Meet Papa Faustin. He is an elder in Yetee, a village within the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve. Since the very beginning, Papa Faustin has been an invaluable part of the Vie Sauvage/BCI team. As the manager of the reserve depot, Papa Faustin ensures that equipment and supplies for researchers and trackers are kept safe and ready for use. His irresistible smile and great positive spirit inspire everyone who is lucky enough to work with him.
As an elder, Papa Faustin is the keeper of vast knowledge passed down through generations. Proverbs, legends, and tales are a vital part of Kokolopori's culture, and many of these stories are about protecting the forest and all of the life within it. With the onslaught of unsustainable development and other pressures from the outside world, these traditions and the wisdom they contain are disapearing. That's why Vie Sauvage is holding a contest in which schoolchildren interview elders and record these invaluable stories, ultimately creating a textbook that will be disseminated throughout the surrounding territory and—hopefully—beyond.
Can you help us meet the $10,000 match so that Papa Faustin and his fellow elders have a chance to tell their stories, preserve their forest, and educate the children of Kokolopori?
You may notice that Papa Faustin is sporting a hat with eagle feathers in it. Eagle feathers are traditional decoration for prominent members of the community, especially chiefs and notables.Vie Sauvage has just unveiled a new logo; if you take a look at the image, you'll find eagle feathers representing indigenous knowledge.
You may also spot a tree canopy representing the forest, and the shape of the tree echoing the shape of a person with their arms raised in victory. In one image,Vie Sauvage founder Albert Lokasola (with the help of BCI's graphic designer extraordinaire Hanna Chang) captures the interdependence of the forest and all its inhabitants.
A victory for one is a victory for all. And your gift makes it all possible.
Thank you for your support!