|Alphonse Mwumvaneza||Nsengiyumva Fidel|
|Anaclet Budahera||Patience Dusabimana|
|Bayingana Francis||Twahirwa Eugene|
Mwunvaneza was born in Kinigi in 1974 where he lives with his wife and 3 children. He has gone to different home schools and he is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Tourism and Nature Conservation. He grew up as a local child asking for empty bottles ( agacupa ) from tourists, running after their trucks, and, at the time, the only English he knew was, "Give me a pen."
Involvement in Conservation and Tourism
Being born and living next to the park, Mwunvaneza saw tourists all the time. It was customary for him and the other children to ask tourists for agacupa, sometimes skipping school in order to beg. However, he was fortunate to have a brother who worked in the park and would take him there for trips. During these visits, he got interested in conservation and tourism as well. In 2003 he started working for the park as a ranger. A year later he began guiding, and in 2006 became a receptionist.
"First I shaped my life from begging with other local kids -- the agacupa crew -- asking for empty bottles or a pen. Now I have grown into a responsible family man and, above all, I am working for conservation.
One accomplishment I will never forget. In 2003, as a team leader, I mobilized a group of poachers into a volunteer conservation team called 99. They were a fierce poacher team, but started working together to do something different. They still visit me today, and I feel proud to have done something meaningful for both local people and conservation."
His message to the world
"All of us, whether tourists or not, should contribute to conservation of nature and wildlife. But, above all, if we can help the local people by providing an alternative to them, we will save both gorillas and people, and that would lead them to live in harmony. And if, for example, the begging kids or agacupa crew, who ask for empty bottles can be given a life, then they would provide more than bottle asking and definitely turn into future conservationists, like me. I actually don't have an empty bottle now, but have bottles full of water and my children have them too. And if we can change this trend through children, then we shall not have poachers, but responsible men and above all conservationists."
"My dream is to create a children's conservation club and turn all these children, who run after tourist trucks asking for empty bottles the way I used to do, into responsible men and above all conservationists like me.