“There is no me, there is no us and them, there is only we!” was an underlying theme at a groundbreaking strategy gathering for the African Bush Camps Foundation last week
The full Foundation team, including representatives from each corner of the African Bush Camps portfolio of camps & lodges recently came together to review and co-create the strategy for the next 5 years. The gathering marked a significant moment, representing the first time a group like this was brought together to collaborate and decide upon practical implementation points going forward. African Bush Camps has grown tremendously over the past few years and so emphasising our original goal of ensuring local communities are involved and truly benefiting from the presence of tourism, taking the time to review and co-create this strategy was important.
It began with African Bush Camps Foundation Board members spending a full day reviewing successes and failures over the past few years, and then redefining the vision for the future, identifying challenges and key strategic areas needing to be focused on. Purpose & Vision was reviewed:
Purpose & Vision
We promote the education and welfare of local communities around our operations. We ensure a sustainable wildlife concession whilst remaining relevant to all employees. Our core business is tourism, but conducted in a way that benefits the landscape of communities and wild places.
Our purpose is to generate sustainable income for communities and shareholders, while preserving the environment. To do this we will be responsible stewards of the land to ensure the business and the foundation make a positive impact on the wildlife, the environment and the culture in the places we work.
Goals that were identified to work towards in achieving this vision were defined as:
1.To improve the quality of life of the people who live around our operations
2.To improve the biodiversity in the ecosystems in which we work
3.To generate fair financial benefits for all stakeholders who chose to be part of our journey
What followed the next day was a beautiful, collaborative, co-creative session between team members from across the African Bush Camps family; representing areas from camp operations in Zimbabwe, Botswana & Zambia to Project Officers in each partner community area, to marketing and sales, to Directors and Board Members. The focus was around 4 key strategic areas, and action plans were created and set for the next 5 years:
- Raising support & funding for enabling outcomes within the communities we partner with
- Measuring impact through our initiatives with partner communities
- Implementing persuasive, educating communication efforts within and without the organisation
- Reviewing the structure and resources within the Foundation to better enable its goals
And of course a bit of time to socialise and get to know each other better