A local uniform making factory that empowers the community to service surrounding schools with uniforms and safari lodges and the general public with sewn artefacts. 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 Kotgla 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 schools 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 already 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 sidelines of a stakeholder consultative meeting held at the Kotgla, the local chief (Kngosi), 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”. (Jane Solkasla- 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 and these can will be channelled towards 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 youths of the community. When the initiative comes to fruition, this will community rooted initiative will transform the life of this usually dormant village. It is our hope that as the community embarks on this empowering self- determined route , we shall all come together to support them on this journey.
Our ABCF team is now extensively fundraising for this life changing and community empowering project with the intension of helping communities realise their dreams. We currently seek to purchase the required initial 5 sewing over-locking machines and related equipment. The same factory will also be used to manufacture the traditional Tswana dress which will be sold to the tourists who frequent the Enclave. The foundation will also support with the initial training of the members of the committee.