2015 was a significant year for Elephant’s Eye, Hwange and Hideaways with the re-launch and re-branding of our responsible tourism initiative The Grow Africa Foundation.
We strengthened our commitments to the local community by setting up sustainable projects and sponsorship initiatives as well as improving our environmental and conservation efforts.
The beginning of 2015 saw us assessing and updating our eco philosophy. Our choice to “go green” requires a conscious effort. We think it’s important to choose: reusable over disposable, and conservation over immediate convenience. And so, we built our recycling centre and the sun blossomed our herb garden.
We set up a partnership with an underprivileged school, Dingani Primary School, just around the corner from our lodge. We constructed a playground using gum poles and tyres for the children and donated school resources. This year, we hope to add more installations to the playground for the children’s enjoyment in addition to rebuilding the damaged roof and maintaining the school buildings.
We established relationships with two families living in homesteads. Sustainable projects were set up to support the families and empower them. Guests were invited to visit the families and all payments are invested into the homestead projects to build a vegetable garden and set up a chicken coop.
The Pack for a Purpose initiative was introduced to clients staying at the lodge. We are collecting donations of stationary and resources for the Dingani Primary School. Guests are invited to bring along items in their luggage that can help the kids and teachers at the school. We are hoping for generous donations of stationary and school equipment throughout 2016.
Every year we support the Friends of Hwange Trust who protect and conserve the natural resources and wildlife in Hwange National Park. Six solar pumps were installed in 2015. Old pumps were also upgraded in the park, firebreaks were introduced and roads graded. A new borehole was installed and Friends of Hwange assisted with maintaining diesel engines, animal rescue and supporting anti-poaching units.
The Elephant’s Eye team partnered with local artists and commissioned them to create art works that are now on sale in the lodge. This supports talented artists to help them provide for their families.
In October, staff and clients once again joined ‘The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos’ to support the conservation efforts for the beautiful creatures.
Towards the end of 2015, Hideaways pledged our partner with The Conservation and Wildlife Fund. The objective of the Conservation and Wildlife Fund is to work together with the Wildlife Authorities of Zimbabwe to raise awareness, resource local authorities and promote the sustainable management of its precious wildlife resources.
Finally, on Christmas Eve of 2015 The Grow Africa Foundation was granted official non-profit organisation status!
We are proud of what we achieved in 2015. We are driving towards an even better 2016 and hoping to raise funds and support to improve the lives of those we encounter on our travels in Africa.
If you would like to support any of these initiatives, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.