Conservation Heritage - Turambe

Conservation Heritage - Turambe 

After six successful years working under the mentorship of Art of Conservation Founder and Executive Director Julie Ghrist, we – the local Rwandan team (Valerie Akuredusenge, Olivier Habimana, Innocent Uwizeye, Eric Mutabazi, and Eusebe Mwizerwa) have carried on AoC's Creative Learning and One-Health Awareness programming in Musanze District, Northern Province, Rwanda.


We have officially named our local non-profit – Conservation Heritage – Turambe (CHT). The name was chosen after several round table discussions where all AoC team members and colleagues shared one another’s ideas. It was very important to us that the name carry on the legacy of our beloved mentor Julie Ghrist and so the “naming ceremony” concluded with our Rwandan national team deciding upon Conservation Heritage – Turambe. In Kinyarwanda, Turambe translates as “let us be sustainable” and it is our goal to continue the significant and impactful AoC work that is seen in Rwanda today. After following the Art of Conservation “Core Values” and principles, we understand the significance of sharing, learning and continuing important and inspiring work that has so evidently affected our community and country.

Art of Conservation’s work is perpetuated through our local organization. We owe it to our community and ourselves since we love the work we do!

The key objective of CHT is to continue Art of Conservation’s mission and values, conducting conservation and health programs for local people in communities bordering Volcanoes National Park, home to the Critically Endangered mountain gorilla. We are grateful and proud to have intensive training, and are excited as Rwandans to promote our very own community-based conservation initiatives. The opportunity to take the reign of the work we have enjoyed and developed with Julie Ghrist brings us great joy and excitement.


Conservation Heritage - Turambe works beside Volcanoes National Park, Virunga National Park, and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park with communities of Musanze District, Rwanda.

CHT Works Location.jpg


As a Rwanda-registered non-profit, Conservation Heritage - Turambe may receive your kind contributions directly through our parter organization Art of Conservation. Please click here.

Donated supplies and materials may be shipped to CHT at: Conservation Heritage - Turambe / Valerie Akuredusenge, P.O. Box 4, Musanze District, Northern Province, Rwanda (via Kigali) Valerie's contact mobile number: (+250) 078-830-6884.

Thank you for your support!


Valerie Akuredusenge
Conservation Heritage – Turambe
Program Director (2013 – present)


Valerie grew up in Gakenke District in the Northern Province of Rwanda. In 2005, she worked as a translator and guide for Amahoro Tours, a community – based tourism company based in Musanze. During her studies at Ruhengeri Institute of Higher Education-INES, she interned with the Rwandan Parliament, translating and interpreting speeches and government documents. She also conducted an independent study, Interpreting problems Faced by Guides in Cultural Tourism, which focused on the importance of proper training for guides who work in community–based tourism. In 2007, she received a Bachelor of Translation and Interpreting. Since 2006, Valerie worked closely with Julie Ghrist, the AoC director, assisting with administrative tasks, as well as teaching and translating conservation and health education lessons in the classroom. In June 2013, she started working as a Program Director for Conservation Heritage – Turambe, an off - shoot of a successful international nonprofit organization that worked in Rwanda for over 7 years. 


Innocent Uwizeye
Conservation Heritage - Turambe
Conservation Educator, Field Work Manager, and Translator
(2013 – Present)


Originally from Rutsiro District in Rwanda’s Western Province, Innocent attended the Ruhengeri Institute of Higher Education – INES along with Valerie, who also studied Translation and Interpreting. During his studies, he completed two- month internship in the translation unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. He was also elected as a member of the Executive Committee of INES Students’ Union in charge of Protocol and Security. Additionally, he served as a chief Editor for the INES Top Bulletin, INES students’ magazine. After receiving his degree (with Upper Second Class Honor), Innocent worked as an English teacher at College Saint Wenceslas in Rubavu District for about one year, he then joined Art of Conservation as Teacher, Translator, and Project Manager from May 2009 to June 2013. In 2013, He started working for Conservation Heritage – Turambe as Conservation Educator, Field Work Manager, and Translator.


