(Virunga Region of Uganda, Rwanda & DRC)
The Fallen Rangers project was launched to provide a financial safety net for widows and children of Virunga rangers killed in the line of duty. A ranger’s greatest fear is not losing his life, but the impact their death will have on family members left behind. Until the creation of Fallen Rangers Fund, widows received precious little or no financial support and their families invariably became severely impoverished and destitute. The fund operates in two phases. First, there is an immediate $30 monthly payment—when living in extreme poverty, every passing day deepens a family’s exposure to malnutrition, disease, and premature death. The second phase is to integrate the family into a permanent endowment fund that covers the subsistence cost of living, educational allowances for children, and basic medical coverage. The fund exists outside of the region to ensure it is safe from corruption and political turmoil.