Until recently, the young people of Dia, a village on the edge of the Messok Dja forest in the Republic of Congo, could not go to school due to lack of teachers and teaching materials. But they are now able to access an education again after WWF and partners helped arrange for a new school building, as well as education kits for students from Dia and surrounding villages. Alfred Mengongo, the village secretary, said: “Our children’s daily life was limited to work in the fields; today, with this school, we can say that their future will no longer be mortgaged.”
Messok Dja forest is home to indigenous peoples and local communities, as well as being an important habitat for endangered forest elephants, western lowland gorillas, and chimpanzees. Unfortunately, all their futures are under threat due to activities such as logging, mining and poaching. We seek a thriving future for both people and nature – so our work with local communities includes backing their efforts to get a meaningful say in the future of their forest, supporting initiatives to use natural resources sustainably, and helping them access vital essential servicess such as education and healthcare.