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Travel Report Rwanda

Mountain Gorilla

  Scientific Board

Andy Lee Lang Committee

Bank Account

Supporting Members

Mountain Gorillas in Rwanda
  Ambassadors of the Mountain Gorillas
  Education Center




German Version

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Also this year Manfred Baumann and his wife Nelly will supoport Endangered with donating some of their pictures and books. Also the picutres of the politically engaged attractive daughter from David Hasselhoff, Hayley Hasselhoff - she is not only an actress, since some time she is also a famous and asked model at Ford Models, one of the best model agency in New York - will be a part of the contribution to support the mountain gorillas:

Manfred Baumann: "We know that every day species are extinced on our planet, but this doesn´t mean that we have to accept it."
The pitures from her and other stars from hollywood can be seen this year in exibitions in Berlin and Paris.

The world famous Austrian photographer Manfred Baumann supports Endangered since many years with sensational campaigns.

During a fotoshooting in Los Angeles the Academy Award Winner Louise Gosset Jr. has promised his support for Endangered.

He will mention Endangered in his interviews  and spreads out our goal and will act as an embassador for our project.

Andy Lee Lang Education Programm

The famous rock-and-roll singer Andy Lee Lang continues to support Endangered. His successful backing in 2007 and 2008 made it possible for the gamekeeper Anaclet to attend Wildlife School in Jersey. On June 6th, 2009, a special concert will be held for Endangered. The proceeds will help finance the “Andy Lee Lang Education Program”. Through this, people living around the park, inhabited by the last mountain gorillas, will not only be educated on wildlife conservation and environmental protection, but also gain information on hygiene and medical concerns such as HIV.

Support by Nelly and Manfred Baumann

The world-renowned photographer Manfred Baumann has pledged his support for the Endangered organization. Nelly and Manfred Baumann visited the “Night of the Gorillas 2007”, where they donated a picture by Manfred Baumann for auction. They are both keen to personally travel to the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and want to promote the idea to help the mountain gorillas by aiding the people of Rwanda. Their worldwide contacts, as well as the fact that a true professional will capture the magic of the mountain gorillas, is a great benefit for Endangered.

Manfred Baumann
Nelly and Manfred Baumann with Isaiah Washington

Support by Brussels Airlines

Since its launch Brussels Airlines has supported Endangered in organizing our flights. In the summer of 2008 we signed a marketing cooperation with the Airline, which guarantees 5000 € a year for flights and baggage transportation.
These sponsored flights will evidently not be used by us or other board members to travel to Rwanda. They are limited to project associated activities for African co-workers and supports persons such as the gamekeeper Anaclet.

Umurage - Wine
Winery - Heuriger – Bed and Breakfast K+K Fuchs
Jedlersdorfer Platz 29 
1210 Wien

With their special edition wine UMURAGE, the winery of Ing. Kurt Fuchs is supporting Endangered. This wine is named after the first Austrian mountain gorilla that Endangered christened 2007 at the annual symbolic baptism attended by the president of Rwanda. Part of the proceeds of each sold bottle goes to Endangered. The Fuchs family sponsored the champagne reception in the city hall and invited everyone to an Umurage Heurigen on December 18th, 2008.


Microsoft supports Endangered

Our Mountain Gorilla Education Center in Rwanda has received computers from various sponsors. From October 3rd, 2008, this Rwandan adult education program has been offering the first English lessons. Since the operating system and software are in German, their use has been limited. After contacting Microsoft Österreich GmbH, the Endangered organization was recognized as an NGO and received a Cyber grant consisting of 10 operating systems Windows XP as well as 5 English and French Office 2007.

The Big Day
Claudia and Manfred Hochleithner

The 4 houses of the Mountain Gorilla Education Center

The move of the children in our orphanage project had been planned for March 2008, but similar to other building projects worldwide things often turn out different than planned. Due to numerous delays, moving day was set for September 1st, 2008. We planned a quick trip to Rwanda from September 13th to 18th, 2008 to convince ourselves of the progress.
The flight with SN Brussels Airlines was trouble-free as usual and we were gratefully allowed 150 kg of excess baggage, which we were able to check-in a day before our trip without any problems. Apart from a computer, donated by Doz. Dr. Eva Millesi (Vienna) for the new Education Center, we also brought basic medical instruments such as sterile needles, syringes, and infusion apparatus, sponsored by Drs. Judith and Ernst Leidinger from Labor in vitro, Vienna. Additionally we had a donation from Dr. Leopold Pfeil, Steyr in our baggage, consisting of high-quality operating instruments for bone surgery.
At the Kigali airport, our driver and friend Isaac picked us up as usual and drove us and our 13 pieces of luggage to the Hotel Rwanda – Mille Colin.
Since we only had 4 days, our program was packed. Primarily, we were planning to speak with representatives of the church and the government, but we also wanted to observe the daily life of the children in their new homes. Luckily, on Monday, September 9th, 2008 the Rwandan parliamentary elections were held and, therefore, not only stores but also the schools were closed, so that most of our children visiting high school were home for the day.
Together with J. R. Nyampeta JUSTIN, the new local Endangered manager since May 2008, we spent a lot of time on Sunday and Monday with the children and had to chance to eat with them and discuss their problems.

