Travel for Impact is involved in a number of project based initiatives throughout Ngamiland:
Our community partners came to us time and again with one common need: transportation. We heard continually, “we need money for transport; we need a car, but we can’t afford to run one; we need to get our counsellors and carers and children moved from A to B but…”. Out of this, the idea of the Community Bus was born. The Community Bus is a project spearheaded by Safari Destinations in conjunction with their 1USD per Bed Night contributors, implemented by Travel for Impact. Our community partners, and other charities in Maun create a wish list of how the community bus can support them, and the bus schedule is managed so that everyone gets to where they need to go! It’s a magic bus: one moment, it’s a school bus to help vulnerable children get back to school and continue their education; then, it’s a hospital shuttle, driving the destitute to doctor’s appointments; then it’s a caretaker shuttle, bringing meals, and companionship to vulnerable, isolated elderly. It brings food to the hungry, clean water to those with no sanitation and companionship to those forgotten by society. It’s the bus equivalent of a helping hand!
The flora of Nothern Botswana contains innumerable stories about the Okavango Delta’s natural history, and about human intervention in its pristine environment. The stories can only be unravelled, revealed and shared if we care to preserve and study the indigenous plants of Botswana, and their natural benefits to both animal and human populations. Desert & Delta Safaris (DDS) was delighted to offer its support to the Peter Smith University of Botswana Herbarium, for their data digitalization project. The Herbarium holds at its core the botanical legacy collection of Peter Smith, who spent a substantial amount of his lifetime working in the Okavango Delta studying its diverse flora. With the help of DDS, the herbarium will now be able to move forward in constructing a database that will capture all of the valuable information about the Okavango Delta’s flora, providing a botanical history of Botswana, where the benefits, uses and beauty of Botswana’s rich natural heritage will be preserved for the country’s future. The database will provide insight for scientists and researchers for issues in land planning, environmental monitoring, vegetation composition and change, fire, flooding, medical, nutritional and cultural values.
Khumaga Primary School
Khumaga is a village located in the Boteti region in Botswana. The focus on Khumaga Village grew out of the village’s close proximity of Leroo La Tau (LLT), a Desert & Delta Safaris (DDS) camp, and DDS’s desire to support initiatives within their neighbourhood – corporate social responsibility meets responsible tourism. LLT has taken the initiative to help Khumaga Primary School by providing them with resources such as PSLE revision books, as well as planning and hosting an annual career day Fair at the camp for Standard 7 children (last year of primary school). Last year, Khumaga Primary School was number one in the Boteti region with a pass rate of 86% in the 2016 Primary School Leaving Examinations, an achievement which was celebrated by both the village, and DDS.
Leaders for the Future
Desert & Delta Safaris (DDS) is invested in education, aiming to equip young Batswana with managerial skills in the tourism industry. DDS, recognizing the value of creating opportunities for the youth of Botswana, especially those from the north, has developed a sponsorship program, in which youth, meeting appropriate requirements and criteria, are granted a full educational scholarship in areas which relate to tourism operation and management. Sponsorship in the form of a three year degree course at Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), is followed by a 2 year internship with DDS upon the completion of their studies. In partnership with BAC, DDS has already successfully sent two students to further their educational interests, Neo Mothako and Segomotso Maria, doing second year and first year respectively.
Tsodilo Secondary School
DDS officially ‘adopted’ Tsodilo Secondary School through the government initiative of ‘Adopt a School’ in 2013. Since then the students have received considerable support in the form of uniforms and other school essentials for 20 underprivileged students. The beneficiaries, which are identified by the school, no longer have to worry about the financial stress of attending school, and can focus on what really matters – continuing their education. Additionally, 20 children (10 top achievers and 10 disadvantaged children) are sponsored for a weekend in ‘the bush,’ at Leroo La Tau, a DDS camp. This trip is enormously successful as the children experience their first ‘taste’ of lodges and wildlife, hopefully instilling in them a newfound respect and appreciation for the bush.