Khwai Cultural Village

A localised cultural and income generating project
Botswana - Khwai

Aimed at improving the livelihoods of the people of Khwai, this project’s core value is in showcasing the cultural heritage of communities in the area, and the education of the younger generation through their cultural practices. Guests from abundant surrounding safari lodges have the opportunity of conducting village tours for entertainment and sensitisation of local cultures, whilst stimulating local economies.

BACKGROUND

Tane Ko Teemahane Women’s Foundation is a group of women in Khwai village who want to build up a cultural village where traditional knowledge and cultural knowledge will be exchanged as well as to pass the knowledge to the coming generations and help to keep alive the San history by sharing it with tourists.

The project is located in the Khwai village just along the Moremi Game Reserve where the Bhukakhwe San are found.

OBJECTIVES/EXPECTED OUTCOMES

  • Empowerment on improving livelihood through culture and traditional knowledge
  • To see indigenous women leading and being role models to the young generation
  • Develop entrepreneurship skills for indigenous women
  • For government to train potential women on entrepreneurship and assist them to start their own businesses
  • Strengthen the partnership between government, tourism operators and the indigenous/San people
  • Establishment of museum for culture and tradition
  • Have talks on alcohol and drug abuse
  • Teach the girl child the responsibility of becoming an educated woman and avoiding negatively dependent lifestyle
  • Educate the boy child on cases of abuse, and train them on activities that they are talented on
  • To have an information centre by the cultural village where youth can come and read
  • Invite NGO’S to come to the village to run beneficial workshop and trainings

ACTIVITIES

  1. Basket making

This is done as a way of expressing one’s feelings, a form of communication. The patterns that are made on the baskets have meanings, so this will also be shared with tourist. Any interested individuals will be given a chance to interact with the elders, so that they can share knowledge and skills on how to weave baskets and this will be done in a form of a lesson/knowledge sharing session.

  1. Craft shop

Will be used to display all the traditional arts and crafts that we have in our village for historical and custom sharing. Handmade crafts will be displayed for visitors/guests to see them and be able to purchase such as necklaces, bracelets, baskets and other artefacts.

  1. Traditional dance

The San people, also known as Bushmen are well known for dancing, and have many different types of dance e.g. healing dance, animal dance, game dance etc. This will be shared with our guest as they will be taught on the historical cultural entertainment.

  1. Mentor and coaching

This activity will be done with mostly school children. We intend to have an information centre where children can come and learn about children’s rights and other information that is related to children, as well as general knowledge issues and current affairs. We will also have activities during school holidays where we invite mentor speakers to come and share information with the children and villagers. Our village is one of the areas highly affected by unemployment, alcohol abuse, teenage pregnancy, gender-based violence, stigmatization (HIV & AIDS) and school drop-outs to name a few. We will therefore be engaging relevant people to come and talk or discuss these issues with the community.

  1. Knowledge exchange

There are different types of San people in Botswana and Southern Africa, and we believe the two are related in one way or another, hence the idea of having cultural exchange sessions/events to gain knowledge of each other’s roots and lifestyle.

  1. Bushmen walk

San people used to survive by hunting and gathering. They walked in the bush looking for food – hunting wild animal and gathering wild fruits. They followed the animals’ foot prints and could tell from the prints what kind of animal it is, whether it is a female or male and where it was headed. It is from this that the activity of walking in the bush was coined the Bushmen walk. Guests will be exposed to details of this history as they are taken on these walks.

  1. Cultural day

We intend to have a cultural day to celebrate indigenous women, to be held annually in the month of August it is the World Indigenous Women’s month. The event will show case our culture through food, music, clothes as well as ensuring that our language is spoken on that day. We intend to grow the event to a stage where it will be recognised nationally.

Since the project is based in Khwai village, it will be of greater benefit to the Khwai community and bring a great change in most of the women’s lives that live in the village. Many of whome are unemployed and living in poverty. Due to lack of opportunity and, some women spend most of their time drinking. This project therefore provides a shelter where women will gather daily to do arts and crafts, as well as interacting with tourists and teaching the young generations traditional ways, keeping them away from alcohol abuse and risky behaviours. As the arts and crafts will be marketed across the nation and internationally, as well as the live traditional dance performances by the women, this will become a source of income that will bring them out of poverty and keep them from idleness and alcohol abuse.

The cultural village will also help the young generation with educational insight on the Bhukakhwe San culture and motivate them to study more and stay in school to finish their education. The girl child will be empowered through teachings and talks on gender issues. The project will provide constructive form of entertainment for youth through its library which will motivate them to study and refrain from risky behaviours.

This project will in the long run eradicate poverty in the Khwai community as women will be able to earn money for themselves, fighting the discrimination that people have towards them. The project also serves as a platform for the community to exercise their rights according to article 11 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, which states that the indigenous people have the right to practice their cultural and traditional knowledge freely. The project will also serve as an opportunity for the facilitation of entry into the presidential cultural competitions under the arts and crafts, as well as the traditional categories.

Location

Botswana - Khwai
With the establishment of the Khwai Tented Camp adjacent to the Northern Moremi Game Reserve in 2009, the...
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Focus Area

Community Empowerment

The Foundation’s Community Empowerment Projects stem from expertise within the community, and are nurtured and developed locally. Communities are...
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