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KwitaIzina: Kalimpinya and Umuhoza inspire young people

Queen Kalimpinya and Umuhoza Ineza Grace inspire and remind the youth in the 19th edition of Kwita Izina, that they should have a role in preserving nature and dedicate efforts toward conservation and climate Justice.

Kwita Izina is modelled off a centuries old tradition in which Rwandans name their children in the presence of family and friends. In 2005, Rwanda began officially naming mountain gorillas in what has become a global celebration of nature.

The Gorilla naming ceremony, ties into the broader conservation efforts. By giving a name to these majestic ​​silverback gorillas, they are giving them the value they deserve.

For the last 19 years, 373 baby gorillas were named and this year 23 more were added to the list

The ceremony is an opportunity to thank the communities that live around Volcanoes National Park, our research partners, vets and the dedicated conservationists, rangers and trackers who protect the gorillas.

This year, 23 Baby Gorillas were named by conservation champions who recognize that if we are to protect the world’s most important ecosystems and species we are protecting the future. The theme is ‘Conservation is life.’

Conservation has become key to improving the lives of communities through tourism. Since 2005, the conservation efforts have impacted the communities in infrastructure, water supplies, business and agriculture.

Conservation has impacted communities through tourism

Even though tourism has contributed to community development, climate activist and ecofeminist, Umuhoza Ineza Grace, who was part of the namers says the job is far from done.

Ineza Umuhoza Grace is the founder of the Green Protector, a women-led nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing active youth participation in creating a better and protected environment. She is also the co-founder of another youth-focused environmental advocacy organization, the Loss and Damage Youth Coalition.

Ineza believes in the power of sharing community voices in the pursuit of climate justice. She was recently announced as a 2021 USAID #WaterOurImpact winner

She says, “We are meant to be friends with nature. We should not do do any harm and we are able to reverse the clock. Conservation is really life.”

Ineza named her Baby Gorilla, Bigwi daughter of Kurinda from the Ntambara family. She said, “Climate justice and conservation go hand in hand. My wish for Bigwi is to grow up knowing she will be protected.”

Ineza believes young people should play an active role in conservation

In her remarks, the First Lady of Rwanda, Jeannette Kagame shared how nature is our greatest treasure. She said, “ Nature can persist without us but we cannot persist without it. The sooner we act the sooner we can reverse the ecosystem collapse.”

Conservation ensures a balanced ecosystem. Environmental conservation is excellent for bringing about positive changes in all aspects of our world.

“Nature can persist without us but we cannot persist without it. The sooner we act the sooner we can reverse the ecosystem collapse.”

Kwita Izina isn’t just about naming. It’s a testament to the broader conservation efforts. Kalimpinya Queen, a fast-rising rally driver, former finalist in Miss Rwanda beauty pageant and Gender Equality Advocate, stresses that with young people involved in the conversation, there is hope for the future.

She said, “There is hope in the youth!”

She named a female baby gorilla, Impundu, from the AGASHYA family and whose mother is Inyenyeri.

Kalimpinya believes conservation is critical for the future
The CEO of Rwanda Development Board says that when we invest in nature, we’re also investing in ourselves
Communities around the National Park rejoice
Danai Jekesai Gurira, is a US-American actress, activist, and playwright. She is a strong advocate for women’s and girls’ equality she named her baby gorilla Aguka
Winston Duke is a Tobagonian actor, he named his baby gorilla Intarumikwa
Primary school pupil Ineza Elvine named her baby gorilla Nibagwire
Idris Elba, OBE and Sabrina Dhowre Elba named their baby gorilla Narame

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