Construction was temporarily halted in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we were able to restart in early May as Rwanda began reopening activities in parts of the country. The construction teams continue to follow strict health and safety protocols, including social distancing, temperature checks, staggered entry, and daily health and safety briefings.
We are working simultaneously on multiple Campus buildings. The concrete work for the Conservation Gallery (CG) foundation is nearing completion. Stone masonry work on the Education Center and the Research Center is ongoing, and the excavation for the Student Housing foundations is also in progress.
The team has propagated and sourced about 40,000 plants for landscape usage. And we held 24 trainings in July alone, with topics including waste management, noise control, traffic safety and COVID-19 awareness.
Currently we have a variety of trade crafts present on the site, including stone masons, steel workers and carpenters. There are more than 250 total workers on site; 80% were hired locally or nationally. The current workforce is 31% female; of the 41 workers who occupy leadership roles, 40% are female.
Check back for more updates as our new Campus becomes a reality—we are excited to share our progress as we move forward.
About the Campus:
The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund will be the permanent headquarters of the Fossey Fund’s activities. The multi-acre, eco-friendly facility adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park will include laboratories, a computer lab and library, flexible office and meeting space, classrooms, an interactive educational exhibit and on-site residences for visiting students and scientists. Built with locally-sourced materials and supplies, the campus will embody the Fossey Fund’s mission to conserve and limit its impact on the environment, through rainwater harvesting, green roofs, the planting of over 250,000 native plant species and a constructed wetland to treat wastewater and promote biodiversity.