What is Banyabutumbi Cultural Heritage Organization (BACHO)
BACHO is a nonprofit organization (CBO/NGO) located in Ncwera cell, Rwenshama parish, Bwambara Sub County-Rukungiri District, Southwester Uganda. It was registered on June 29, 2017, with the Rukungiri District Local Government (registration number 2076).
BACHO was founded with the purpose of solving conservation challenges in the area while promoting community welfare and health.
To restore and sustain the Banyabutumbi traditional practices as a minority group with a focus on environmental sustainability in Western Uganda.
To organize and educate the Banyabatumbi Community on conserving their traditional cultural practices for future generation and to promote environmental conservation and community welfare.
- Work with the Banyabutumbi communities in the promotion and protection of their traditional practices for the purposes of environmental conservation and community welfare.
- Collaborate with other organizations that work on environmental conservation, cultural heritage and community and household welfare.
Origin of BACHO
The call for its existence emerged from the community suffering as a result of protected natural resources around the area, including Queen Elizabeth National Park, Lake Edward and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. For the people living around these protected natural resources, instead of looking at them as an opportunity, they feel they are problems to them. The reasons are multiple, including the fact that wild animals in Queen Elizabeth National park destroy their gardens, attack their houses and families, kill community members or domestic animals, and make their travels from one place to another insecure both at day and night. Because of these challenges, communities have neglected conservation of these natural resources. A number of members decided to do something about it, and formed BACHO as a local Community-Based Organization, to work with the communities to conserve nature for the benefit of us all and to empower the local community with the resources to help themselves.
Current main activities:
- We have formed women groups and trained them with hand work skills.
- We have organized a group of orphans and vulnerable children and trained them with different skills for future benefit, including handicrafts (clay, painting), and production of various products (door mats, table cloths etc).
- We provide support to approximately 30 HIV-infected children and youth (including food, clothing, educational support, visits to ART centers to get HIV medicines, counseling). This programs is in close partnership with Sahaya International, USA.
- We support people with disabilties via rehabilitation programs to empower them and become productive members of the community.
- BACHO has organized a cultural performers’ group: Lake Edwards Cultural Performers (LECUP) to give awareness programs on a variety of topics at local events, or to perform at special functions (such as weddings or inaugurations).
- We are working with fishermen, including the recent set-up of a floatable fish farm on Lake Edward.
- We are providing the orphans and vulnerable children with monthly supplies of nutritional supplies and other basic needs.
- We have formed a BACHO Youth Football Club, where we provided all youth with a uniform and shoes. Football provides a forum to teach the youth leadership skills, and also reduces the time they would venture into nature and be at risk of endangering their lives or that of wildlife.
- Creating awareness on HIV/AIDS including in the fishing communities around Lake Edward.
- Creating environmental conservation awareness in the communities of Western Uganda.
- Sahaya BACHO Kindergarten: There was a partially constructed kindergarten school in Rwenshama village. This school was started by another organization but was never completed and abandoned when the organization left. Thanks to support of several generous donors of Sahaya International, we were able to finish the construction of this school, and the inauguration happened in July 2022. This is now the Sahaya BACHO kindergarten school! The local government gave ownership of this school to BACHO.
Click below on individual pictures to see some pictures of the developments of this school.
- BACHO fishing boat: In early 2022, BACHO had applied for a fishing permit, which is quite difficult to get. But because of BACHO’s strong commitment to help needy children, the government approved the permit. A relative donated an old boat. With a donation via Sahaya, the funds were available to patch up the old boat and purchase fishing nets. Now the fishing boat is fully operational! Trained fishermen go out on Lake Edward and what their harvest is divided between themselves and BACHO, so that some of the fish can be used to feed the children and youth, especially the orphaned ones.
Click on the individual pictures to see more detail. These pics were taken when a local school was doing a small field-trip to learn more about fishing procedures. Note the elephants in the lake! 🙂
- As many households of orphans and vulnerable children live in huts that are falling apart, we hope to construct simple safe homes for them. For a design that is 20 feet by 15 feet, and includes 2 bedrooms and 1 living room, the estimate is approximately $5,000 per unit.
- To educate the Banyabutumbi community about cultural practices that will conserve the environment
- Training of community members on rehabilitation strategies including changing the attitude of the community regarding marginalization and oppression perception of Banyabutumbi tribe.
- Training the Banyabutumbi on alternative income methods and family strengthening activities other than the way they look at the National Park as their major source for survival.
- Working with vulnerable households to further improve their wellbeing
- Educating and empowering the fishing community on recommended fishing practices.
- Sensitizing the communities bordering Queen Elizabeth National Park and Bwindi Impenetrable National Parks on the symbiotic relationship between the two parties (Parks and Neighborhoods).
- To put in place a Banyabutumbi cultural live museum.
- Care and support of old adults in the communities.
If you have questions, please contact BACHO at:
- Akiikih Apollo: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Frank Namara: email@example.com
You can support us!
These activities depend on funding the necessary financial resources. We invite you to become part of this.
Contributions to the BACHO program via Sahaya International are tax-deductible in the USA. If you like to make a contribution, you can do so in different ways:
- To pay by credit card or paypal, go to our donation page. When you make the donation, enter in “add a message” that your donation is for “BACHO” so we know your donation is earmarked for this project.
- You can mail a check, made payable to “Sahaya International” to us. Add in the notes field “BACHO”.
1504 Portola Street
Davis, CA 95616
For questions about donations via Sahaya International, contact Sahaya founder Koen Van Rompay at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Many thanks for your support!
Some of the huts we hope to replace in the coming years with stronger homes. Most of these are families with 1 aged adult or no adult, but only orphaned children living together. Click on individual pictures to see a larger version. Our goal is to replace many of these huts with more permanent safe homes made out of brick and cement, and with a metal roof. The price per unit is approximately $5,000.
Pictures of some of the beautiful people of Rwenshama (click on individual pics to see enlarged version).
Life in and around Rwenshama fishing village (click on each picture to see an enlarged version)