We believe that our guests want to do more than just observe the world. They want to make a difference.
That is why we choose camps, lodges and operators who support their local communities. The first line of that support is in the form of meaningful, fulfilling employment. But most of our providers go much further than that. They provide housing, schools, clinics and essential infrastructure like clean water, the most important factor in health outcomes.
This page is devoted to projects funded by our providers or directly by us.
Camilla Rhodes is the co-ordinator for A&K Philanthropy in Zambia and is based at the Sussi & Chuma camp on the Zambesi River not far from the Victoria Falls and Livingstone. In this interview she talks about the marvellous projects that she and her team are sponsoring in Zambia. We were privileged to visit the Nakatindi Village and see some of these projects for ourselves.
Want to do more?
You will hear some people say that you should take pens, pencils and paper to give to the children in the villages you might visit. But there are a few potential problems with this.
Firstly, drawing directly on the work of Maslow, Camilla Rhodes of A&K Philanthropy says that "A child cannot learn hungry, (see the above video)." So, whilst pens and paper will be gladly accepted, we know of storerooms full of stationery in villages where the children don't get to eat breakfast. It's important to get current and local information about your destination when planning how you intend to help.
In the Nakatindi village, AKP is helping the villagers to plant crops that the Lodges want to buy. This would provide an income for the village and the Lodges would willingly buy from them, rather than source from a distant large town or city. So in this case, today it would be more beneficial to bring seeds than pens.
AKP also created a Bike Shop in the village, where donated bicycles are repaired and sold in town. The Bike Shop employs villagers and the profits are used to run the School. So, bicycle parts would be much more useful than paper.
This then touches on a sensitive topic, because giving seeds to an elder may not give you the same gratification as giving a gift to a child. The reality is that handing out gifts to children encourages unseemly clamouring and eventually begging, that undermines the proud culture of the local people. The lodges, the village elders and the parents of the children all wish that tourists would not do that. Any gift or donation should be made to an elder or to the lodge that supports the village. Your willingness to do this and forgo the gratification of a recipient child smiling back at you whilst receiving a gift is a genuine test of your altruism.
And finally, the most potent donation you can make is in the form of cash. This requires a leap of faith, so we suggest that if you have doubts about how the money will be used, then first ask your guide or lodge manager to arrange a visit to the projects they support in the local village. You might be surprised to see how far your dollar can go.