Virunga National Park received a Pedal Powered Cinema (PPC) in March 2012. This is a brilliantly designed system that use the power generated through cycling to run a projector and speaker system.
The PPC offers the chance to screen conservation films to schools and local communities in remote villages without electricity, helping to educate both children and adults on the value of the park’s mountain gorillas and other animals. Virunga rangers were very excited about this and couldn’t wait to start using it.
Acquiring the cinema was truly a joint effort by several organisations. The Pedal Powered Cinema was the ‘brainchild’ of the Great Apes Film Initiative. The first one was used in Uganda with great success.
The G4G cinema was the second to make its way to Africa. The PPC was developed and bought from Electric Pedals (www.electricpedals.squarespace.com) in the UK. Everything but the bike packed into a suitcase.
Gearing Up 4 Gorillas had been wanting to provide a PPC for Virunga for some time. The opportunity arose with a generous sponsor, Animal Friends Insurance (www.animalfriends.org.uk/) who very generously provided the funding. Thank you Animal Friends!
Although it will take Virunga some time to get organised for regular use, we know from Uganda’s experience that it will be a massive hit.
Many children, parents and their teachers have never seen a film before, so it will be quite a novelty and a perfect vehicle for talking about conservation.
G4G trustees are very grateful to all those who helped provide the pedal powered cinema – it just shows how working together can bring fabulous results!