Mgahinga Community Development Organisation (MCDO) works as an umbrella for different projects that operate in the community adjacent to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park (MGNP) in Kisoro district, south western Uganda.
MCDO is the leading community non-governmental organization that is promoting community led development around MGNP at the same time working towards conservation of the national park.
The goal of MCDO is to use tourism as a tool to promote sustainable development through poverty reduction, conservation of the beautiful environment, education, good health, income generation and sustainable agriculture.
Mgahinga Community Development Organization (MCDO)
Mgahinga Community Development Organization contributes to early childhood development through the support provided to Mgahinga Community Junior School. The school, which adjacent to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, has enrollment of about 150 pupils.
The Education Sponsorship Scheme is one the most successful projects run by MCDO. The project provides tuition and school fees support to vulnerable children in Kisoro district. As of 2017, more than 150 students have benefited from this flagship project.
The MCDO Student Exchange Program (SEP) is a north-south collaboration that dates back more than 10 years ago when MCDO started hosting groups of Swedish students in Kisoro district. The students are driven by the desire to learn about Ugandan society, including local cultures, education system, etc..
The CEEP is a pilot project currently being implemented at Mgahinga Community Nursery and Primary School. Daktari Andorra, the Association for improving the health and welfare of African livestock, is the prime recipient of the project and the local implementing partner isMgahinga Community Development Organization (MCDO).
MCDO is actively working with local communities in Kisoro to prioritize tree planting, seed propagation, potting of seeds and transplanting of seedlings for improved conservation education to equip community members with relevant skills to preserve the environment through afforestation and contribute to climate change mitigation strategies.
Mountain gorilla tracking is the most lucrative tourist activity in both Bwindi and Mgahinga Gorilla National Parks. MCDO is investing in Community Based Tourism (CBT) as a means to boost incomes for the local population at the same time advocating for gorilla conservation.
Agriculture and Livelihoods
MCDO has invested in promoting agriculture as a livelihood and food security mechanism. MCDO supports a local farmers group - Gisozi Farmers Duterimbere Association (GDFA) to establish food security initiatives such as Irish potato growing which acts as source of income and food in the area.
MCDO has supported implementation of a bee keeping project which started with 50 beehives. The overall aim of this project is to promote sustainable agriculture and environment conservation hence contributing to improvement on community health and poverty reduction.
MCDO supports handicraft groups that operate at Amajambere Community Camp and Mutanda Eco Community Centre. The projects train women to tape into alternative sources of income by selling art crafts to the tourists who visit Mgahinga and Bwindi gorilla parks.
Lake Mutanda Ecotourism Program
The Lake Mutanda Eco Tourism Program is implemented by the Mgahinga Community Development Organization in partnership with The Intrepid Foundation. The overall goal of the project to renovate the Mutanda Eco Community Centre into a midrange ecotourism facility.
Amajambere Iwacu Community Camp for Conservation and Development funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the UNDP Small Grants Program.