Widow’s of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

Widow’s of Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo

 Virunga National Park is a World Heritage listed area located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, bordering Rwanda and Uganda. For the past 15 years this unique conservation area has suffered from wars and conflict. Virunga NP hosts a diverse range of wildlife, including approximately a quarter of the 880 critically endangered mountain gorilla. The park’s other two Great Ape species, eastern lowland Grauer’s gorillas and chimpanzees, make Virunga the only park in the world to host three taxa of Great Apes. 

Park rangers protecting Virunga NP’s wildlife face a range of life threatening dangers every day just doing their job. Approximately 190 rangers have been killed in this area during the past 15 years, making it one of the highest concentrations of ranger deaths of any other region worldwide. Many of their families live in dire poverty. The constant conflict makes it difficult to set up and sustain small businesses.

This is one of The Thin Green Line Foundation’s key support areas. So far we have provided financial assistance to 55 widows in this area, with funds going towards providing basic human rights services and school fees for children.