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The Congo Project
The Congo Project
Last updated:
Buyungule Pygmy Community, Kivu Province, CD
Climate zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

Agnes Crosby Alessia Baresi Alexandra Berendt Alice Gray Andrew Cronin Axel Wendt Carly Gillham David Rivera Ospina Del Benson Delphine Drory Erin Katz Faan Rossouw Helder Valente Jennie Vick João Gonçalves Kerri Paine Landcraft Permaculture ...... Paul Boundy Lola Murray Lorenzo Di Sandro Mary Noggle neil graham Nicolas Netien Ninfa Trevisan Nola Alaniz Paul Tan Pietro De Marinis Rachel Moon Sara Ironside Sara S'Jegers Sean Leon Sheena Shah Sirma Aylanc Stefanie Albrecht Stephanie Garvin Stephanie (Vetiver) Blennerhassett Tajuddin Ariffin Verity Bachmann Viktor gruber
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The Congo Project

Project Type

Rural, Intentional Communities, Community, Philanthropic aid, Educational

Project Summary

Teaching permaculture skills to the Buyungule Pygmy community that lives on the edge of the Kahuzi-Biega National Park, in Congo. The Pygmies where expelled from their ancestral land in 1975 when the government of Congo created the park, and where not given any land or compensation in return. We are now helping them to become self-sustainable and consequently preventing them from hunting gorillas and cutting down trees to exchange for food. Through fund raisers, we have collected over $40,000 USD and are now in the process of acquiring land for them to settle permanently!!!

Project Description

Pygmies are an indigenous community in the DRC.  When the KBNP was created in the 70's, the Pygmies and other local communities were expulsed from the forest without accommodation or indemnization. Pygmies narrowly gained a chance to live at the edges of the park in other local communities without any right of the land’s ownership. This situation has created a huge life obstacle for these communities since land is the basic mean for subsistence in the area. They now rarely have access to the forest that constituted a vital area for their culture and where they could collect food, health means and shelter.

Farming is not a cultural activity for pygmies. They used to hunt and collect other natural resources in the forest for subsistence. Since they were expulsed from the forest when it gained the status of a national park, they could still hunt secretly in the protected area and exchange their forest booty against banana, beans, potatoes and other crops in the surrounding villages. This is affecting the extremely endangered Eastern Lowland Gorilla species that lives in the forest.

With the proceeds of a fundraising event in May 2010, the Foundation was able to lease land for this Pygmy community. This project has benefited 92 families by creating work and a consistent food source for the families, which suffer from acute hunger - two elements that are vital to creating a sustainable way of life for this community.



Introducing... solar ovens, water filter and SODIS!

We built a solar oven made out of cardboard, and showed them hot to purify water through the SODI System. We also showed them how to make a filter with a bucket full of sand, gravel and active carbon

Posted over 12 years ago (2 comments)


We finished planting the seedlings into the raised beds and planted sweet potato in a field nearby...

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Installing the Rain Water Capturing System

We Installed the gutters to feed the 1000 Lt water tank....

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)


We prepared and planted a second field and delivered a water tank...

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Raised Beds N' Veggies

Worked for 5 hours building and planting raised beds

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)


We built 12 raised beds in one day....we finished exhausted!!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Germinating Seeds and Capturing Rain Water

We planted 27 seed flats with tomato, cabbage, carrot and onion , made a nursery, and installed a rain capturing system!!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Making Seed Flats and Rain Harvesting

Today we built seed flats and started a nursery!!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Field day #1 Making Compost

We taught the Pygmies, how to make a heap of compost...gathered the manure, "brown" and "green" available on site and made two 1m3 piles....

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Meeting the Chiefs and meeting the Pygmies

We Met with the Chief and his comitee, discussed our goals and thei interests, and we then where offered a beautiful welcoming dance!!

Posted over 12 years ago (1 comments)

Arriving and Setting Goals!!

We arrived to Bukavu!!! We will have meetings with the village chiefs in the next days and set goals...

Posted over 12 years ago (5 comments)
Courses Taught Here!
Project Badges
Rural Intentional Community Aid Educational
Melanie Hogan - Administrator Xavier Fux - Admin
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