Gearing Up 4 Gorillas have recently invested in a new Pedal Powered Cinema. This cinema will be used mainly in Virunga National Park (VNP).
Emmanuel de Merode, Chief Warden, is developing an environmental education project to be delivered throughout VNP along with Head of Communications, Francesco de Lisi.
The pedal powered cinema will be an integral part of delivering that programme through showing films / videos in schools and local communities. A generous sponsor, Animal Friends Insurance, has offered to purchase the cinema for Gearing Up 4 Gorillas (G4G) to deliver to Virunga. Elaine Fairfax, Managing Director, has very kindly made donations towards the work of G4G on previous occasions.
During the first half of 2011, there have been several ranger deaths from gun attacks by militia groups in the Park. Emmanuel will focus on promoting Virungas conservation messages to local communities and schools, together with the benefits conservation can bring to them, to counteract those elements who seek to destroy the Park for their own ends.
Emmanuel estimates using the cinema in at least 3 schools per week; reaching around 1,500 children a month and over 75,000 per annum. Screenings within local villages will considerably increase the number of people to benefit from the cinema. G4G are currently working on raising £6,000 to fund two environmental education staff for Virunga for a year, to enable this work to be initiated as soon as possible, after the cinema is delivered. Two events in Dorset, (a music event in September and an auction in October) will hopefully give a good boost to the fundraising effort. After showcasing the cinema at the events and through the media, it is planned to deliver the cinema to VNP some time in November. Madelaind Westwood of GAFI and G4G may well also be filming the cinemas arrival and use in Virunga, as interest in the project has been shown by national media.