We want to do a shout out to Wilderness Safaris Rwanda for fantastic work supporting the local community during this unprecedented time.
Encompass Africa’s team is super proud of your efforts and excited to continue working together to create a better, more sustainable tourism industry beyond COVID-19.
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As part of its ongoing commitment to community empowerment, Wilderness Safaris Rwanda will be distributing essential food parcels containing maize meal, beans, and soap to 565 members from the five villages surrounding Bisate Lodge for the next three months. The company is also doing everything it can to ensure that Bisate staff still receive a salary during this uncertain time, especially considering that as many as 10 people are dependent on one salaried family member.
Ingrid Baas, Wilderness Safaris Rwanda Operations Manager says“We are committed to doing all we can to assist both our staff and partner communities, in order to minimize the challenges brought about by COVID-19. All our Rwandan employees are still employed and receiving medical aid covering themselves, their spouse and children, plus benefits like pensions, etc. In addition, more than three tons of maize meal, beans, and soap – valued at some RWF1 828 000 (USD2 000), will be distributed to our community families each month. In the event that the situation carries on for longer than expected, we hope to be able to increase the number of families that we’re currently supporting through in-kind support and guest donations”.
Wilderness Safaris Rwanda began by obtaining information from the village leaders on the 157 households who are in dire need of support.
During the first handover, each of the five villages was allocated a time slot during which they could collect their supplies.
The chiefs of each village were involved in the distribution, which greatly helped ensure the handover was orderly and on time.
Gilbert, one of Bisate Lodge’s local neighbours said
“We thought they might forget about us, but they have kept on thinking about us. We are together in this”.