The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSPT) was established in 2009 and since then has engaged in a wide variety of small-scale community and conservation programs to help the communities neighbouring the Volcanoes lodges benefit from tourism. It runs projects by each of the four lodges and all these are available for you to both visit and participate in. New voluntourism programs will give you the opportunity to work on the projects in a more long-term environment and make more of a visible difference.
In Kyambura the VSPT runs a wide variety of projects that includes restoring an old wetland that had been turned into an illegal brickworks to its natural state; establishing a bee-hive fence that deters elephants from raiding local crops and reduces human-wildlife conflict; the rusty roof exchange that sees Volcanoes trade new roofs for older ones in the community; building the Empundu playground that the local children now use on a daily basis (you can even play them at football); the Omumashaka Performance Group not only dance for lodge guests but perform in the village weekly; and the Coffee Cooperative that is comprised of local women who are paid to maintain, harvest and process coffee that can then be sold so that they can profit from it.
In Bwindi the VSPT supports the Bwindi Community Hospital’s WASH program, which is an outreach program that teaches local people of the importance of washing their hands and such on a regular basis. The VSPT has also started harvesting tea in the 50-acre site around the lodge.
In Virungathe Intore Dancers have been supported by the VSPT for many years, benefitting from quarters, costumes and training fees being covered. VSPT also supports the Mwiko Primary School by building and maintaining some of their classrooms and libraries and providing financial support.