The eastern DRC includes enormous rainforests, often called “the green heart” of Africa.” These are critically important habitat for chimpanzees. The health and wellness of close-by human populations directly affects the health of this ecosystem, and vice versa. If either are going to be sustainable, then both must protected. 

Between 2016 and 2020, and in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we implemented Delivering Healthy Futures: a maternal, newborn and child health initiative in 20 villages located along an important wildlife corridor of the Eastern DRC.

The program fought for human health and wellness so that people might be in a better position to protect their natural surroundings and neighbouring chimpanzee habitats.

Delivering Healthy Futures reached more than 118,804 community members. This result was made possible through our community-centred conservation approach, supporting community members throughout the project to ensure local ownership of the program.


Footage from the field: a maternal healthcare centre built in Okuku, Lubutu.


Maternity Wards

new maternity wards were constructed with solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems, and sanitation infrastructures.


health centres were equipped with safe motherhood and family planning supplies, equipment, and medicines.


girls and boys are now fully immunized through vaccination campaigns conducted in health centres and by mobile clinics in the most remote areas.


health workers and community volunteers are now trained in reproductive health and family planning management, vaccination, water and sanitation, and early childhood health.

From the Field

Meet Machozi Mizaba

This program was fuelled by people like Machozi Mizaba, a local nurse who tirelessly visited more than 100 villagers every single month to share the importance of maternal health and contraception. Often with a child strapped to her back, Machozi rode her bike from village to village, rain or shine, over bumpy roads and through forests, to ensure that families get the care and education they need to make healthy choices that support a more sustainable environment.

Meet Robert and Zozo

Meet Robert and Zozo, trained nurses who, in addition to their education duties, organize elaborate theatrical productions that attract as many as 800 people. Their efforts raise awareness about family planning, in part by removing the stigma attached to discussions about spacing births and contraception. A typical performance depicts a father struggling to feed his large family before receiving advice from a doctor about the advantages of contraception and family planning. Both Robert and Zozo tell us that men have become increasingly willing to talk about, and embrace, various family planning methods with their wives and health care workers.

Support Community-Centred Conservation

This kind of work makes a lot of impact, but needs a lot of support. People like you make it all possible. Consider donating to JGI Canada today.

This project was funded in partnership with the Government of Canada, through Global Affairs Canada.


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Two infants are born on the same day, a few kilometers apart in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The human baby is born at home, in a remote village with few medical resources. The chimpanzee infant is also born at home, in the soft leaves of the mother’s nest with extended family nearby, in the forest that surrounds the human community. Both mothers begin the arduous task of ensuring their infant’s survival.

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