GVTC: Mr Janvier Kwizera, we are now at Musanze Stadium for a prior ceremony to Kwita Izina event. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers and listeners?
JK: thank you! My name is Janvier Kwizera, I am working with RDB (Rwanda Development Board) in Volcanoes National Park as Community Conservation Warden. Thank you!
GVTC: What kind of job do you exactly do in your department and what work experience did you benefit from?
JK: The Community Conservation Department is effectively and efficiently involving the local communities, the development of local communities as well as our partners in the conservation of the Volcano National Park. We do this through Conservation education in terms of awareness; the second strategy is human conflicts management and the third is tourism revenue sharing and the fourth is the socioeconomic development and sustainable resource use. Those are four strategies we generally use for engaging local communities in a sustainable management of the organization park.
GVTC: How do you appreciate the ceremony which is being held in Musanze stadium today?
JK: Since two years ago, we have been organizing this Open-Day. This year we appreciate the combining of the preparation of Kwita Izina ceremony with the open day of all stakeholders of Musanze District as an awareness tool for this coming gorilla naming ceremony. So people are coming here and have tried to show their activities. Actually the District Open day aims at accountability. People are to be accountable for local communities they are serving to and, of course, the conservation organization park is serving these communities as well as stakeholders. As they are here, I think it is a good opportunity of inviting people to participate in this coming gorilla naming ceremony.
GVTC: Tomorrow it will be the30th of June and there will be another and similar activity. How will it be organized?
JK: Tomorrow activity is a community party or locally known as “Gitaramo”. A Gitaramo is a community party where local communities appreciate and enjoy visitors. Musician stars, local dancers and other cultural experts, national and regional will join the ceremony. Tomorrow we welcome Kidumu who is a regional star; we will welcome Rafiki who is a native from this region and actually people will be enjoying the community party while preparing the gorilla naming ceremony. It is a cultural ceremony where parents are preparing to give a name to their new baby and to do so; they are having such a party where they invite neighbors, family members and colleagues, of course to enjoy the new baby as they will be preparing to name those eighteen gorillas in this coming naming ceremony. So we invited stars, local and national officials, including RDB staff will be invited in Kinigi for celebrating that community party.
Here in Musanze we will continue exbiting these activities open day tomorrow and gorillas exhibition up to 3pm before living for Kinigi when you go at Kiningi for the community party. As I told you, this is just awareness, an invitation; we are here to make an invitation to the next activities of the community party and gorilla naming ceremony.
GVTC: How do you consider the Kwita Izina ceremony itself which will be held on the 1rst July?
JK: July the 1rst is a big event where national and international guests are welcome to celebrate this event, to give the names to the young gorillas and enjoy everything planned and prepared by the organizers of Kwita Izina ceremony. In the meantime, the activities will continue in the park, tourism and conservation. All the park staff, especially rangers are inside the park for protecting the gorillas as well as the park. It is the right time where we reinforce our effort in conserving because people and other supporters will have the opportunity to get inside while people are busy in Kwita Izina ceremony. So, we have organized everything, including tourism activities and Kwita Izina ceremony. You know we are in a high season and because of this we have many tourists coming to track gorillas and other attractions. In one word, activities will continue being held.
GVTC: Do you have just an idea about the different names which will be given to the gorilla babies?
JK: No, the names are not known because everybody coming at the Kwita Izina ceremony may give a name. Of course, people in charge of the department have to provide names with characteristics of those babies and the background in which they were born so that they may be aware of the background but the names will be given by the namers.
GVTC: And your last word….
JK: Thank you very much! Being one of the Community Partnership Department, I would like to thank all the partners including the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration(GVTC). GVTC has been supporting different projects in the areas surrounding the park including finding alternatives to park resources, such as bamboos; GVTC has provided local communities with bamboo nurseries, as well as water and supported also the project aimed at avoiding those animals for crop raiding. Not only GVTC but also other NGOs such as IGCP, for the Gorilla Organization, and the special communities who supported us to conceive and develop our local communities. I invite all of the stakeholders to the big event of Gorilla Naming ceremony. Thank you very much!
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