Eric Mutabazi
Conservation Heritage - Turambe
Studio Artist and Conservation Educator
(2013 – Present)


Eric grew up in Musanze District, Northern Province, Rwanda. He attended secondary school at the School of Art Nyundo in Gisenyi, Rwanda and has worked mostly as a graphic artist producing logos and signage for a variety of clients, including the International Gorilla Conservation Programme, Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, The Gorilla Organization, and other NGOs, businesses, and eco-tour operators. Since 2006 till 2013, he worked for Art of Conservation as a Studio Artist & Teacher leading students in lessons about drawing, painting, color theory, and other art topics. In June 2013, he started working as Studio Arist and Conservation Educator for Conservation Heritage – Turambe, an offshoot of a successful international nonprofit organization that worked in Rwanda for over 7 years.


Eusebe Mwizerwa
Conservation Heritage - Turambe
Studio Artist and Conservation Educator
(2013- Present)


Eusebe was born in the Musanze District in the Northern Province of Rwanda, which inhabit a variety of wildlife including Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas. He pursued his career in design at the “Impremerie Nouvelle du Rwanda”, a printing company, located in Kigali, the capital. Starting in 2006, he worked with several different organizations as a graphic artist, including the United Nations Populations Fund and the Ministry of Youth and Culture. In 2010, he joined AoC as an Art Instructor and Studio Artist. Along with Eric, Eusebe worked with Eric for Art of Conservation creating paper mache animal masks, teaching materials and teaching art. Since 2013, he started working as a Studio Artist and Conservation Educator for Conservation Heritage – Turambe, an offshoot of a successful international nonprofit organization that worked in Rwanda for over 7 years.


Olivier Habimana
CHT Administrative Assistant, Conservation Educator, and Translator
(2013- 2017)


Olivier was born in Nyabihu District in the Western Province of Rwanda. He completed his university studies at the National University of Rwanda where he served as the student representative for the National University’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. After graduating in 2008, he worked with the Ministry of Education as a secondary school teacher and assisted in national wide effort to train primary and secondary school teachers in English language studies. He also worked for an international nonprofit organization called Art of Conservation since 2010 till 2013. After spending over 7 seven years working with Art of Conservation, Olivier Habimana joined Conservation Heritage – Turambe, an offshoot of Art of Conservation as an Administrative Assistant, Conservation Educator, and Translator.


Valerie Akuredusenge (Program Director)
Conservation Heritage - Turambe
B.P: 4, Musanze
Northern Province, Rwanda, Africa

Tel: (+250) 078 - 830-6884

To get in touch, either write to us at Conservation Heritage - Turambe in Rwanda or simply send an email to Please see donating information above.

Julie_and Mom with AoC Team Rwanda.jpg

A special day with the Rwanda team and Julie's mom. Olivier, Valerie, Innocent, Julie, Jo, Eusebe, Eric, and Guide Felix with lots of dancers. 

Conservation Heritage – Turambe (CHT)
Volunteer and Intern Placements

Conservation Heritage-Turambe (CHT) is a local, non-governmental organization based in Musanze District, Northern Province, Rwanda. CHT is comprised of local Rwandan staff and our goal is to educate local communities living near Volcanoes National Park to ensure they live in harmony with mountain gorillas and their habitat.

CHT welcomes all volunteers. Specifically, we look for volunteers with experience or skills in conservation, education, biology, health, agriculture, administrative work including memo writing and grant research, English – Language training for member in our community initiatives, computer skills training for the staff,  photography, grant writing, art, website design, accounting, marketing and program evaluation/data analysis. 

