Written by: Paul Weaver
My wife and I met in the summer of 1994 and became fast friends with an awful lot in common. One of those things was a love of mountain gorillas, which came from watching movies going all the way back to the original King Kong but encapsulated in the movie Gorillas in the Mist. It was always our dream to visit the gorillas in person, but at the same time we always felt it would be one of those “bucket list” items that we’d never really achieve.
I’m happy to say that twenty years later we achieved our goal and got to experience these magnificent creatures in person, but as it turns out, our trip ended up being much more than that.
In our short time there we got to experience Rwanda; a country that’s been through its own share of heartache and pain, but has managed to survive, grow and even thrive. Our visit included a heartbreaking trip to the genocide memorial, but also an uplifting visit to a local primary school being supported by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
We got to spend time with some truly inspiring children who touched our hearts and left us wanting to help them further. This school is the children’s opportunity to be educated, learn English as a second language and make a better life for themselves.
The gratitude shown towards us was one of the most genuine and moving experiences of our lives. We’ll never forget the looks of joy and the cheering we heard from the dozens of children that surrounded our car when we gave them a soccer ball that we had brought from the US. Their appreciation for something we think of as so simple left us wanting to do more.
With that, we came up with the idea of creating a photobook of our travels to share our experiences and give back to the local community. We’re looking for your help to publish this high quality hardcover photobook celebrating all of Rwanda, and in doing so you’ll contribute to a wonderful cause: directly helping to support schools helped by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
After weeks of poring over hundreds of pictures we have chosen the very best images and have created a wonderful book celebrating the sights and sounds of Rwanda, focusing on our journey to visit the mountain gorillas and a whole lot more.
We have set up an Indiegogo campaign to raise enough money to do a print run of 750 copies of the book and in doing so we will sell them online, donating 90% of all profits to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. We are doing a fixed funding, all or nothing campaign and we need to meet the minimum goal of US$15 000 by 24 December 2014 to be able to do the initial print run of the book.
To help incentivise people to contribute, we are offering some really cool perks to anyone who gets involved. They include: digital wallpapers of the best pictures taken, an e-book, the physical book and even custom artwork of the gorillas which will be digitally painted by Disney Epic Mickey Art Director, Mark Stefanowicz.
This book is our way of saying thank you to the people of Rwanda and to help the schools in the areas that are local to the gorillas in the process. Spending time with the children of Rwanda was a life changing experience for us; please be part of this campaign to help make a positive difference in their lives!