My Guardian article today in defence of the BBC presenter Chris Packham has been shared over 10,000 times. Interesting how the Countryside Alliance’s attempt to get him sacked has simply proved how popular he is. The full article is below.
So Chris Packham finds himself in deep water again over comments he has made in his column in BBC Wildlife magazine. His latest outburst, a broadside against the conservation groups he has worked with all his life including as vice-president of the Wildlife Trusts and the RSPB, is typical of a man who has never toed the line, whether as a conservationist, campaigner or BBC presenter.
Pastor John Bosco Kwizera is in charge of emerge poverty free projects in Gitega, Burundi. ‘Bosco’, as he is commonly known, fled Burundi at the end of April with his family following the political unrest there and now lives temporarily in Kigali, the capital of neighbouring Rwanda. Both his parents were hacked to death with a machete when he was 15 in the Burundi civil war in 1993.
1. Why did you have to flee from Burundi?
I was given 2 hours to leave or be killed. I had to flee in my vehicle with my wife and 4 children, my youngest daughter was just one month old. The others are boys and are aged 7, 5 and 3. I had to leave most of my life possessions behind. People warned me that I was a target because I had tried to install electricity to the African Revival Ministry Centre in Gitega (composed of a children’s home and health centre). The leader of the local commune told me I had also to provide electricity for all the local people so the government could get their votes. It was far too expensive so I reluctantly said no. Then I became a marked man.
2. Do you know what is happening there now?
Yes because I am in regular contact with my friends and the staff of the African Revival Ministry Centre. The situation changes day to day but a lot of top government officials have now gone to Gitega so it is still unsafe.
3. Emerge poverty free supports 40 street children, 20 boys and 20 girls, in separates children’s homes in Gitega. Do you know what has happened to them?
When I fled the children were still at the homes. They are still there now. However, they are concerned that their families may flee and they could get separated from them so they are very upset. I keep in regular contact with the staff there and speak to the children.
Today I met a really inspirational group of women in Rwanda.
Women those lives are hard but who working together have achieved a lot with your help.
Its a simple scheme. Fifteen women get together to form a small co-operative. After proving that they are committed to saving we put 25,000 Rwandan Francs or about £23 in a deposit account for them. They then save each week and decide as a group how to spend the money.
These micro loans have helped to transform lives.
The women use them to buy and sell fruit and vegetables, pay school fees or buy goods like mattresses.
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- Looking forward to buying my nature mad little girl Georgia aged 6 #AmazingAnimalJourneys after hearing @ChrisGPackham on @achrisevans,
- Two very brave men. @Simon_Weston with D Day veteran Bill Betts @spacentre. https://t.co/6QgyS2lG3R,
- @JaredGenser Wrote this on Anni in 2012. How times have changed. After surgery any chance of interview to update? https://t.co/tUwCNBeAAo,
- War hero. Father. Grandfather. National treasure. Looking forward to hearing @Simon_Weston talk "My Life, My Story" at @spacentre tomorrow,
- RT @RnfrstAll_UK: In honour of #ArmisticeDay, join everyone around the UK in observing the #TwoMinuteSilence: https://t.co/F1zIoDFbwa https://t.co/azeNhACnNz,