The Performance Ladies: Higabiro’s Bacara dancers
Posted on November 28th, 2016
Meet the women of Higabiro Bacara dances in our newest blog from volunteer Alex! This group of talented women come together every week to practise and perform, and their wonderfully energetic routines are capsules for passing down the rich cultural traditions of the area to younger generations…
The Carvers: Project partner spotlight
Posted on November 14th, 2016
Meet the team!
We work alongside a number of project partners to help develop their businesses and skills. Meet three of our very talented carvers; Alex, Oscar and Demas – who create beautiful hand carved gorillas, masks and more…
Written by Alex who joined us here in Bwindi for a full three months and got to know the craftsmen and their work well. Keep an eye out for more blogs from Alex about the Higabiro Bacara dancers and the weaving ladies who we also work alongside! Read More
Hear from a volunteer: Daniel in Ethiopia
Posted on November 12th, 2016
Terry and I were looking for a volunteer program that could use both of our skill sets (mine, education and hers, medicine), but our searches had not been fruitful. We didn’t want an experience so structured and prescribed that we would bring nothing unique; we wanted to grow as well as serve. Then, we found the following words on the Big Beyond Ethiopia site:
The communities where we work are really under-resourced and can’t afford to pay for your time, knowledge and skills.
Gorillas in the midst: Meet the communities surrounding Bwindi National Park
Posted on November 1st, 2016
Bwindi National Park in south western Uganda is home to slightly more than half of the world’s mountain gorilla population. These rare and incredibly majestic animals have a strong touristic appeal, drawing thousands of visitors to this green and fertile region in the “pearl of Africa”.
However gorillas are not the only stars of the area, with Bwindi’s southern sector home to a huge variety of other wildlife, as well as culturally and historically rich communities of Bakiga and Batwa peoples. If your travels are taking you to this region, make sure to stay a little while longer to embrace and explore the Bwindi beyond gorillas…
Hear from a volunteer: Working with Big Beyond
Posted on October 21st, 2016
Cheryl joined us in Uganda for a second time in early 2016. Whilst with us she worked on a book about the lives and stories of the Women of Higabiro.
Imagine working in a place where the sounds of the community bounce of the valley walls. The sounds of children laughing, singing and playing; people working in the fields, conversations as people stop to chat along the road or the chopping of wood in preparation for lighting fires to cook. A place where you feel enveloped by the essence of the community. A unique and amazing place.
My name is Cheryl Phillips – I am a community development consultant in Australia. I recently revisited a Ugandan village where people live according to the rhythm of nature. I was working with Big Beyond – an organisation that focuses on sustainability and empowerment. Each volunteer takes on a project in order to make a difference – it is surprising how much can be achieved in a matter of a few weeks.
My project was to document the stories of local women. I felt privileged to listen to a wide diversity of women as they shared their story. These stories will be compiled into a book and be made available to tourists visiting the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park where they come to discover the intrigue of silver back gorillas and their families.
The stories include both life stories and life events – those experiences that can be unique to different cultures e.g. birth of a baby, courtship, marriage and death. They also include stories from village storytellers and traditional healers.
I worked in Uganda with Big Beyond 4 years ago and so one of the great delights of this visit was to visit friends made during my first visit. Every walk along village roads meant catching up with friends from the past or a new friend made during this visit.
Look out for the book!