We organized the POPOF’s march of the International Women’s Day on March 8th 2011. The march begun at Miti center, two ladies carried a piece of bed sheet with the slogan “Women united for the environment. Let’s unite for saving our environment”.
They walked down singing and dancing along way to the Catholic Parish of Murhesa and went to Kavumu near the airport. They all sat down and shared their ideas about what we should do for the future of the environment.
Since 2007, a lot of women have been involved in different POPOF activities around the Kahuzi-Biega National Park (KBNP). Some work in tree projects, some are teachers in the kindergarten, primary and secondary schools. Also POPOF is taking care of 15 widows whose husbands were the rangers of the KBNP who lost their lives during the long period of war. We are supporting these widows in several areas like pig breeding, small business and farming so that they can school their children.
We received special funds from Netherlands’s Apenheul Primate Park and POPOF Japan last year. These funds enabled us to prepare a hundred POPOF T-shirts and also the ‘kanga’ for the ladies who marched on this occasion. Kanga is a kind of African fabric that is commonly worn by women in the central and western Africa. Fifty pieces of fabric were bought for the march.
POPOF has really become a good and strong model to be followed by other NGOs in the area. We plant trees every year in the fields around the park. In future the pupils we are teaching now will be managing the Park’s natural resources and the communities in harmony. This long-term approach is contributing to foster the community-based conservation.
We thank all our supporters and colleagues in POPOF who contributed for the success of this great, unforgettable march of this International Women’s Day.