The Gorongosa PEACE (Peace through Economic Action and Community Empowerment) Project was recently launched at a special ceremony led by Sofala Province Secretary of State Stela Novo Zeca, Canadian High Commissioner Carolina Delaney, Gorongosa National Park Warden Pedro Muagura, Gorongosa Restoration Project President Greg Carr, and Gorongosa and Cheringoma district administrators. The initiative centres on socio-economic development and uplifting the impoverished communities bordering Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Africa.
The reason for the development of such an initiative? Those involved in the daily operations of the National Park and those spear-heading the Project itself strongly believe that National Parks can step up as catalysts for human development by boosting international investment and creating a broad array of jobs.
The Project has already made a significant difference in the lives of the individuals living within the various communities surrounding the National Park since its launch in September, but as of a few weeks ago, the Project will be cranking things up a notch thanks to a notable investment from the Canadian government.
The investment equates to a staggering $5 million dollars aimed at helping the Project reach its goals of improving community living conditions and crafting an environment of peace, unity and harmony. There is also a focus on involving the individuals within the communities in the decision-making processes surrounding the improvement of their day-to-day lives. The generous $5 million donation will be supplied to the Project in staggered amounts over a period of five years.
While the Project is dedicated to improving the living situations of all individuals living in areas bordering the National Park, there is a special emphasis on empowering women and young girls in particular, teaching them how to earn their own money, access healthcare, and receive a higher-quality education, and thus secure a better, brighter future.
“This project is an opportunity to empower some of the area’s poorest and most vulnerable in an environment of peace and inclusive governance, especially women and girls.” says Greg Carr, president of the Gorongosa Restoration Project.
As such, Gorongosa’s Human Development programmes have further expanded to include new Girls’ Clubs, high school programmes, primary school support and bursaries for local children to pursue secondary education.
A big congratulations goes out to the Gorongosa National Park for taking action to optimise sustainable tourism. After all, sustainable tourism is about so much more than simply caring for the environment while providing memorable guest experiences – it’s about caring for and empowering local communities, too