Skills development, emotional and financial support for the 17 members of the group and the 65 dependents they support makes this an important initiative for the Kachikau community.
Members of the village excitedly gathered at the Kgotla and resolved to start a uniform making factory. This idea which was first raised early last year was borne out of the current hardships that the whole Chobe Enclave Community is facing in acquiring schools’ uniforms for their children. The nearest supplier of school’s uniforms is in Kasane where one has to place an order for the uniforms and collect after 2-3 weeks of waiting. The village development committee has been given a building for use in setting up the factory. The setting up and operations of the committee will be led by a committee of nine people from the village and supported with technical expertise from the foundation and other key stakeholders in the Enclave. The main objective of this development is to assist the local community to take an initiative to develop their own income levels using their locally available resources. The group already has two skilled seamstresses who have offered to use their skills in building the other community members.
Speaking during the side-lines of a stakeholder consultative meeting held at the Kgotla, the local chief (Kgosi Mmualefhe), highlighted that the presence African Bush Camps Foundation and the setting up of a development committee that is looking into the various development issues affecting vulnerable members of the community has brought a ray of hope and excitement amongst the village elders and orphans as they are being targeted as the initial beneficiaries of this development.
“We are all so excited and are looking forward to a new beginning, as a community, we believe there is a lot of potential in our village, with so many young people young out of employment, this could be their springboard. The various Safari companies in the Enclave provide a potential market for our products only we if can produce good quality products and we establish partnerships with them”. (Ntsosang- Assistant to the chief).
Furthermore, what is particularly interesting with the development committee now set up, is that they have ensured that there is equal and adequate representation of all the productive age groups in the community and in particular ensuring that there is gender equity in the decision making structures of both the development committee and the chief’s administrative structures.
In line with our development and empowerment agenda, the committee will set aside a percentage of the sales for channelling toward key community activities and development initiatives already identified. Key amongst the development goals is the opening of a vocational training college for the community to target the unemployed youth within the community. When the initiative comes to fruition, this community rooted initiative will transform the life of this usually dormant village. It is our aim to assist this community to embark on this empowering self- determined route.
The Foundation has fundraised extensively for this life-changing, community empowerment project; having purchased initial sewing equipment (including industrial-use over-locking machines) and commissioned training workshops for the group to learn how to use them correctly. In addition to offering uniform making services, the Metsimahura Sewing Project also manufactures traditional Tswana dress, which can be sold to local communities as well as tourists who frequent the Enclave.