As part of The Bushcamp Company's commitment to the wildlife and people of the South Luangwa, we work closely with the expanding local community, and with conservation organisations, to develop projects that help conserve precious resources, support education, and generate a sustainable source of income to those who live around the Park.
In 1999, The Bushcamp Company started providing much-needed help to two local schools: Chiwawatala Primary School in Mfuwe Village and Chilongozi Primary School in a remote area close to our bushcamps. Since our support began, the development and progress of these schools has been remarkable. With generous donations, we have been able to sponsor pupils, pay teachers’ salaries, build classrooms and staff houses, provide access to clean water, and take the school children into the Park on game drives. In 2010 The Bushcamp Company embarked on a long-term project to improve the infrastructure of the only secondary school in area, Mfuwe Day Secondary School, which had been borrowing classrooms from an adjoining primary school. To date we have raised funds to build six classrooms and offices, four dormitories and adjacent ablution blocks, social areas for both boys and girls, and refurbished an existing girls' dormitory. In 2018 we completed an ambitious project to construct a school assembly hall and dining room.
In 2017 we also constructed toilets and sports viewing stands at Jumbe Day Secondary School, and in 2019 we completed the construction of a new, furnished 6-classroom block.
In 2017 we commenced providing help to "Aunt Mary's Academy", a new pre-school in Mfuwe.
We are now supporting projects in four local schools.
Beginning in 2013, we instituted a school feeding program, where we feed around 2500 pupils per day at 3 schools. Teachers say that they have seen improvements in attendance, concentration, energy, and health of the pupils. Most of these pupils walk a distance of over 10 kilometres to reach school, often without any real sustenance at home. One head teacher says that she has seen a 40% increase in the pupils' ability to attend their afternoon school sessions, as well as a significant increase in concentration levels. The program gives the pupils' families the security of knowing that their children are receiving necessary nutrition, giving them energy not only for school, but also for the often arduous journey to and from home.
Through our own registered charity, we currently sponsor around 350 local children to attend schools and colleges. We also support a tree-planting program through which approximately 500 trees per year are planted, and which serves to educate youth about the importance of conserving woodlands in the local ecosystem.
In 2014 we introduced our “Commit to Clean Water” project with the intention of drilling deep boreholes to provide safe, clean drinking water to villages in the local area. This is an ambitious, but extremely valuable project, benefitting thousands of people. By the end of 2019 the number of new boreholes had risen to115, with 20 more planned for 2020.
We run programmes on HIV and AIDS awareness for our staff, and we also support a local theatre group that perform plays for our guests about human-wildlife conflict. We fund-raise and provide logistical support to several conservation organisations that aim to tackle the threats posed to wildlife; supporting Conservation South Luangwa, Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.
In recent years, we have also tried to make our properties as green as possible by introducing solar technology throughout.
ln 2009, the idea of a Luangwa Conservation Community Fund was conceived by Andy Hogg from Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company and spearheaded by an insightful group of photographic tour operators in South Luangwa. These dedicated and passionate people had a long term vision of sustainable funding the activities of the South Luangwa Conservation Society and local community projects. They realized that without the wildlife and habitat in Luangwa, they would have no business and a special place would be lost. They also understood that without involving local communities and focusing on education, there would be no hope of protecting Luangwa's amazing wildlife in future years.
The funds are split evenly between conservation and community projects. We believe that our guests are satisfied to know they have contributed directly to ensuring the ongoing survival of the wildlife and environment, as well as the development of the local community.
Over the past few years our primary and secondary sponsorship programme has increased from 100 pupils to over 350. Primary and secondary school pupils remain an important focus of our sponsorship work, with many pupils being sponsored throughout their education by generous guests and donors.
We encourage anyone who is interested in assisting to educate a pupil to donate to our Education Fund. Donations are then pooled in order to ensure that we have the resources necessary to support a selected pupil throughout his/her schooling.
We avoid one-to-one sponsoring of individual pupils by a donor for several reasons. First, it is impossible for us to guarantee that a pupil will succeed, and we would not want a donor to invest a lot of money and support only to find that the sponsorship fails for some reason.
Similarly, the donor may have to pull out of the sponsorship if their circumstances change, leaving the pupil without a sponsor, which is obviously distressing for both the donor and the student.
Our intention is to commit to our sponsored students from an early age and where possible see them all the way through tertiary education. Consequently, the costs and commitment to an individual become higher as they progress, and it is often difficult to predict the future course of the student’s progress.
To avoid these stresses and complications, we encourage donors to send what they can to our central Education Fund. Sponsorships are then individually tailored to the pupil rather than trying to fit a pupil's needs around what a donor can commit to.
We know that it is very rewarding and motivating for the donor to follow the progress of particular individuals in order to experience what their support means, so we ensure that news of students’ progress is regularly passed on. That way you the donor can see your money at work in a very real way. Donors are also most welcome to visit the local schools and meet students from the Education Fund.
We have found that this way of giving gives a lot more of the flexibility we need to adapt to the ever-changing needs of the students. It allows us to sponsor students who otherwise may not attract sponsors for some reason and also allows the donor to change and adapt their giving without being stressed about what such a change would mean to an individual child.
