we spent some 2-3 weeks crossing Uganda, getting to know the people, their culture, their habits, their tourism. We travelled from the most beautiful Murchison falls, through a booming experience encountering the Chimps in Kibale National Park, to a Wildlife of most amazing species in Queen Elizabeth National park. An experience of a close look at the Congo border in Ishasha, crossing borders to Rwanda for visiting the mountain gorilla in "Parc National des Volcans" and coming to Kigali to visit the Hutu/Tutsi memorial.
Most astonishing part in this period, I think, our guide "Mr. Moses Tumukunde, was amazing……! He was always on time, never delayed, spoke lots of Uganda languages, has humor and enthusiastic in everything. Besides, what we enjoyed was pure Wildlife, the kindness of the people and their open hearts.
In the 1-5 days following up, "tourism" changed into "volunteering". A small step into the office of Moliz tours and Safaris had a huge impact on their portfolio. There was a welcome meeting organized by the Staffs of Moliz Tours and Safaris with the people of all the projects we were to visit. Our program was set! Below is a small outline of what each program consists:
Taking part in community awareness program. (3 days)
Near Ntungamo we met our first "host" family. Head of family "Mr. Karuguru" was a very vital man for his age(73). Together with his daughters(Edith and Scovia) and a project developer (Elizabeth Birungi) we visited some established projects. We climbed steep hills and made a very nice surrounding walk with learning through talking. It was a homely welcome, relaxation of the first kind. During this stay we made a small contribution to fight malnutrition especially in orphans and promote HIV/AIDS awareness programs in Ntungamo area. In cooperation with another "peace-core" volunteer we gave "tips"to appriciate some people and discussed some measures to eradicate malnutrition. We visited one school and a family which takes care of 12 orphans,it was quite shocking to see how young some of these orphans were!
The project developer (Elizabeth Birungi) who was our tour guide, and a care taker in this project, took us to her hometown near another beatiful City Fort-portal, neighbouring the Rwenzori Mountains, where land is decreasing its value due to deforestation as many trees are cut down by the poor to earn a living which is not sustainable for sure! Elizabeth is conserving the environment through tree planting program. Here, She has replanted pine-trees on a large scale as part of an income for the community and land environmental conservation. Beautiful views was part of our memories as also was the straineous walk where we heard oftenly phrases,"we are almost there". Be sure when Elizabeth invites you for a "walk" put on your hiking boots and expect at least a two hour walk up and down steep hills. Last but not least the tour through the village. The image of what was left was looking at poverty, joy and kindness so close together in such a small village.
Developing an ECO Tourism project (5 days)
In the last program, we were the "tourist models". We visited a community called "Nyundo Hills" which is situated 4 km to the entrance of the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park,"the home of Gorrillas". The community gave us shelter in a small tourist Banda in the village called Keyishero,it was a warm welcome by some 50 orphans who spent their afternoon dancing, playing and singing with us in this area. The purpose of our visit was evaluating the so called "eco-trails" which were part of an eco-tourism project. 7 trails were developed in the past 1-5 years but until now there were hardly any tourist to visit these trails. In 4 days time we visited most of the trails. Two we did on foot and the rest by car or by looking at them from a distance as some trails were very hard to reach physically. Lots of shaking hands, hugging and visiting dancing groups and looking at how things came to us as we were regarded as the first explorer - tourists ever to set a foot in Nyundo Hills. At the end, we were totally overwhelmed by the way the primitive community came to organize a function to give us certificates of being the first tourists clearing all the trails.
Eyeing Uganda from a different perspective, being among the people feeling their culture as it is, seeing and hearing stories how things were in the past, creates memorable moments you and the local people will never forget. It gave us such more of Uganda than being tourists alone. An experience we wouldn't have missed and will always dream of when to return to this beautiful country. Therefore i would recommend that if you are planning to do some volunteer work in Uganda, MolizTours and Safaris can arrange it for you.