They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially when you have a little body to grow, and a whole world of knowledge to acquire. The nutritional needs of school aged children are high and needed to aid their growth, while also having an effect on their cognitive development and concentration. In short, if they are to grow big, strong and healthy, and gain maximum benefit from their time at school, they need to eat right.
The Feed A Child Programme was therefore developed to supply a vitamin and mineral enriched porridge to the diets of children attending Khwai Village PreSchool, ensuring that they’re well set up to make the most of every day and focus on important foundational learning.
The local communities have lived off the land here for generations, and the elders of this village are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the Khwai area. Our Khwai Cultural Village project is run alongside the elders of Khwai Village to create a cultural village that guests from our lodges in Khwai Private Reserve are able to visit. Here they will gain insight into the cultural heritage of the area, where time honoured practices such as traditional harvesting and natural remedies are valued and promoted. A visit is invaluable – there’s so much to learn, and you’ll see the Khwai surroundings in an entirely new light.
After nutrition, a formal education is surely the most important thing for any child, but in many rural African communities this can be hard to come by. In order to remedy this, we helped set up a preschool in Khwai Village and continue to pay the salaries of the school’s two teachers. This relieves some pressure from the community and ensures that education is both prioritised and assured, opening doors for the children in the village. It also provides employment for the teachers themselves.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” (Nelson Mandela)
Children love toys, and they can play an important role in development too. In fact, almost 80% of brain potential is developed by the age of four, and educational toys play a critical part in that development – but where can one find them in an area as remote as Khwai?
That’s where Singkwenza Toys to Waste Workshop comes in. This fun and hands on workshop teaches parents, educators and community workers to create their own toys and teaching materials using recycling. Egg carton, cereal boxes, plastic bags and glass bottles are just some of the materials that can be transformed into tools for learning. Not only does this give the youngsters the educational toys they need, it also provides a rather handy waste solution and an occupation of unemployed single mothers.
Electricity can be rather hard to come by in a place like Khwai Village, but one thing that the area certainly isn’t short of is sunshine.
With today’s technology we’re able to harness the glorious Botswana weather, and transform it into something that’s incredibly useful to the Khwai village community – light. This project will be installing solar power into homes in Khwai village, starting in 2019 with 25 homes, powering three lights in each home. The potential benefits of this project are far reaching, including free energy, increasing productivity and comfort in each of the homes, and creating an environment where young minds are able to read and study long after the sun has set.
Rural life can be tough, particularly for the older community members, or those with mobility issues or learning difficulties. Some have been recipients of lighting in their homes from our solar light project and this year Khwai Private Reserve sponsored mattresses for 60 people. This has been a hugely rewarding project, and is one that we will continue to expand so that more community members can benefit
We’re dedicated to inspiring the next generation, and we take the responsibility seriously, opening doors for them wherever we can. We have also recognised the need for skills transfer to unemployed youth of Khwai Village. This project focuses on the specialist guide license training of Khwai village residents in order to enable them to pursue a career in eco-tourism, conservation or guiding, and hopefully continue the work that we’ve started.
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