We invite you to donate to the Education Fund and look forward to you joining our extended family of students and fellow supporters.
The words of one sponsored student say it all... "College qualifications give hope and pride to us students and our families that we can achieve success, even if we are lacking in some skills. Hope is the necessity in life, since it helps us become more determined and confident, and helps us achieve success. It also gives pride to the country at large for there are few people who acquire college education ."
As part of our commitment to providing educational opportunities to children in the local community, we are now providing around 2,500 meals per day at Chiwawatala Primary School, Mfuwe Day School and Aunt Mary's Academy. Some students have to get up at 5 am to walk 15 km to school, do a full day of lessons, and then walk home with nothing to eat. The mental and physical challenges facing the pupils are obvious, as focus, energy levels, and concentration decrease. There is no doubt that correct nutrition is a vital part of children’s development.
We are excited to see that attendance and academic results have increased significantly as a result of providing pupils with a regular meal each day. During the first year of the programme, Mfuwe Day School had the highest number of Grade 12 final exam passes in the District, an increase of 40% in one year!
Receiving a full and nutritious lunch of the traditional nshima with a variety of either beans, soya pieces, vegetables, or meat provides the necessary energy for the afternoon session of studies that so many pupils used to lack. It allows them to focus on studies and extra-curricular activities with much-improved results.
Each year we try to identify and introduce new community projects. Our aim has always been to improve the lives of the local people in the Mfuwe area, so in 2014 we embarked upon an ambitious project to provide safe, clean water to villages in the local community. We have called this new initiative "Commit to Clean Water."
Most of us take it very much for granted that, with the simple act of turning on a tap, clean, safe water will always be available. Whenever we feel thirsty, or need to bathe, or even water our gardens, it requires little thought or effort. But we are the lucky ones...around half of the world's population lacks this most basic of life's necessities.
In the Luangwa valley, local communities are growing rapidly in size, and the majority of villagers still have no convenient access to safe, clean water.
However, there is an answer to this problem... Safe, clean water is available, but it is stored underground. To reach it, deep boreholes need to be drilled and central pumps need to be provided. This is not such a difficult task, but it does require funding and organization. The Bushcamp Company, in conjunction with generous donors, has already embarked on an ambitious project to provide a number of boreholes in various village locations. Each borehole costs around US$7000 to construct, but with continuing donor support, we plan to extend this project to other needy areas.
By the end of 2019 we had provided 115 new boreholes, with 20 more already planned for 2020. This is a project that we consider to be vital to the well being of our local communities, providing tangible benefits to thousands of people.
For more information as to how you can assist, please email email@example.com
We run a number of tree planting initiatives at local schools each year, and these programs provide fun and motivation for students, while at the same time teaching them the importance of concern for the environment, focusing on the issue of deforestation.
The students take great pride in "their" trees, and the programs have been very successful in educating the students and helping the environment as well!
Since 2004, we have produced a fund-raising calendar each year, using paintings done by pupils from the schools we support in Mfuwe. Each year we invite the pupils of the area to think about their daily lives - the challenges and the highlights - and to express this through their artwork.
After holding a competition at the schools, the best pupils are invited to Mfuwe Lodge to work with celebrated Zambian artist, Mulenga Chafilwa, in perfecting their pictures. The winning entries are then made into a calendar. The calendars are available at the Mfuwe Lodge Curio Shop, with all proceeds from the sale of this calendar going directly to various school projects.
The selected, winning artists are rewarded with game-drives, prizes and an afternoon "party" at Mfuwe Lodge.
For the 2020 calendar the children were asked to illustrate the importance of the Luangwa River to the people and wildlife of the valley.
Zambia’s Luangwa Valley is the country’s premiere destination for wildlife-based tourism, but like virtually everywhere on the planet, it is threatened by an multitude of problems, including poaching, rapidly growing human economies, lack of adequate information on wildlife species, and a lack of training, education, and employment opportunities for local people who are ultimately responsible for conserving their wildlife resources. In a time of pressing environmental and social problems, responsible wildlife-based tourism is of paramount importance for the ecosystems, wildlife, and local communities that depend on them.
During the 1970s and 1980s Zambia lost the majority of its elephant population and all of its rhino to poaching. However to date, the elephant population has started increasing, as a result of increased and improved law enforcement. Despite being one of the most wildlife-rich areas remaining in Africa, its natural heritage is under threat from poaching and other illegal activities. To help combat these serious threats to the Luangwa’s wildlife, The Bushcamp Company is a proud supporter of three local wildlife organisations - Conservation South Luangwa (CSL), the Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife- that work together on various conservation efforts to address these issues and conserve the Valley’s wildlife. We substantially increased our support for these organizations by providing a light aircraft for aerial anti-poaching and reasearch activities.
