taking a little break from the craft world in today's post, to share news very important to me of a critical situation in the drc
( mapendo, orphaned eastern lowland gorilla, with caregiver. she is
cared for daily in goma by rangers who act as surrogate mothers to the orphans 24 hours a day)
i hope that everyone can please take a moment to visit and read the blog at gorilla.cd, the official website of the virunga national park in the dr congo, the home to the critically endangered mountain gorilla. only 700 mountain gorillas remain in this world, with 200 of them in the virunga national park.
tutsi rebels, supporting general nkunda have been stationed and heavily fighting in the area for quite some time now. this resulted in the death of several gorillas last year. there has been heavy fighting in the gorilla forest over the last several weeks, preventing rangers from ascertaining the fate of these gorillas caught in the crossfire.
in the last few days, tutsi rebels have seized control of headquarters and patrol posts in the virunga national park, and are trying to take complete control of goma. 177 park rangers have had to flee their posts (and their protection of the gorillas). more than 50 have had to flee into the forest to save their lives, where they have had no food, water, or provisions. a group of 12 has been rescued (one of their group was kidnapped, and one unable to continue walking had to be left behind). the whereabouts of all of the other rangers is completely unknown. those rescued said that it is impossible to get to a road because of the rebels' weaponry.
these park rangers spend their lives trying to protect the few remaining majestic and mysterious mountain gorillas, and they are now in grave danger. their families have been forced to camp in goma, along with nearly 1,000 other people, where cases of cholera have already been reported. around 250,00o civilians in the area have had to flea their homes since august, with nearly 850,000 displaced in the last two years according to the u.n.
these women and children in the camp desperately need food, clean drinking water, and basic medicine. there is also great need to raise money for basic provisions and medical supplies for all of the displaced rangers.
over $88,000 needs to be raised by the 25th of november for these basic costs ( a detailed breakdown of the costs is available on the website ). so far, the blog has raised about $7,000.
this is a severe crisis. please consider donating, any amount will help. donations can be made right on the website (through paypal), gorilla.cd. 100% of donations go directly to the field, as a grant from the european union pays for administration costs.
check (USD): virunga fund inc, c/o gretchen crary, 378 clinton street, brooklyn, ny 11231, usa.
thank you so very much for taking the time to read this!!
best to everyone,