Despite the challenges we’ve faced over the past several years, as individuals, families, communities, businesses and the travel industry in particular, we are reminded that we are still the lucky ones. From the outset, we sought to lift our spirits by giving back to those in real need – making a positive impact by continuing to support our colleagues and local communities throughout East and Southern Africa for whom tourism dollars are so vital but were so scarce. We thought we’d share a brief update on the ways in which we have collectively been making a difference.
Kasipiti, roughly translated means “renewal” or “spring growth” in Shona, was founded by Diane more than 10 years ago to support grass roots community efforts in education and healthcare in Harare, Zimbabwe, her second home. Helping families meet the ever-increasing costs of tuition, school fees and books, Kasipiti now sponsors the education of dozens of young children and teens. Every individual has different needs and success is measured in many ways. This year we are proud to announce that Lashwid will complete medical school at University of Zimbabwe and will soon be providing critical health services to the local population. Anywhere John just competed in the international athletic competition in Lusaka, Zambia placing an impressive second in his event. Both of these young men are creating a future for themselves that they could not have envisioned without support.
Wild Tomorrow Fund’s “Team Elephant” 2022 NYC half marathon had Victoria leading the charge with the team raising an incredible $18,132 for the Wild Tomorrow Fund. This support will go a long way on the ground at the Greater Ukuwela Nature Reserve in South Africa, and in support of their wildlife partners in the region. Victoria’s safaris to Africa to view wildlife in their natural habitat, gave her “a deep understanding of the importance of the natural world and our responsibility as humans, to ensure the survival of all species”. She has seen first-hand how important it is to make sure that communities living in wildlife areas, “know the benefits to them and how they can be invested in the protection of wildlife, for the long-term benefit of all”.
Children in the Wilderness, a non-profit supported by Wilderness Safaris, began a number of initiatives to assist children and their teachers and parents with school nutrition schemes, village upliftment and scholarship programs. At African Portfolio, we encourage clients to explore wild places to draw attention to the importance of preserving these natural spaces and our support of Children in the Wilderness does this through educating the next generation of decision-makers; inspiring them to care for their natural heritage and become custodians of these areas.
Uthando (meaning love in Xhosa), a unique, non-profit organization based in Cape Town focuses on fundraising in support of life changing community development projects in the townships and beyond. Motivated by love, compassion and respect for our common humanity, Uthando engages in solutions to meet the economic and social challenges of the under-served communities in South Africa. Team Uthando continues to support many community development projects including several vital feeding schemes and urban micro farming operations which are providing food to communities in distress. They are making history in South Africa by currently building a 6th Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) — out of tires and recycled material, no less! We are proud to be long time supporters of Uthando so if you are planning a future trip to Cape Town, we can certainly arrange for you to see some of their projects in action.
We wanted to share these inspirational words from Uthando’s founder, James Fernie:
“People just don’t realize how powerful we all are, in our thoughts, words and deeds we can work as a collective and transcend the myriad of extreme challenges that we all face at this time. The law of nature means that love, kindness and compassion will always win in the end, so despite my own challenges and limitations, I made a decision to do whatever the heck I can to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem and surrendering to whatever the universe has in store for us. There has never been a more important time than now to transcend fear and burn as a bright light, it’s no coincidence that a tiny little candle is highly visible in an otherwise dark room. Many bright candles in a dark room is just beautiful and peaceful.”
Our goal at African Portfolio is to create a meaningful, personalized travel experience for every client, on every trip. As we work to make your safari dreams come to life, we are very cognizant of the impact our business has on the everyday lives of ordinary people who work on the ground – as has never been more evident than now. The tourism industry is a major provider of jobs and services throughout Africa, often in areas that would otherwise struggle to find employment opportunities. It has been our privilege to work in this industry and to be motivated by constantly striving to improve our relationships with our friends and colleagues all over Africa and to support local communities, the environment and the protection of wildlife.