When Sophia from Adelaide met Beks in Zimbabwe, married and commenced their safari tourist business, Sophia had no idea that it would grow so quickly and the charity they set up, along with it.
Sophia and Beks Ndlovu decided that African Bush Camps should involve and assist the local communities that they have safari camps in. Thus in 2006 the African Bush Camps Foundation (now a registered not for profit charity in Zimbabwe) was born. The Foundation now has 6 schools and communities that it partners with to improve the quality of life and achieve long term conservation through programmes focusing on:
Education; Conservation; Community Infrastructure and Community empowerment
In 2012 along came Liz Bentley from the Rotary Club of Sorrento who met up with the passionate, compelling and very hard working Sophia and took up Sophia’s challenge of meeting the needs of the school and community of Mambanje. In an isolated location outside the Hwange National Park, I met a community pretty much in despair. The children did not go to school – why would they? Rundown, broken desks, no chairs, the blackboards were worn out, no running water not even a bore. This community had no hope in their hearts.
By the end of 2014 after a Foundation grant of US$35000.00 that has all changed. We have 100 children going to school, a tank that does not leak, a bore giving running water to the school, teachers house and vegetable garden, new desks, chairs ,blackboards, two income generating programmes – a shop and chicken farm – a School Development Committee, a Village Development Committee and solar power. We have ensured that everyone has been registered and has a birth certificate (one cannot go to secondary school without this), and the school and community have taken part in a Life skills course.
I cannot tell you the change in this community when I visited them in June 2014.Such happy smiling faces with hope and ideas and decisions and an attitude of “we can do this now”.
Phase two of the Mambanje Journey has commenced and I invite you to take up part of the journey by donating to one of the many projects for 2015/2016. A donation towards the secondary school would be most welcome with over 40 students proceeding to higher education and one of the hardest items to raise funds for. Or indeed become involved with the African Bush Camps Foundation and make this a project of your own big or small.
Read more about this amazing project on the District Website at:
The Mambanje Project is registered on the Rotary Australia World Community Service website:
This enables tax deductibility on many items that we are seeking funds for and volunteers that would be interested in spending time at Mambanje or indeed one of the other schools.
Please note that donations made for school fees, books, uniforms and feeding programmes are not tax deductible under DFAT ( Department Foreign Affairs and Trade) and the ATO ( Australia Tax Office current donation regulations. If you wish to donate for a student for any of these items please contact Liz Bentley direct on 0418 356 464
Empowering a community to succeed is filled with wonder and amazement.