Mambanje is one of the most remote and underdeveloped communities in the Hwange Region. ABCF has partnered with the community in addressing their development issues having engaged with the community now for over three years, supporting income generating projects as well as the school through improved infrastructure and resources, capacity building and scholarship support of orphaned and vulnerable children.
The Mambanje community is a special one and critical to conservation efforts in Hwange. Located just 2km away from the Hwange National Park border, it is important that the community is aware of their responsibility towards taking care of the environment. Through all of the different ABCF programs, we aim to empower the community with education and sustainable income generation such that they understand their role in the ecosystem and in being very close to nature. Through our education projects, the community is learning more about protecting their environment while empowering them financially is helping prevent one of the biggest problems in the area which is poaching. However, due to its remoteness access to good quality education remains the biggest challenge in the area hence the foundation thrust to support the improvement of access to free and quality education.
Intervention (Project Summary)
Over the years working in the communities, we have learnt that the most reliable, sustainable way to empower the community is to develop and strengthen inclusive local economies. The Goat Pass-on is a concept where orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) receive a goat as a loan and sign an agreement to pay the loan in kind by passing on the same number or more of the goats to fellow orphans and vulnerable children at the school, thus there is active school and community involvement.
Each OVC receives 1 female indigenous goat (doe) on loan and sign an agreement form to repay the loan by passing on the same number of female goats to the next beneficiary within the community. The first recipients will then give off the does (nannies) to the next OVC within the cohort group. If well taken care of, goats will give birth to kids twice a year and if correctly selected, we can have a breed that give us at least 2 kids per cycle. After a year we expect to pass on to the secondary beneficiary. We anticipate start selling the initial offspring after 2 years of being in circulation.
The project is a multi-faceted development program in the sense that its implementation will complement on-going projects such as the scholarship support and gives depth to other development lines such as community empowerment and holistic land management without neglecting the active participation in development efforts.
• The expected turn out is that each goat will give a minimum of two kids in a year and six months so much that in a space of two – three years each student maybe having between 3-5 goats and is able to sell one goat a term to make fees and buy other school necessities.
• With the support of the animal health program and the adoption of holistic land management practices the benefiting students from the scholarship program should be able to fully realise the benefits of an agronomy-based approach for sustainable livelihoods and support for education funds thus bringing forth a composite development structure.
• Furthermore inclusiveness is promoted within the community by benefiting families being able to partake in the community’s holistic land management program and learning more about conservation and the importance of understanding the logistics surrounding grazing, land restoration, water resource management among other components.
We currently have 90 registered orphans and vulnerable children attending primary school at Mambanje and thus we seek to secure goats for all the 90 orphans to guarantee them access to education by self-funding through the Goat Pass on Scheme.
In practice, the pass-on system requires commitment on the part of both the donor, child, and the community in which the recipients reside. It requires commitment, strength and good organisation on the part of community so that the system endures. This means ensuring that both the children and the greater communities are well trained to continue the pass-on system long after the departure of full-time project management.
This budget outlines the first phase of the project's vision,
to develop a holistic, self managed approach to enabling access to education.