The VSPT works directly with the bustling community surrounding Virunga Lodge to help improve their income, livelihood and lifesetyle. Guests staying at Virunga Lodge can see the Intore Dance Troupe perform most evenings and can arrange to visit Mwiko School with their guide or a member of the lodge staff.
Intore Dance Troupe, Virunga
The VSPT has worked with the Intore Dance Troupe since 2004. Intore is the most famous and distinctive style of Rwandese dance, which is based on the courtly victory dance of the Rwandan Mwami (kings). The word intore means 'best' and it was a great honour for those selected. They would receive a privileged education and training and had a high status within the court. The dancers use traditional weapons such as spears, shields or bows and wear brightly-coloured clothes and long flowing white hairpieces.
Resident at the Volcanoes Virunga Lodge, the group’s performances of traditional Rwandan music and dance are hugely popular with Volcanoes' clients. The VSPT support the group through means of training, providing them with uniforms and paying for English lessons. In supporting the troupe, the VSPT helps preserve this aspect of Rwanda’s cultural heritage.
Mwiko Primary School is situated near Volcanoes' Virunga Lodge and has over 800 children and 12 dedicated, hard-working teachers. The VSPT has been working with the school over the last 4 years and has helped fund infrastructure projects and provide school materials. Projects include building a new water tank for the school, repairing the roof and buying school uniforms and materials. The VSPT continues to help fund structural improvements to the school building. The VSPT is looking to improve the classrooms further and the possibility of building a resource centre at the school to accommodate the whole community. This would allow the local community access to books and materials as well as providing a community meeting place.