We always start the year with a meeting solely devoted to our partnership with Batwa “Pygmies”. Making sure local communities benefit from tourism is central to the Gorilla Highlands initiative and the Batwa are the poorest of the poor.
At these annual meetings we discuss what activities can be offered to visitors and how much Batwa are to earn from them, we tackle any problems and learn from good and bad experiences.
In terms of activities, the emphasis is certainly on those that highlight and explain the Batwa heritage. We want Batwa to feel that they are in charge, that their culture is respected and that they are the real hosts. Our English-speaking guides are there merely to remove the language barrier.
In terms of money, Batwa receive one half of it on the spot while the rest is accumulated and given out twice a year, encouraging wiser spending.
In terms of problem solving, we feel that the best approach is for different Batwa communities to advise each other. It is much more powerful if their elders talk about the scourge of alcoholism than if we do it…
Read more about: Batwa Activities
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