June 2013: Baroness Kimberly Moore received a special invitation by the Rwandan Government to support it’s 9th annual “Kwita Izina” event. Kwita Izina is a Rwandan ceremony of giving a name to a newborn baby gorilla. It is named after the ancestral baby naming ceremony that happened after the birth of a newborn. The ceremony’s main goal is in helping monitor each individual gorilla and their groups in their natural habitat. It was created as a means of bringing attention both locally and internationally about the importance of protecting the mountain gorillas and their habitats in the Virunga Mountains in the north of the country.
Kwita Izina is inspired by the ancient Rwandan tradition of naming babies soon after they are born. In the eight years since the event was established, 161 gorillas have been named in a celebration of nature and the communities who protect the majestic mountain gorilla. The government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has put conservation high on its national agenda, not only for the protection of mountain gorillas and other keystone species, but also their habitats and ecosystems that provide life support to us all. As a means to conserve and protect the region where the mountain gorillas live, Rwanda Development Board -Tourism and Conservation launched the first ever public Gorilla Naming Ceremony in 2005 under the theme, “Ensuring the Future of Rwanda’s Mountain Gorillas”.
The ceremony was attended and supported by nearly 10,000 local residents from the region, celebrities, dignitaries and conservationist from around the world! Baroness Kimberly Moore says, “What a great honor to be part of this spectacular ceremony and celebrate with the locals the births of these new gorillas. After meeting the people, seeing the traditional dances and clothing, eating the traditional food, I am slowly falling in love with Rwanda and I am eager to learn more about their culture”.
Rwanda is located in central Africa, also known as the “land of a thousand hills” due to it’s hilly terrain and also known for it’s picturesque landscapes, beautiful rivers, lakes and home of the mountain gorilla. For more information on Kwita Izina visit the Rwanda Development Board at: http://www.rdb.rw/kwitizina