Partners In Conservation
at the Columbus Zoo

Partners In Conservation (PIC) is a humanitarian and wildlife conservation organization at the Columbus Zoo and is the primary funder of the Ubumwe Community Center. The Zoo’s director emeritus, Jack Hanna, and PIC founder, Charlene Jendry, knew that the ultimate way to ensure sustainable wildlife protection was by providing people with economic alternatives to forest resources. Since 1992, PIC has focused on social and economic ways to conserve Rwandan wildlife and the forest, by giving people the tools to protect a critical part of the world. When the Ubumwe Community Center was founded in 2005, PIC lent its full support. Together we are working to respectfully assist and teach disabled children and adults.
Learn more about PIC’s humanitarian and conservation work.

The Rwandan Government

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The UCC works with the Rwandan Government to support our vision of a Rwanda that is good for all citizens, especially for those with disabilities. We concentrate on these major goals of the Government:

  • Poverty Reduction – enabling economic independence
  • Capacity Development – overcoming constraints
  • Youth Development – competing in a digital culture
  • Education – inclusive and early preparation of knowledge
  • Health – overcoming physical impediments

The Government of Rwanda through NCC (National Commission for Children) provides students’ uniforms, health insurance. The UCC works closely with the government to promote empowering and protecting our children.

Jack Hanna

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In 1991, Charlene Jendry, then a gorilla zookeeper at the Columbus Zoo, met with zoo volunteers and director Jack Hanna to discuss starting a grassroots initiative that would benefit one of Jack’s favorite species, the mountain gorillas. Soon after, Partners in Conservation (PIC) was born, and with Jack’s full support, work every day to promote education and employment opportunities so that people and animals can co-exist peacefully. Rwanda’s people and wildlife captured the Hanna’s hearts – Jack and his wife Suzi try and visit every year.

Jessie’s Place

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Jessica McCall visited Rwanda in 2005 and met Frederick and Zacharie during her travels. Through Jessie’s Place, Jessica has helped to support their mission ever since. Jessie’s Place was founded to provide humanitarian aid – first to children in Mexico and now the great people of Rwanda. In 2014, Jessica even moved to Rwanda to commit to the Ubumwe Community Center full time.