The rapidly growing community around the South Luangwa National Park has to live with wild animals on its doorstep. Sometimes this co-existence is a real challenge and can even be life-threatening. We believe that it is vital for the survival of the Luangwa’s wildlife that local people benefit from this wonderful resource and do not suffer through this co-existence . Since its inception the Bushcamp Company has been committed to ensuring that the community around the Park has a reason to conserve it. We feel that education is the key to a successful future and so now provide much-needed help to three local schools. With generous donations we have been able to pay teachers’ salaries, build classrooms and staff houses, provide access to clean water, and take the school children into the Park on game drives. Through our own Charity Begins at Home programme and with support from guests and other charities, we also currently sponsor over 350 school children. As well as providing long-term support for the Kakumbi Community Clinic, we also support a local theatre group, which perform plays for our guests about human-wildlife conflict. Our local staff are our most important asset; many of them have worked for the company for over 20 years. We train them to be the best that they can be and encourage them to progress and develop their skills and responsibility. Our staff and their families are entitled to assistance with medical costs and we also run a programme that pays for one of their children to attend school. We also run programmes on HIV and AIDS awareness for our staff. The Bushcamp Company played an integral role in setting up the Luangwa Conservation & Community Fund (LCCF) in 2009; the Fund helps provide vital funding for many of these community projects.
South Luangwa Conservation Society (SLCS) is a non-profit organisation that is committed to the conservation of the local wildlife and natural resources of the South Luangwa National Park and surrounding Game Management Areas. The Bushcamp Company helps fund-raise for SLCS, primarily through the LCCF.
The Zambian Carnivore Programme (ZCP) is a non-profit Zambian trust dedicated to conserving large carnivore species and their habitat in Zambia. The Bushcamp Company helps fund-raise for ZCP, and our guides report carnivore sightings as part of their Luangwa Valley Carnivore Monitoring Programme.
The Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) is an autonomous Government body whose main objectives are to improve the quality of life among communities living close to wildlife and maintain biodiversity in the Country's protected areas. The Bushcamp Company is proud to work with DNPW to achieve these objectives in the South Luangwa.
The U Foundation is a UK based charity set up to help people in Zambia to achieve a better life for themselves. They have helped provide boreholes, a library and school equipment school in the Mfuwe area and also assist with the production of our fund-raising calendar.
The Sausage Tree Charity is a UK based charity that has helped raise funds for The Bushcamp Company's school projects. These funds have helped renovate and resource three schools, paid teachers' salaries and educate orphaned and vulnerable children through school and college.
The 'Austria Kids' fund was created by Gerhard and Madeleine Hofecker several years ago to offer scholarships to young pupils at Chiwawatala School. Sadly, Madeleine passed away in 2010, but the scholarships are still maintained in memory of her love for the South Luangwa.
The Dreike Scholarship Fund is a UK based charity set up to help kids who live near wildlife reserves enjoy a decent education; its scholarships enable students living outside the National Park to attend school.
Dazzle Africa is a US based charity, set up by former guests, whose mission is to partner with locally based organizations in Mfuwe to create legacy projects in the areas of education, conservation and community enhancement.
SEKA (Sensitisation and Education through Kunda Arts) is a Zambian NGO, initiated and based in Mfuwe. It uses participatory theatre to sensitise and educate communities on various important social and environmental issues. The SEKA theatre group often performs to guests in the evenings at Mfuwe Lodge.
It's Wild! products are pesticide free, organic and locally produced in Zambia by COMACO (Community Markets for Conservation) and provide a solution to how humans and the environment can coexist. The Bushcamp Company currently buy It's Wild! honey, peanut butter, rice, mielie-meal and other products whenever possible.
Tribal Textiles produce a beautiful range of individually designed and locally hand-painted cotton fabrics in Mfuwe. Their collection of cushion covers, bed linen, table linen, wall hangings, bags, aprons and children�s products are available at their shops in Zambia, as well as the Curio Shop at Mfuwe Lodge.
The Luangwa Safari Association Medical Fund (LSAMF) was set up by the members of the LSA to enable a doctor to care for staff and guests in the Luangwa Valley and to spend most of his/her time caring for the rural community of Mfuwe at the Kakumbi Rural Health Clinic. For more information please contact Amy Alderman firstname.lastname@example.org
All of our guests help support our projects through contributions to the Luangwa Conservation & Community Fund, but if you would like to offer further support, here are some suggestions of how else you can help.
Bringing Gifts for Student Prizes
If you are coming on safari with us, and you have space left in your suitcase, you might want to bring out a few small items with you to donate. We use these gifts as motivational prizes at the end of each term for the teachers to award to the top performing students at local schools; ideal donations include:
We are currently focusing on three main areas that we have determined to be critically important. Monetary donations of any amount are greatly appreciated. When appropriate, individual donations are pooled in order to fund more extensive projects or programmes.
Commit to Clean Water Fund
If you would like to donate to any of these projects, please see our Donate Now page.
For a list of current needs, please contact email@example.com
If you would like to help the people and wildlife of the South Luangwa you can transfer donations to The Bushcamp Company’s Conservation & Community Fund at the following account:
CHARITY BEGINS AT HOME
US Dollar Account No: 1598090500192
Swift Code: ZNCOZMLU
Bank: Zambia National Commercial Bank
Bank Address: Mfuwe International Airport, P.O.Box 87, Mfuwe, Zambia
Below are some examples of how that money can be used: