The main objec­ti­ve of SOS Pri­ma­tes is to help the Lwi­ro Pri­ma­te Reha­bi­li­ta­tion Cen­tre (CRPL) through the collec­tion of dona­tions. In order to achie­ve this, we par­ti­ci­pa­te in con­fe­ren­ces, con­gres­ses and prac­ti­cal trai­ning days, as well as orga­ni­sing talks and raf­fles and atten­ding exhi­bi­tions and mar­kets, among other acti­vi­ties. At the same time we edu­ca­te peo­ple about the threats faced by pri­ma­tes in their nati­ve coun­tries and we spread the word about the work carried out by pri­ma­te res­cue cen­tres around the world. We also help the local com­mu­nity, as we explain below.

Lwi­ro Pri­ma­te Reha­bi­li­ta­tion Centre

Loca­ted in the Demo­cra­tic Repu­blic of the Con­go, the CRPL is home to more than 90 chim­pan­zees and 100 mon­keys of other spe­cies res­cued from poa­ching and ille­gal traf­fic­king. It also pro­vi­des tem­po­rary shel­ter to other ani­mals who have been detai­ned by the envi­ron­men­tal autho­ri­ties (ICCN, Con­go­le­se Ins­ti­tu­te for the Con­ser­va­tion of Natu­re), such as parrots, por­cu­pi­nes, turtles and mon­goo­ses, among others.

To unders­tand the work of the CRPL it is impor­tant to men­tion that the local popu­la­tion eat ani­mals they hunt from the forest (bush­meat) due to a lack of domes­tic lives­tock to cover their die­tary needs. They focus on hun­ting adult ani­mals, whi­le infants are sent to the ille­gal pet tra­de to earn extra money.

The CRPL sits on land which, at the time of the Bel­gian colo­ni­sa­tion, ser­ved as an ins­ti­tu­te of inves­ti­ga­tion and expe­ri­men­ta­tion, and which now falls under the CRSN, the Natu­ral Scien­ce Research Cen­tre. It is impor­tant to note that the CRPL does not breed the pri­ma­tes it hou­ses as its objec­ti­ve is to con­ti­nue accep­ting infants orpha­ned by the con­sum­ption of bush­meat or res­cued from ille­gal traf­fic­king. For the same reason they also do not pur­cha­se the ani­mals which arri­ve the­re, but recei­ve them from the deten­tions of the ICCN, with whom they colla­bo­ra­te whe­re neces­sary, whether through trai­ning cour­ses or the imple­men­ta­tion of resour­ces for park ran­gers. Various inter­na­tio­nal NGOs offer their sup­port to the CRPL, as you can see detai­led in the sec­tion “Our sup­por­ters”, as well as natio­nal NGOs, among which we must point out the orga­ni­sa­tion “Coope­ra”, which sin­ce 2006 has taken on the com­mit­ment of run­ning the CRPL. The­re is now an advi­sory board for­med of all of the­se orga­ni­sa­tions, inclu­ding SOS Pri­ma­tes.

Local Population

The CRPL offers employ­ment to 55 local wor­kers who recei­ve a salary and medi­cal care for them­sel­ves and their fami­lies. This means that the pro­ject is valued by the local com­mu­nity. The fruits and vege­ta­bles con­su­med by the resi­dents of the CRPL are pur­cha­sed from local far­mers, which crea­tes busi­ness which sup­ports the local eco­nomy. In addi­tion, when the­re is work to be done which requi­res a tem­po­rary increa­se in the num­ber of wor­kers, for exam­ple cons­truc­tion or repairs, the popu­la­tion living near to the cen­tre are always con­si­de­red. In this way we can be sure that the local popu­la­tion appre­cia­tes and res­pects the CRPL and its work. The­se and other acti­vi­ties, such as edu­ca­tio­nal workshops with the youn­gest chil­dren, repre­sent hope for the pro­tec­tion of Con­go­le­se forests and their inha­bi­tants, inclu­ding primates.

Heri Kwetu Centre for Disabled People

Sin­ce its incep­tion, SOS Pri­ma­tes has colla­bo­ra­ted with the Heri Kwe­tu Cen­tre for Disa­bled Peo­ple, in the capi­tal of South Kivu pro­vin­ce, Buka­vu. The­re, Sis­ter Tere­sa Sáez de la Com­pa­ñía de María has crea­ted a cen­tre whe­re she pro­vi­des medi­cal, aca­de­mic, employ­ment and emo­tio­nal assis­tan­ce to many peo­ple who seek it, espe­cially tho­se who are most disad­van­ta­ged. Women with various disa­bi­li­ties inclu­ding poli­om­ye­li­tis, vision and hea­ring pro­blems, muti­la­tions as a result of mines and rapes, make figu­res from Afri­can thread, in the sha­pe of Con­go­le­se wor­kers or ani­mals. SOS Pri­ma­tes dis­tri­bu­tes the­se crafts in exchan­ge for a dona­tion so we can achie­ve two goals, hel­ping the CRPL and Heri Kwe­tu. If you are inter­es­ted in the crafts men­tio­ned abo­ve or you would like more infor­ma­tion, plea­se con­tact us.

SOS Primates Campaigns

Through the orga­ni­sa­tion of various cam­paigns we have achie­ved neces­sary actions for the wor­kers and resi­dents of the CRPL, as well as for the local popu­la­tion and tho­se who are most disad­van­ta­ged. We have trans­por­ted uni­forms from the kee­pers at Bar­ce­lo­na Zoo to the CRPL which, as well as pro­vi­ding good mate­rials for clea­ning and disin­fec­tion tasks, among others which they carry out, allows for a finan­cial saving in the annual expen­ses of the CRPL.

Another exam­ple is the “Prat Bike Spon­so­red Cha­llen­ge”, in which a team of cyclists from the afo­re­men­tio­ned club com­pe­ted in the “Alta Via Sta­ge Race”, hel­ping to rai­se funds to buy baby for­mu­la for the infants at the CRPL, and to fund the edu­ca­tion of 38 child sol­diers for three months.