News update: 3rd May
Sabi Sabi has always believed in the interdependence of tourism, conservation and the local community – which community includes our staff members and the areas in which they live. The majority of our employees hail from the rural communities of Huntington, Justicia, Lilydale and Bushbuckridge, villages adjacent to the Sabi Sand Reserve. Since opening our doors over three decades ago, Sabi Sabi has been integrally involved in projects in these areas and has supported a myriad of their community-based initiatives including; education programmes; sustainability and employment ventures; basic healthcare initiatives; donor funding and community tours.
In the spirit of this outreach philosophy, Sabi Sabi supports the Swa Vana Care Centre, providing financial support with plans to further extend our involvement in 2012. Swa Vana is a local organisation whose mission is to “provide assistance and palliative care in situations of crisis, working towards the development of long term solutions for orphans, vulnerable children and the terminally ill together with their communities.”
Formed in 2004, Swa Vana, which means ‘For the Children’, provides assistance to the many vulnerable children and orphans in the local villages. The organisation is currently responsible for managing 4 multi-purpose centres which ensure that many hundreds of children are fed, clothed, given access to healthcare, counselled, and supervised after school on a daily basis.
Enterprise opportunities in the rural villages are few and far between. In order to break the cycle of poverty which exists in many of these communities, children need the skills to eventually earn an income and become self-sufficient. Programmes such as brick-making, market gardening, trade and craft skills are providing just that opportunity. Unique bracelets, necklaces and candle holders made from recycled material by the Swa Vana youth are a great example of the creativity shown.
Although the core purpose of Swa Vana is to support children, there is a huge need in the villages for assistance to the elderly, the sick and the indigent. In the Huntington area a group of community members is being trained as “home based care volunteers”. These volunteers also monitor the many child-headed households in the villages, a sad result of the ravages of HIV/AIDS.
Visitors to Sabi Sabi who elect to join one of the community tours offered by the lodges, can see first-hand the incredible work being done by Swa Vana. Financial or physical contributions are always welcomed and can be made directly to the organisation.
Swa Vana is a registered non-profit organisation with limited government funding. Click here to read more about Swa Vana and how to get involved.