Rwanda is located in East Africa, near the equator, and is about the size of the state of Maryland.  A former Belgian colony, it now has a population of over 10 million people.  The country’s capital, Kigali, is a bustling hub for business and trade in East Africa.  The majority of Rwandans are agriculturists, relying on farming for most of their income. Rwanda is also home to a great diversity of wildlife, including the critically endangered mountain gorilla, with three National Parks and an active tourism industry.  The official languages of Rwanda are English and Kinyarwanda, although many also speak French.  The climate in Rwanda is tropical, with two rainy seasons, from mid-February to early June and mid-September to December. For more information, read the Department of State Background Notes on Rwanda.


Our headquarter office is based in Musanze (formerly Ruhengeri), which is Rwanda’s most mountainous district, containing the largest portion of the park.  Five of the eight volcanoes (Karisimbi, Bisoke, Muhabura, Gahinga, and Sabinyo) of the Virunga Massif are located in this area.  The park lies in northwestern Rwanda and is home to an abundance of wildlife, including the forest buffalo, bushbuck, forest elephant, mountain gorilla, and lesser-known golden monkey. 

In Musanze, there are a variety of things for volunteers to do in their free time.  One can hike any of the hills for which the “Land of a Thousand Hills” is named and admire the pristine landscape. Dian Fossey’s tomb is nearby and open to tourists. Additionally, volunteers can take excursions to Lakes Burera, Ruhondo, and Karago. In the city, there are plenty of stores and a market for volunteers to try out their bargaining skills. Many restaurants, both local and Western, are available and volunteers may even get to sample ikivuguto, a traditional drink.


Our work takes place in communities surrounding Volcanoes National Park.  This is one of the parks composing the Virunga Massif, the only existing habitat of the mountain gorilla.  It borders Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda.  Volcanoes National Park is so named because it contains five of the nine volcanoes in the Virunga Massif.  The park is mostly tropical forest and, in addition to mountain gorillas, is home to golden monkeys, forest buffalo, and duikers.  Many know of Volcanoes National Park as the park where Dian Fossey, famed gorilla researcher and conservationist, based her work.


  • Visa & Travel Information
    A visa is required for U.S. citizens traveling to Rwanda. This can be purchased on arrival at the Kigali airport. The fee is $30USD and can be paid in cash (using US dollars) upon arrival. If you are planning on staying in the Rwanda for more than 90 days, please consult the US State Department for more information.  CHT recommends that all US volunteers register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security updates from the US Embassy.
  • Diseases & Medications
    All those entering Rwanda must have proof of a yellow fever vaccination. Other recommended vaccines can be found at the US Center for Disease Control. We encourage all volunteers to consult their health professional before departing for Rwanda to obtain proper medications and vaccines.
  • Travel & Health Insurance
    Volunteers should acquire their own health and travel insurance before coming to Rwanda. Conservation Heritage - Turambe is not responsible for providing any sort of insurance to volunteers.

Packing List

Luggage Guidelines
Volunteers should check with their airline for size and weight limitations on luggage.  Generally, the weight limit is 50 lbs. (32 kg) per bag.  All valuable items and medicines should be packed in your carry-on luggage.  Please note that non-biodegradable plastic bags are banned in Rwanda and will be confiscated at customs. 

Rwanda’s climate varies throughout the year, so volunteers should bring several layers.  The dry season is from mid-May through mid-October and tends to be colder.

Depending on the length of your stay, you may wish to bring enough clothes for the whole trip or plan to do laundry. 

Health and Toiletries

  • Medications
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray/ mosquito repellent
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap and shampoo
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel
  • Contacts and lens solution to last your stay (you cannot find contact solution in Rwanda)           

Travel Documents

  • Passport and copies of passport
  • Yellow fever vaccination card
  • Health insurance card
  • Travel insurance card
  • Cash for personal expenses

◦      USD bills need to be the year 2006 and forward – ripped and worn bills are usually not accepted.  Put in a request at your bank a few weeks in advance (there are few ATM’s in Rwanda).


