Transforming Lives in Rural Uganda
As of 2013, life expectancy in Uganda was just 58 years old, one of the lowest life expectancies in East Africa, second only to Burundi. Rural areas in Uganda suffer from shortages in vital health and education facilities, which often exacerbates the issues.
Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp and our guests have supported the Buhoma community around Bwindi Impenetrable Forest for years, leading to some astounding improvements to health and education in the area.
Starting life as a simple clinic operating beneath a mango tree, Bwindi Community Hospital is now a 112 bed facility that treats 15,000 families in the community and has been ranked among the best hospitals in Uganda for six consecutive years. Thanks to donations from our guests, Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp has raised in excess of US$ 1.2million to help fund the hospital.
In the fourteen years the hospital has been running, the area has seen cases of malaria reduce from 30% to 4.5% while malnutrition has also decreased from about 25% to less than 1%. On average, around 160 babies are delivered each month and over 1,000 life-saving surgeries are performed annually. We have also been able to provide 25% of the catchment area with health insurance thanks to the generous donations made by our guests.
In 2013, we partnered with the only Nursing Institute in the region to open Uganda Nursing School Bwindi. The aim of the school is to reduce the national nursing shortages, something that is particularly prevalent in rural areas. The school recently celebrated its first graduation, with 100% of the students passing their national exams – an unheard of accomplishment! These graduates will now go on to continue improving the lives and health of people in Bwindi and beyond.
As part of our aim to transform the lives of those neighbouring Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, we have also identified two schools to support.
The first, Victory School, opened in 2006 as a mud and wattle school and was transformed into a state-of-the-art facility with phenomenal performance. Our guests raised over US$ 100,000 towards the construction of two separate classroom blocks, a kitchen, double lavatory, and allowed us to offer 100% sponsorship to the 300 students. This project has been so successful that the school is now self-sufficient and needs no further assistance from us.
Continuing on from our work at Victory School, we have now identified a new primary school to partner with, Ebenezer School. Currently built from wood and iron sheets with five classrooms for 120 students, we plan to dedicate resources and funding to the construction of a cafeteria, ablutions and other buildings.
Guests staying at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp have the opportunity to visit our projects and meet the people who benefit from them on a Community Tour. To find out more, or to book your stay at Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp, contact our reservations team.