UFC Star Dustin Poirier to Build Housing for the Batwa Pygmies

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SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts — Following his victory against Conor Mcgregor in UFC 264, Dustin Poirier promoted his latest charitable project in Uganda. Poirer is teaming up with boxing legend Manny Pacquiao and Bellator fighter Justin Wren to help raise funds. Funding will support the construction of 32 two-bedroom homes for the Batwa Pygmies on a 43 acre lot in Bundibugyo, Uganda. Both Poirier and Pacquiao have made an initial donation of $50,000 from their respective foundations. They will continue to raise awareness and funds until the project is finished.

The Batwa Pygmies

The Pygmy peoples as an ethnic group have been marginalized and historically oppressed in Africa, and are referred to as the “Forgotten People”. The term Batwa refers to several different cultural groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Uganda and Rwanda. The Pygmies are hunter-gatherer populations who have been forcefully removed from their land in the rainforest. They have been denied access to the bare necessities and hardly have the skills to survive outside the rainforest.

Known for his humanitarian work, Wren works with the Pygmies through his foundation, Fight for the Forgotten. After living with the Mbuti Pygmies in 2011, Wren worked to raise funds in order to provide essential resources and create livable conditions. Joined by Poirier and Pacquioa, Wren’s goal to equip the Pygmies with resources to secure their future is within reach.

Construction on Housing and Facilities

With one water tower and 15 homes constructed thus far, Wren’s project is well underway. The campaign plans to construct a school for local youth, a medical clinic as well as a pharmacy on site. Additionally, the land will have two additional water tower systems for the 3,000 residents of communities within and around the Batwa Pygmies.

Poirier affirmed his commitment to the project stating, “We are beyond grateful to be working alongside the incredible teams of Justin Wren with Fight for the Forgotten and the Manny Pacquiao Foundation on the Uganda project. We hope others will engage in our efforts to improve the lives of the people in Uganda. Let’s change the world together.”

Since 2018, Poirier and his wife, Jolie, have auctioned off fight memorabilia to raise funds for charity through their nonprofit The Good Fight Foundation. Poirier continues to fundraise on behalf of the project on social media. He has auctioned off various pieces of his kit from UFC 264 as well as other personal possessions.

– Gene Kang
Photo: Flickr

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