You can now design, organise and manage your own fundraising campaign, and have the progress of that campaign displayed here on the website using the campaign widget function on your profile.
This is more than just a small change to the functionality of our website. It’s a massive development in the relationship between the park and the people who care about it.
Running your own campaign is by far the most effective way in which you can help the park. We can’t get out into your communities and be visibly and audibly concerned about Virunga, but you can. Some of the people you come into contact with during your campaign will give money - many more than otherwise would. Still more will be hearing about Virunga for the first time. Raising Awareness is a phrase that has become a little blunt with use. But it could not be more important to tell people what is at stake here in Virunga. The protection of this beautiful and diverse place is a cause worthy of anybody who cares about our planet and is concerned for the survival of its inhabitants. We need to reach more people and you can help us do it.
We are trying to protect vast numbers of species and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land and water with limited resources and poor infrastructure, in a region in which the human population is in desperate need. We want as many people as possible to engage with the complex matrix of problems we face here, and to help us solve them.
In all our online fundraising efforts we have tried to enfranchise people; to make them a part of the park, and the park a part of their lives. Up to now we have shown you the park and we have offered you opportunities to protect it. Now you can help us in your own way. You can show the world how you see Virunga and what the park means to you. You can illuminate Virunga’s species and landscape and the threats they face.
You might want to dedicate your campaign to the protection of a particular species: the Thomas’s Kob or the Forest Hog; the Okapi or the Elephant. Or perhaps to a specific place: the Rwenzori Glacier or the Mikeno Sector. You might want to raise awareness about a specific aspect of our work here: the fisheries on Lake Edward, the school building programme, or the Community Scouts initiative. Or perhaps you want to draw attention to the need to reduce the demand for charcoal; or to the way in which we liaise with local communities to maintain the boundaries of the park. It’s up to you.
As for the campaigns, we are looking forward to seeing a wide variety of ingenious ideas: objects, events, functions and achievements designed to mobilise communities and networks all over the virtual and real worlds. Once you have engineered your campaign, you can describe it on your profile and post information about how it’s going. The widget will display a running total of the money you have raised.
Please email us with your plans and we’ll tell you what to do next.