While I was working for Kahuzi-Biega National Park, I came to notice the human pressure on the gorillas, their habitat and other natural resources. Myself as one of the natives from a local community around the park, I had to go and talk to the people of seven different communities around the park.
In 1986, an American tourist gave me a tip of USD10, which I spent to buy plain Chinese t-shirts. After putting some design on them, I sold them to tourists. It became another source of my small income.
By 1992, I had already saved a sum of USD 6,000. My beloved wife Odette suggested me that we buy a house in Bukavu. I said “It doesn’t sound fair to us to buy a house while our gorillas got caught every time in snares set by our own communities. Please, let me try something to link the communities to the protection and the long-term conservation of the Kahuzi-Biega gorillas…” Odette said “All right, you can do what you feel necessary to do.”
This lead to the creation of this grass-root non-governmental organization, POLE POLE FOUNDATION on September 24th, 1992.