  • Laptop
  • Materials and art supplies to donate to local schools (optional)
  • Camera and charger, with extra memory cards
  • Hat or bandana
  • Outlet adapter (Rwanda’s outlets are 220-240V and use the Type C Europlug)
  • Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  • Travel clock
  • Headlamp or flashlight, batteries
  • Sunglasses
  • Raincoat
  • Reusable water bottle 


A volunteer’s work schedule will vary based on what CHT needs at the time, volunteers skills and interests, and any special events that may be planned. 

Conservation Heritage - Turambe can arrange a driver to be in Kigali to meet you at the Kigali International Airport.  Please notify CHT at least one week before your arrival should you need transportation from Kigali to Musanze.

The drive from Kigali to Musanze is approximately 2 hours, and costs $100USD.  In case of any problems (e.g. flight delays or cancellations, cannot find the driver), please call Valerie Akuredusenge at (+250) 078 830 6884.

Volunteers are responsible for organizing their own accommodations. If arriving in Kigali late at night and we cannot provide a driver until the morning, we recommend staying at Heaven.

In Musanze, we recommend:

Garden House
Fatima Hotel
Gorilla Hotel
Muhabura Hotel

Volunteers are responsible for their own breakfast and dinner while working with Conservation Heritage-Turambe. We can arrange for lunch at our office, please let us know at least one week before your arrival if you’d like lunch at CHT. The cost of lunch is $10USD/day and we will accommodate diet restrictions to the best of our ability.


Exchanging Money
The Bank of Kigali (near the Muhabura Hotel), Banque Commerciale du Rwanda (behind the market), and the Ecobank (north of the market) offer cash only exchanges.  Most hotels will exchange money as well, and will accept payment in dollars or euros.

Most hotels and large restaurants have Wi-Fi opportunities.

Visiting Mountain Gorillas
Many volunteers choose to visit the mountain gorillas during their stay in Rwanda.  It is best to buy a permit in advance through the Rwanda Tourism Office in Kigali or through a tour operator. Because there is no guarantee for permit availability, it is best to obtain one well in advance.  If booking during the peak season of June-September, this should be done at least 6-12 months ahead.  A single permit is $750USD.

Volunteers are expected to read and follow all of Conservation Heritage – Turambe’s rules and regulations:

  1. CHT suggests a donation of $50USD a week for the time you are working with our organization. In addition, volunteers traveling from the US or Europe are encouraged to view our wish list and bring needed materials for the project.
  2. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
  3. Volunteers must work with the CHT team and follow instructions given by the CHT Director.
  4. Volunteers must care for and return all CHT equipment and project materials.
  5. Smoking is prohibited and possession of unauthorized firearms, alcohol, or drugs is not tolerated.
  6. Sexual harassment is not tolerated and must be reported to a workday supervisor.
  7. Volunteers will be dismissed if they report to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  8. Each volunteer is solely responsible for determining if he/she is physically fit and/or properly skilled for any volunteer activity. It is always advisable, especially if the volunteer is disabled in any way or recently suffered an illness, injury or impairment, to consult a physician before undertaking any physical activity.
  9. Volunteers must understand that during their volunteer service certain risks, dangers, and injuries due to accidents, carelessness, and all other unforeseen circumstances inherent to the particular volunteer services exist. In this regard, it must be recognized that it is impossible for CHT to guarantee absolute safety.
  10. Volunteers must understand Rwanda is a developing country and that by volunteering in Rwanda one has a risk of encountering problems such as theft, road accidents, food poisoning, harassment, and other issues associated with life in developing countries. In this regard, it must be recognized that it is impossible for CHT to guarantee absolute safety and security.
  11. Volunteers must purchase travel insurance including medical evacuation coverage for the duration of their volunteer placement. CHT is in no way responsible for volunteers should they become sick or injured during their stay.

Waiver and Release of All Claims and Assumption of Risk
In consideration for providing volunteer services, you will be expressly assuming the risk and legal liability and waiving and releasing all claims for injuries, damages, or loss which you may sustain as a result of participating in any and all activities connected with and associated with your volunteer services (including transportation services/vehicle operations, when provided).

