One of the most rewarding things about being a part of the safari tourism is the difference we know the industry makes to conservation and communities in safari Africa. Many of the partners we work with have trusts and foundations into which bednight levies are paid, and so by paying to go on safari, guests can be assured that they are contributing to wildlife conservation and community upliftment in the areas they travel. Furthermore, safari tourism reaches beyond the National Parks, conservancies and camps that guests visit, as independent community projects close to wildlife areas also receive exposure to international visitors who want to give back in some way. It was with great joy, therefore, that we recently heard about the magnificent generosity of our clients, Vincent Brouwer and Angela Lopez-Zuluaga, who have made a significant impact on one of the projects we at Safari Consultants have previously supported.
Bana Ba Letsatsi (meaning Children of the Sun) is a Maun-based NGO which endeavours to keep orphaned and vulnerable children in northern Botswana off the streets and away from negative influences. Through its day centre, the trust provides meals, psychosocial support, a back to school program as well as a school holiday program and youth technical skills training. The centre is a place of safety for the children and from where the charity workers can start to understand the issues individual children face and how to make a difference, to empower them to remain in or return to school and ultimately to have a brighter future.
Following a visit to the project in Maun before a safari, Vincent and Angela learned about the barriers and challenges, both logistical and financial, of children getting to the centre consistently. Wanting to help in a meaningful way, Vincent and Angela decided to donate funds for Bana Ba Letsatsi to purchase a mini bus. The mini bus has not only provided reliable and safe transport for children to access educational programs at the day centre, improving attendance and engagement, but outside school run hours the bus is used for collecting additional educational resources and enabling staff to conduct home visits.
Bana Ba Letsatsi says of the generous donation: “”Generosity has the power to transform lives, and your incredible donation of a school bus has touched the lives of our children in ways that words cannot express. Your compassion and support have opened doors to education, empowerment, and a brighter future. On behalf of Bana Ba Letsatsi and the children we serve, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for your incredible generosity. Thank you for making a lasting impact and for believing in the potential of every child.”
There were some funds remaining after the purchase of the mini bus and these have been used to provide fuel for the bus for two months. To support the wonderful efforts of Vincent and Angela, and the difference that the mini bus is having, Safari Consultants has pledged $500 to help with ongoing running costs and we wish Bana Ba Letsatsi the very best for continued success.
Should you be interested to hear more specifically about projects going on in and around the area you’re visiting, or any opportunities to visit and get involved with projects, do speak to us for further details.