The Batwa Indigenous Development Organisation (BIDO) was started on January 16th, 2015. Initially, it was registered as a community-based organisation (CBO). On April 29th, 2022, BIDO gained the official status of non-governmental organisation (NGO) after being enlisted by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in the city of Kisoro. BIDO’s registration number is 80020003611130.
The motivation behind the foundation of BIDO lies in the high rates of post-secondary school drop-outs among Batwa students. A significant share of such drop-outs occur due to the lack of appropriate education fundings from both the Ugandan Government and non-governmental organisations run by non-Batwa. Despite claiming to be striving for supporting Batwa students in their educational path, the latter have failed to raise and provide them with the necessary resources. One of the affected Batwa students is Alex Ahimbisibwe, one of the founders of BIDO. Due to experiencing in person the hardships characterizing Batwa’s lives, Alex began looking into the issues of the Batwa in relation with the situation of other Ugandan tribes and that of various indigenous groups around the world. Besides school drop-outs, such challenges included illiteracy, food insecurity, extreme poverty, marginalisation, lack of human rights safeguard, lack of legal protection, as well as vulnerability to sexual harassment, alcohol and drug abuse, and violence. In this process, Alex realised the need for grassroots initiatives run by the Batwa themselves pushing for their own development, seeking independence from external aid. After gathering a number of Batwa scholars and elders for a meeting in Kisoro Town Council, they established BIDO as a CBO.
The Batwa are indigenous people who are believed to be the original ethnic group of East Africa and more specifically the first tribe that has ever lived in the great mountains and forests of Virunga and Bwindi before 1991.
In addition to our objectives, we identified six key areas to address while addressing the rest off the batwa challenges. They included the following:
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