Uplift the Rural Poor
Uplift the Rural Poor was founded to improve the livelihoods of communities living adjacent to a series of three biodiversity rich protected areas in Uganda: Bwindi Gorilla National Park, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, and Echuya Forest Reserve. Uplift the Rural Poor works to reduce pressure on forest resources and an important gorilla habitat, while also creating alternative livelihood strategies. The organization focuses on capacity building, community-driven planning and monitoring, bamboo domestication, climate change adaptation, potato farming, and safe water access.
The organization’s primary achievement has been strengthening the relationship between rural communities and management authorities responsible for the three critical protected areas. The organization effectively supports community participation in natural resource management and local development plans, thus empowering forest dependent communities. Rainwater harvesting tanks, owned and operated mostly by women, have been built in 20 water stressed communities. A series of village savings and loans programmes has helped to create small-scale businesses, while also reducing debt and reliance on moneylenders.
Equator Prize Winner: 2014
Location: Kisoro District, Uganda
Beneficiaries: 88 villages across 9 parishes
Area of Focus: Protected area management and
alternative livelihood development
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