Children in their new room

The 4 houses of the Mountain Gorilla Education Center

Shared meal with the children not at school

Justin, who has managed the habitat of the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park for 13 years, has not only been our good friend since the beginning of our activities in Rwanda, but he also has the greatest experience concerning wildlife conservation and mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Marie Claire, our previous manager, has begun her studies and already asked us in March to find a successor. However, she has promised the children and us to continue her support, and we will remain in close contact. Marie Claire has become a family member not only for the children but also for us. The management transition was easy and together with the children we officially said goodbye to Marie Claire and welcomed Justin.

One of the most important meetings during our trip was with the bishop of Ruhengeri, who is the highest ranking clerical representative in Rwanda in our partner contract for the “Education and Orphanage Project”. Accompanied by Justin and Greg Bakunzi, we met Bishop Kizito BAHUJIMIHIGO at the episcopal resisidence in Ruhengeri and introduced ourselves as well as our projects.

Meeting with the Bishop

The Bishop assured us of his full support and in the name of the community and the church he thanked Endangered for the aid. At the present time, the older children that we are solely responsible for since May 2007 are separated from the younger children still living with the nun Mama Deo. They are not receiving sufficient care, since Mama Deo is almost 80 years old and has not been giving the children the delivered food and other donations, but has given them to other people. The Bishop has promised to intervene at the convent of Mama Deo concerning this problem and to find a solution where the younger children could be transferred to us.
On Monday evening we had to return to Kigali to follow an invitation by the Rotary Club Kigali to present our projects at a Round Table. The possibility of a Matching Grant request from the Rotary Club Neunkirchen and the support of our friend and patron Andy Lee Lang were to be discussed. That evening we were able to make some promising acquaintances. The participants were surprised by our 100% donation policy where we guarantee that we or any other Austrian Endangered associate will not spend the donated money on personal costs such as flights, transportation or hotels.

We showed our donation of surgical instruments and asked for help to find a suitable hospital in Kigali, since our time was limited. We entrusted our friend Dr Michael Grosspietsch of the New Dawn Associated Ltd. with this job, as he was the one who invited us to the meeting in his function as secretary of the Rotarians.
Tuesday morning we visited Rwaza for some administrative duties and then returned to Ruhengeri.
Another meeting with the mayor of the entire district, KARABAYINGA Celestin, was very positive and he also promised his full support for our projects and thanked us for the aid of Endangered for the population and especially for the children in our Education Center. During the meeting we also discussed our plans to expand the Education Center with an adult education program, where Rwandan teachers should teach not only English and wildlife conservation, but also hygiene, prevention of infectious diseases, and first aid. The technical requirements already exist partially with electricity and a large recreation room. A video projector is currently planned. Celestin was delighted with this idea, since this is not available in Rwanda. Additionally we would like to expand our library and, if possible, provide at least one book from each country of the world. Justin was introduced to Celestin, who congratulated us for finding and choosing a very experienced manager.

Justin, our new manager, Father Bonaventure and M

On September 16th, 2008 the big day had finally arrived: the official opening and handing over of the buildings by Abbot TWAMBAZIMANA Bonaventure to Endangered. For this reason, a mass with consecration of the houses, followed by festivies with dancing and music were planned. Under the bright sunshine over 1000 people attended this festive ceremony. The focus was on our children. They thanked us with a special dance presentation and then invited the children of the community for soft drinks and snacks.

Festive consecration of the Mountain Gorilla Education Center

One important aspect was the inspection of our water tanks, especially the last tank in Bisate, which provides water for 5000 persons and which was donated by the Association of Friends of the Schönbrunn Zoo, supported by the company SAF of Dr. Andreas von Beringe.

C. Hochleithner, Justin, and a representative at the 3rd Endangered water tank in Bisate

The medical supplies were brought to a new hospital this time, the Kinige Health Center. Our previously supported Shingiro Health Center is now supplied by an American organization that contacted us in March in order to assist us in our aid activities. Since we believe it is better to support several hospitals, we turned over the aid for Shingiro to the Americans and are presently supporting the Kinigi Health Center upon Mayor Celestins recommendation.

C. Hochleithner and Justin at the Kinigi Health Center

We were unable to visit the Batwa Pygmeen Project because of limited time, but Greg informed us that the people are partly doing well. Our plan to buy the land they live on and leave it at their disposal so they can finally farm the land, is currently under way. The land is not yet cartographed and, therefore, a purchase is useless. We are presently working on plans for pottery training courses in order to restore this traditional craft of the Pygmies.

The evening before our departure we personally invited the abbot and his representative, 8 orphans from Caritas with both of their attending Sisters, as well as our children to a first shared dinner in the new houses. We personally joined our cook Jeanne in cooking and serving Rwandan beef stew with sweet potatoes and Austrian Kaiserschmarrn with passion fruit.

Joint cooking at the Mountain Gorilla Education Center

This last shared evening showed us not only how content and happy the children were, but also the harmony between orphans of both organizations that may be living together in the future. It also demonstrated how well Justin gets on with the children and the deep affection between the abbot and the children. We ended the evening with a joint song and said goodbye to the children and the abbot. We left the Hotel Muhabura the next morning. For the last time we visited our children and dealt with some administrative duties with Justin and Lilliane. And then it was time to depart. We were calmed and content on our flight back to Austria after only a few days in Rwanda, knowing that all our projects are going well and that the children we were responsible for were not only healthy and well nourished, but also happy.

C. + M. Hochleithner with a few children