Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs)
Since 2007, CTPH has provided alternative livelihoods for our Village Health and Conservation Teams (VHCTs), which include group livestock income-generating projects and Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLAs) that bring them together and strengthen the integrated approach. As community volunteers work without a salary this is a critical component to creating a sustainable program because the money they get from the income generating projects enables them to pay school fees for their children and meet other basic needs for the home. This has resulted in no volunteer dropouts within the first 10 years of the VHCT program.
CTPH opened a Telecentre in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in 2005 and Queen Elizabeth National Park in 2007 to provide training to local communities in basic computer programs and provide Internet to remote areas. The Bwindi Telecentre brought Internet to the communities of Bwindi, and opened up their world enabling them to be to communicate with people around the world including the tourists who come to Bwindi. This initiative won a World Summit Award for Digital inclusion in Bwindi communities. We closed down the CTPH Telecentre at Bwindi because of the developments in the area, where people can now access Internet on their phones. At Queen Elizabeth National Park the Telecentre now serves as an UWA Visitor Information Centre/CTPH Telecentre and is located at the Queen’s Pavilion Crater Drive Gate where tourists and local communities alike can access the Internet and send home photos of unique wildlife that they have seen, from an Internet café with a panoramic view of the national park.
CTPH through its social enterprise – Gorilla Conservation Coffee established in 2015, supports coffee farmers through training and capacity building and providing access to national and international markets. The social enterprise was created with support from Worldwide Fund for Nature Switzerland’s Impact Investment for Conservation Program. Gorilla Conservation Coffee promotes biodiversity conservation by enabling coffee farmers living around protected areas with gorillas to have a viable livelihood through access to markets, which in turn reduces threats to gorillas and their habitats. Furthermore, a donation is given for every bag of coffee sold, to support Conservation Through Public Health’s community health, gorilla health and conservation education programs, enabling sustainable financing for conservation.