As a volunteer, I recognize and acknowledge that there are certain risks of physical injury to volunteers in this program/activity, and I voluntarily agree to assume the full risk of any and all injuries, damages or loss, regardless of severity, that I may sustain as a result of my volunteer services. I further hereby waive and relinquish all claims I may have now, or have had in the past, or may have in the future as a result of my volunteer services against Conservation Heritage - Turambe including its officers, directors, officials, agents, guests, volunteers and employees (hereinafter collectively referred as “Released Parties”).

I do hereby fully release and forever discharge the Released Parties from any and all claims for injuries, damages, or loss that I may have or which may accrue to me in the future and arising out of, connected with, or in any way associated with my volunteer services.  Further, I waive and relinquish all rights of subrogation, liens and claims of third parties; and I will defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Released Parties, and each and all of them, with respect to any such injuries, damages, or losses.

I have read and fully understand the above important information, warning of risk, assumption of risk and liability and waiver and release of all claims. If registering via email or fax, my on-line or facsimile signature shall substitute for and have the same legal effect as an original signature.
I, (print name), hereby state the above information provided by me is true and correct, and I have had the opportunity to review the terms of this Agreement with an attorney of my choosing.  I further agree that I will abide by all CHT rules and regulations.


Signature of Applicant

Volunteer Application form/ agreement
Section 1: Personal Information
Mailing Address:
Contact Telephone:
Email Address:
Skype Name:
Date of Birth:
Passport Number and Date of Expiration:
How did you hear about CHT:
Emergency contact and phone number:

Section 2: Education & Training
Please begin with your most recent educational experience.
1. Name of Institution:
Dates attended (dd/mm/yyyy):
Degree or Certificate Obtained (or Pending):

2. Name of Institution:
Dates attended (dd/mm/yyyy):
Degree or Certificate Obtained (or Pending):

3. Name of Institution:
Dates attended (dd/mm/yyyy):
Degree or Certificate Obtained (or Pending):

Section 3: Work Experience
Please begin with your most recent work experience.

1. Employer Name:
Dates employed (dd/mm/yyyy):
Job Title and Responsibilities: 

2. Employer Name:
Dates employed (dd/mm/yyyy):
Job Title and Responsibilities:

3. Employer Name:
Dates employed (dd/mm/yyyy):
Job Title and Responsibilities:

Section 4: Volunteer Experience
Please begin with your most recent volunteer experience.

1. Volunteer Organization Name:
Dates of volunteer service (dd/mm/yyyy):

2. Volunteer Organization Name:
Dates of volunteer service (dd/mm/yyyy):

3. Volunteer Organization Name:
Dates of volunteer service (dd/mm/yyyy):

Section 6: Skills and Abilities
1. Please describe the relevant skills and abilities you can offer as a Conservation Heritage – Turambe volunteer.
2. What computer skills do you possess?
3. Do you speak French, Swahili, or Kinyarwanda (not required, but helpful)?
4. Do have any skills in photography, videography, writing, media editing, or graphic design?
5. Why do you want to be a Conservation Heritage – Turambe volunteer?

Section 7: Volunteer Preferences
1. Please describe what type of work you would like to do during a volunteer placement.
2. What dates are you available to volunteer?

Section 8: Other important questions
1. Do you have any special requirements or limitations we should know about?
2. Have you studied the Embassy of the United States ( and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( for up to date information concerning travel to Rwanda?
3. Do you need assistance finding housing in Rwanda? CHT can help volunteers find safe, affordable lodging if necessary.

Section 7: References
Please provide the name and contact details for two references who are not related to you and who can attest to your qualifications.
1. Name:
Contact Telephone:
Email Address:
Relationship to You:

2. Name:
Contact Telephone:
Email Address:
Relationship to You:

Image Map