When one goes on holiday in a developing country, it is inspiring to know that your investment goes beyond your own wellbeing. See how far your contribution to a stay at Isibindi Zulu Lodge goes in terms of supporting the neighbouring Amoibe community in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The Isibindi Eco-Reserve has assisted the beneficiaries and neighbouring Amoibe community in many ways, namely:
- To build substantial homes and fence their properties, a personal donation of R 25 000.00 was made.
- Negotiated for the Department of Agriculture to fund the sinking of a borehole, at a cost of R 78 000.00, to provide the community with fresh water.
- Assisted in the procurement and installation of solar pumps and panels to the value of
R 238 000.00.
- Laid piping and installed water pumps, to the value of R95 000.00, in the neighbouring Amoibe community providing fresh water to 56 homesteads.
- Was instrumental in getting the Department of Water to repair dysfunctional water system in Rorke’s Drift and provide fresh water to the village of Rorke’s Drift which in addition to having many inhabitants has a clinic, old age home, church, museum and arts and craft centre. Without running water these facilities were all under threat of closure which would have resulted in a loss of jobs and services for the locals.
- Sourced international funding to the value of R 9 000 000.00 to provide fresh water to the Elandskraal community. This services a few thousand homes in the areas of Elandskraal, Woza, Mazubeko and Mahlaba.
- Persuaded Vodacom to install a cellphone tower. This could not support the “traffic” and soon a second tower had to be put up. This has not only provided a much-needed means of communication to locals for a radius of 100 km but it now enables them to perform banking and many other vital functions on their smart phones.
- International donor funding was sourced to build a crèche for the Woza community (R 20 000.00).
- 100 new blankets were donated to the most vulnerable community members with young children (R 20 000.00).
The four beneficiaries who own Isibindi Eco-Reserve, none of whom have had any formal education, have been upskilled in in the following ways:
- Mr Mpumelane Zungu, who is completely illiterate, recently passed his driver’s licence. Over the years, he has assisted with game capture and culling and is now skilled as a butcher. In the culling season, Mr Zungu earns an additional R 5 000 per month as a result of working in the butchery on the reserve.
- Ms Thobile Shezi who has also had no formal education whatsoever started working as a domestic worker for the previous owners of the reserve. Through mentoring and support from the previous owners, Ms Shezi today operates many thriving businesses namely; catering and function hire, building and renovations and supply of equipment to schools. Ms Shezi continues to work part-time as housekeeper on the reserve and runs the KwaNtula Camp on the reserve as well as her own businesses. She is also in the process of acquiring her driver’s licence.
- Mr Mdung has also been trained as a butcher’s assistant.
- The other beneficiary Mr Mbonga Nxumalo has been taught how to erect and maintain fences, build and maintain roads, carry out bush control, build and maintain water supplies and perform basic land management.