Our community work is the hallmark of who we are and how we operate. In all areas that we operate we have built a simple framework that enables us, and you if you want to, give back in a meaningful way. To look after the needs of our goodwill and philanthropy we set up a charity – The Destiny Foundation, that is a vehicle to raise funds, provide transparency, and provide training in the form of programs that are most likely to make a difference (language courses, money management, HIV/AIDS Awareness and First Aid).
You can find out more at The Destiny Foundation and should you want to contribute, pay for a scholarship or training program in this amazing area then please do contact us, we are here to assist with positive change.
Recent initiatives include:
1. Food security project: ongoing project to create food for the secondary school in Ngare Sero. Back in 2014 our team visited the primary school and found that multiple times in the year there was simply no food for the kids at the primary school. Food here has been variously supported by the World food Program and then the Ngare Sero Community Based Organisation but invariably these initiatives are simply not sustainable. We started to develop, using permaculture principles, a trail garden to see what grows and now (update March 2016) we are have secured nearly 3 acres of land for growing crops by fencing an area. Reclamation of soil, soil building, water control and so many more aspects are being developed but most importantly we’re on our way.. Keep checking in with the Destiny Foundation for updates. This project has been supported by the very wonderful Boston Nord Anglia group! The scale of this project can be enlarged to impact the whole village – lessons learnt here will be expanded to village plots. We expect some larger earthworks at some point but to date of concern is making sure that the nearby forest is protected sustainably first.
2. Building 2 classrooms: in partnership with King’s Edgehill School in Canada in March 2016 2 classrooms were built (co funded by Summits Africa LTD). These initiatives are ongoing – there’s always a room to be built, painted, improved. For smaller fundraising initiatives these are ideal and very engaging.
3. Setting up a women’s bead group: our lodge has a number of beaded features such as table matts, table decorations and sleeving for wiring and as guests have asked to buy some items we decided to work with the local Maasai women to start a Shanga “Bead” group that can produce quality items at fixed rates. Guests can ask at the lodge for available stock or request custom items be made and delivered to Arusha for collection.
4. Marafiki wa Natron / Friends of Natron: this initiative is in the grass roots stages now but has the potential to become a significant force for positive dialogue and change in the area. Focusing on PEOPLE / PLANET / PROFIT the stakeholders of the area were invited to an inaugural meeting in November 2014 and we have already make progress on issues such as new safer routes on Lengai, women’s group initiatives, resident gate fees, communications. More to come as it develops.
5. Women’s working group: an initiative the really has impacted the local women in a very short time! We noticed that women were under respresented in the lodges and camps, especially ours! Working with the local village council and women we requested and received a list of women that would be trained up to work in our camp on a range of tasks from cleaning to washing and even cooking. There are currently 17 women on rotation with our team, training on the job and learning new skills and earning valuable income. This initiative we aim to expand in partnership with the Marafiki Wa Natron working group to involve more women in more camps in this very special area.