£1,506
pledged of £2,055pledged of £2,055 goal
20
backers
29days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, July 26 2019 9:14 AM UTC +00:00.

£1,506
pledged of £2,055pledged of £2,055 goal
20
backers
29days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, July 26 2019 9:14 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Gorilla Guardians

My name is Ben Wallace and I'm a documentary film maker photojournalist, conservationist and adventurer. I collaborate with multiple NGO's to document and highlight environmental issues through social media, raise awareness for their causes, and show the world the realities of what is happening on the ground. I'm incredibly passionate and heavily involved with conservation and anti-poaching, and my work has been mostly documenting the poaching crisis in Africa with a particular focus on rhino. If you would like to check out some of my work, check out my instagram @benswildlife or facebook.

Within the theme of conservation, community and anti-poaching, I'm fundraising to document and raise awareness to a beautiful mutualistic fragile relationship between man and beast in one of the wildest and most remote places on the planet. This is the story of two fragile existences that hang on a delicate edge in an ever shrinking world.

Nestled into the tropical rainforests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Western lowland gorillas break branches and leaves to build their nests for the night ahead, but their future, like so much of the world's wildlife, is under threat at the hand of mankind. Deforestation and habitat destruction for the timber, oil and gas industries are causing more isolated populations and opening up areas of dense forest and facilitating poachers and the bushmeat trade, it has been found that 5% of the population is thought to be killed by poachers each year in the NE Congo. 

Within the forest, the pygmy people traditional hunter-gatherers that have inhabited the rainforests of the Congo Basin and Central Africa for generations face a similar threat to their own existence. Their spiritual connection and intimate relationship with the forest is key to their identity and their cultural survival. War, genocide,  bushmeat trading, logging, deforestation and above all else, eviction are all threatening the the pygmy communities and traditional way of life.  Without the forests, or access to the forests, the communities struggle to survive without land, without homes, without an income. Outside of the forest the pygmy communities are persecuted and discriminated against for their different languages and their smaller stature, they are often subject to violent abuse, and are vulnerable to forced labour and slavery as they are seen as 'lower status' and able to be 'owned'. Generations of tradition and knowledge of the rainforest is threatened to be lost forever, and thousands of lives are at stake. 

But out of a dark outlook shines a glimmer of hope through the canopy, as one pioneering project works in favour of both man and ape.  Through the help of the PolePole foundation and the Tusk Award winning John Kahekwa, the communities surrounding these forests are developing, their way of lives reliant on the success of the gorillas, which is largely dependent on their guardians, the anti-poachers, the real children of the forest. By protecting the gorillas and other wildlife from poaching, and using their traditional knowledge to track and take tourists to the gorillas.

Gorilla guardians aims to tell the stories of the people of the forest and how their livelihood is dependent on the survival of gorillas in the area. This story epitomises the need for humans and wildlife to survive side by side, for tradition to be honoured, for communities to benefit and for the wildlife to be safe and free. Neither can survive without the forest, neither can survive without each other.I don't have a huge budget, I'm merely trying to get there and to expose this to the world. I want to raise awareness for a cause that I believe is really important and not addressed by mainstream media. Cost Breakdown:

  • Flights and Road Travel: £900
  • Visas: £105 (£75 Congo + £30 Rwanda)
  • Accommodation: £250
  • Food: £50-100
  • Permit: £320
  • Compulsory Project Donation: £80
  • Extra Kit, Adapters, Spare Batteries, SD Cards, Hard Drives : £300

Risks and challenges

Through my social media, my audience will have an organic reach of 45,000+ people.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    £
    About $13
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £25 or more About $32

    Links

    Email links to previews, progress and blog updates, and anything published on my personal social media.

    Includes:
    • Email links to updates, progress, previews, and posts.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    5 backers
    £
    About $32
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About $63

    Credit

    Your name credited either within a bio or description of any video material that I publish on youtube or online on my personal channels.

    Includes:
    • Credit on any video material published on social media
    • Email links to updates, progress, previews, and posts.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    3 backers
    £
    About $63
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $127

    Photo prints, Credit and Letter

    A photo print of any gorilla portrait taken during the trip, a rhino print from my work with rhinos, and a personalised letter to thank you for your support.

    Includes:
    • Photo Print - Gorilla
    • Photo Print - Rhino
    • Personalised letter of thanks
    • Credit on any video material published on social media
    • Email links to updates, progress, previews, and posts.
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    5 backers
    £
    About $127
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.