Women in Gorilla Conservation

Who we are/history

Women in Gorilla Conservation is a community-based organization, located at Nyambishamba village, which borders Bwindi Impenetrable forest in Uganda.  It was founded by Robinah Gangiriba (Warden of Tourism of the Ugandan Wildlife Authority) as she observed that women in this area were struggling, which was exacerbated by the COVID lockdown, and also their husbands suffered from lack of employment. Women suffered from domestic violence, and early marriage.

In contrast to Buhoma, which has the main entrance for gorilla trekking for tourists in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the entrance to the park at Nyambishamba gets fewer tourists. Some days, tourists come as part of an official gorilla trekking tour  when a gorilla family is in that part of the park. But usually as soon as the trek is done, many tourists just leave immediately in their vehicle, as there is no tourist lodge in the village.

Robinah decided to mobilize the women and in 2020 started “Women in Gorilla Conservation“. First the group had 8 members, but over the past few years it grew slowly to currently over 50 members.

The members engage in handicrafts (basket-weaving, paper-beads) and also perform music/dance and drama, including a story about the dangers of poaching.

Our vision and mission:

We envision a world in which everyone – including women-  have equal rights and access to resources to develop themselves and lead a happy and productive life as part of the larger community and with respect to nature.

Our objectives:

  • Empower women with socio-economic development programs (including income-generating activities)
  • Educate and empower girls and women to reduce early marriage, unwanted pregnancies, and infections such as HIV
  • Promote the participation of women in local committees and leadership positions to help to further lift up the socio-economic status of the village.

Our current activities:

  • Entertainment for tourists (cultural performers -see video below)
  • Production and sale of handicrafts: woven baskets, paper-bead jewelry, clothing and other items.

Our planned activities:

  • As the current training center is very small, we hope to be able to rent or ideally purchase/build a larger center that would be owned by the organization. Please contact us if you are interested to support this effort! Such center would also have toilets for tourists, which allows them to take a break after a gorilla trek and allow them spend more time with the program (instead of immediately leaving the village after their gorilla trek).
  • Expansion of our vocational training unit via purchase of extra sewing machines and materials to allow production of clothing
  • Women-led community walks for tourists.

How to contact us:

Contact Robinah Gangiriba via email at:

How you can help:

If you are in the USA, your donation is tax-deductible via the California-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization Sahaya International.

  • Donation via credit card, paypal or Venmo: click on the donate button below to go to our secure donation form (via the Givebutter donation platform):

  • If you prefer to donate by check, make your check payable to “Sahaya International” and add “Women in Gorilla Conservation” on the notes line. We will send you a tax receipt (please include your e-mail address with the check, if possible). Mail your check to:

Sahaya International
c/o Koen Van Rompay
1504 Portola St.
Davis, CA 95616