Kokolopori

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Kokolopori is a community of 25-35 villages in Djolu Territory of Tshuapa District in Équateur province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.[1][2][3] Kokolopori is an indigenous Congolese community, formerly known as pygmy, which manages a 1,200 square miles (3,100 km2) forest reserve, in the heart of the central African rainforest. The sister city partnership is a program of the international not-for-profit Bonobo Conservation Initiative. These villages are located along the road that borders the Kokolopori Bonobo Reserve,[4] a reserve officially registered in 2009 for bonobos (Pan paniscus). Bonobos are one of the three species of great ape which live in the Democratic Republic of Congo - the others being, chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) and gorilla (Gorilla gorilla).[5][6]

The population of Kokolopori numbers about 19,000, and is ethnically Mongandu.[1]

Kokolopori has a sister city relationship with Falls Church, Virginia, which was established in 2006.[7] That relationship undertook several projects by 2009:

  • Micro-Enterprise Program, primarily focused on helping women start small businesses.[8][9]
  • Kokolopori Health Clinic, to provide basic health services. This also involved installation of solar panels.[8][9]
  • Support of the Bonobo Conservation Initiative to preserve habitat of bonobos and to create jobs for local people.[8][9]
  • Support for local schools.[9]

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