Wednesday, January 6, 2010
BCI has learned through on-the-ground results that our community conservation approach is saving bonobos AND improving lives!
Along with our partners, we are saving lives at the health clinic located within the newly established Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve. Our clinic staff are making a difference for the Kokolopori community. In fact, they just performed the 150th surgery in the past 18 months. Our resident physician, Dr. Pondolo Saidi says, "We are saving lives...we've treated patients for appendixes, caesarian sections, hernias, ovarian cysts, tumors, and prostates."
To learn more, check out eyewitness accounts emailed to us on our new satellite phone from our Director of BCI Australia, Martin Bendeler! He just returned from a field site visit to Kokolopori.
BCI was chosen by the Congolese community of the Washington, DC Metropolitan area to receive the Honorary 2009 Nkoyi Merit Award of Goodwill for its "outstanding achievements in community development and nature conservation." The Nkoyi award is normally given to Congolese individuals who have demonstrated achievement in their respective field of work. BCI was selected as an exception to that rule.
The awards ceremony took place on Independence Day in honor of the 49th anniversary of DRC's independence from Belgium. The Congo's Ambassador to the USA, Dr. Faida Mitifu, gave the keynote address to an assembly of approximately 300 Congolese-Americans and expatriates living in the Washington area. BCI Executive Director, Michael Hurley proudly accepted the award.