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A Hero to African Wildlife and Children

Dr. Gaspard with children who attend Archangels Preschool.

Gaspard Nzayisenga is a Rwandan field veterinarian and an essential player in a team that provides critical care for the mountain gorillas of east-central Africa.  He is also an essential player in the lives of 36 preschool children.

After a long day in the field Dr. Gaspard returns to the village where he lives to check on the children attending Archangels Preschool. He established the school two years ago to provide an education to disadvantaged children whose families cannot afford to send them to school.

“By transforming children’s lives now,” Dr. Gaspard said, “I believe that we can change the course of their future and ours, giving them the gift of brighter futures and hence breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come.”

Dr. Gaspard received his degree in veterinary medicine in Rwanda and completed an internship with Gorilla Doctors before joining the organization’s staff in 2015. Gorilla Doctors is an Aid for Africa member based in Rwanda focused on saving the mountain and eastern lowland gorillas.

Gorilla Doctors, also known as the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project,  is almost entirely staffed by African wildlife veterinarians who form teams to provide emergency care to gravely injured and ill gorillas and to infant gorillas rescued from poachers.

Dr. Gaspard is part of a team of players who monitor and care for east-central African mountain gorillas.

The veterinarians also monitor gorillas for signs of injury or illness, undertake gorilla health research to direct management and conservation efforts and conduct surveillance in other wildlife populations for diseases that could threaten gorillas.

Because the transmission of human diseases to gorillas is one of the greatest threats, Gorilla Doctors runs a preventive medicine program for the staff who serve as trackers and guides and their families. This “one health” approach protects the gorillas and ensures that the people who come into close contact with gorillas are as healthy as possible.

By supporting advanced training for African veterinarians who seek careers in wildlife conservation, Gorilla Doctors is investing in the next generation of wildlife veterinarians who dedicate their lives to ensuring that mountain gorilla populations survive.

By supporting preschool children in need, Dr. Gaspard is investing in the future of his community and Rwanda by ensuring children receive the education they need to thrive.

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