GAFI Project


Denis Agaba from GAFI (Great Ape Film Initiative) has just sent us an update... Look at the fabulous photographs of trees and cabbage fields grown with the kind donations from sponsors at Overleigh St. Mary's last Easter.

"Last Friday Aphia and I visited Rubuguri for the purpose of checking on how the trees are growing. We took photos of some trees and of the vegetables (cabbages). The vegetables are very amazing! The children have a plan to sell the vegetables to the community and to the teachers as there are no cabbages grown around the area. Then they will generate some money that will help them have some educational visits to Mgahinga Gorilla National Park and also to acquire more seed as they would wish to make it a continuous project" .

Denis also sent photos of the Christmas cards arriving sent by our Year 5 children. They took three months to arrive, but the children were thrilled to recieve them.

In October 2013 we were privileged to take part in the pilot tour of the GAFI (Great Ape Film Initiative) “Pedal Powered Cinema” Schools Tour. Launched at the SAVOY hotel London at the HOPE4APES event, the tour was intended to promote awareness of the urgent need for conservation of the Great Apes in vulnerable places, whilst developing links between schools in the UK and Uganda. The tour was introduced at the SAVOY by a host of leading film and media professionals and renowned conservationalists, including: Sir David Attenborough, Ian Redmond, Virginia McKenna, Charlotte Uhlenbroek and Brian May. Funds raised during the tour were be used to buy six pedal powered cinemas to send to Uganda.

Mrs Bolton pedalling alongside the celebrities at the launch event at The Savoy hotel in London!

 The pedal powered cinema, created by alternative energy pioneers “Electric Pedals”, is a portable set of equipment consisting of a DVD and projector running off electricity generated by a dynamo, which is powered by pedalling a standard bicycle. Pedal Powered Cinemas can be taken to the heart of the remotest communities in Africa and South East Asia, to show local people films about the importance of conserving their local environment, in particular the habitats of the Great Apes. Many of these communities have no idea that these endangered animals live in such close proximity to their homes and villages and have never seen a Great Ape before. Watching films through PPC allows them to realise that they have a vital responsibility to protect their local environment and the endangered creatures that live within it. Madeline Westbrook, the GAFI project Coordinator said that the impact of the films has been phenomenal.

In three weeks, over 12,000 people saw the films shown on the first Pedal-Powered Cinema. There is nothing I have ever seen to compare to the wonder in the eyes of tens of thousands of children as they watch the films. - Madelaine Westwood, Director of GAFI. GAFI are currently purchasing a UK Pedal Powered cinema and will be rolling out the Twinning programme to schools across the UK. Schools interested in taking part in the next tour should contact

We collected money on gorillas to help pay for the pedal powered cinema. Some children found out how hard it was to use pedal power to make electricity when we watched a film all about the great apes in assembly.

The Cheshire Schools Tour was led by Denis Agaba, Chief Project Co-ordinator for the Great Apes Film Initiative (GAFI) in Uganda . Spearheading the GAFI Pedal Power Cinema education programme since 2010, he has reached over 120,000 local people. Denis, along with Emma Tyrell a GAFI Volunteer, visited Overleigh. We are now twinned with Rubuguri school in Uganda, allowing the children to have a powerful insight into the lives of children in Uganda and their conservation work.

01244 267525


Overleigh St. Mary's CE Primary School

Old Wrexham Road


Chester, CH4 7HS

01244 267525

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