Conservation and Community Newsletter

Success runs in the family with the support of Charity Begins at Home

Dixon Newa who is employed as an assistant chef in Biligmungwe Bush Camp has a few reasons to be happy this year. His career as a Chef is taking off well. Dixon progressed in various jobs within our Bushcamp, but cooking is his favourite. He has a particular skill in baking and received great comments from guests. While Dixon continues to develop his chefing skills his wife, Emelda, who is being sponsored by the Mfuwe Lodge/ Bushcamp Company sponsorship scheme – Charity Begins at Home. In a Business and Secretarial Course she has excelled herself in her first term and is determined to pass with flying colours. This will put her in a great position to be employed in tourism within the Valley. Success starts young in this family as Asa, their 6 year old son who is also on our sponsorship scheme, has been working very hard achieving great results at school. He is too young to know if he wants to follow in his father’s footsteps yet, but old enough to be a fan of football! We wish them much luck and success in their education and careers.

Mfuwe Day Secondary School

Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company Fund Raising Project

Generous donations from our guests and supporters have allowed us to get this project off to a flying start with 3 new classrooms, 2 dormitories and nice new desks! 

This is just the start of a long term project at this school to allow them to have their own school building rather than ‘borrow’ classrooms from an adjoining school.

The school is situated in the centre of Mfuwe and is the only secondary school in the area. The school developed in 2001 from Mfuwe Basic School which is situated next door as there was need for secondary education in the Mfuwe area.

The Secondary School has almost no classrooms of their own and has had to come to an arrangement with the Basic School to borrow as many of theirs as they could, which is by no means an ideal situation. 

612 pupils attend the school from Grade 8 to Grade 12. The pupils are from many chiefdoms including Nsefu, Kakumbi and Msoro, they travel long distances to school, up to 15 km. Some pupils also travel from as much as 50km away; this is too far to do on a daily basis, so approximately 150 pupils board at the school.

The school has two main challenges: lack of building infrastructure and lack of materials. Both of these factors cause huge issues with the teachers’ ability to teach effectively, and the school desperately needs support in order to improve the quality of education.

When fund -raising for this school, it is important to focus on the most basic needs, which will in turn improve the quality of education. Once the basics are established and the school has the facilities in which to teach at the required level, we can then look at the ‘nice to haves’ for example, computers, internet connection etc.

Mfuwe Lodge wants to focus on a number of projects to take the school to a good level, but we believe it is important to concentrate on doing each of them well, and to completion, before moving to the next project.

We have split our projects into two areas. Building Projects Fund and Essential Materials Fund. 

For more information on how you can get involved please contact Lisa

Tree Planting and improving school environments

Although much of our fund raising and support for local schools has been for developing the infrastructure, by building classrooms and providing essential materials, it is also important that we encourage the pupils to be proud of the way their school looks and also educate them in the importance of planting trees.

A pupil conservation club recently enjoyed a talk about tree conservation and commenced with a long term tree planting project that Mfuwe Lodge have planned for local schools. This is with the agreement of the local forestry department and the support and expertise of “Conservation Science Africa”.
Pupils were taught the first step, which is how to produce great compost to keep their trees healthy by constructing their own worm farm. They found it fascinating, that waste food from their meals can be eaten by worms and that the by- product is great compost that can be used to plant their own trees and vegetables.

A discussion then took place to learn about the reasons for deforestation and how it can be reduced, before they got going with the practical job of planting their seedlings. The first batch of seedlings was planted to provide shady areas in the schools central area.

Pupils who took part were rewarded with a new baseball cap, kindly donated by "The U Foundation" which gives huge support to Mfuwe Lodge projects.
A great start to the tree planting scheme!

Increasing numbers of pupil sponsorship through Mfuwe Lodge and The Bushcamp Company

A big thank you to our guests who expressed interest in our pupil sponsorship scheme and who have committed to sponsoring well deserving pupils to school this year. Many of these pupils had been accepted to good boarding schools due to their hard work studying for their exams, but had no means of finding the funding to attend. With sponsorship they will be able to continue their studies seriously, and with education comes employment. This is such a huge benefit for their families in the long term, as these pupils will be able to support their families in years to come. We are now proud to say that we are sponsoring 250 pupils!

Aerial support for SLCS

In December 2011, Mfuwe Lodge and the Bushcamp Company gave a grant to the South Luangwa Conservation Society and the Zambian Carnivore Program to purchase an aircraft for anti-poaching and research work.

Because of the vast areas that need to be covered on anti-poaching patrols, it became necessary to re-evaluate the effectiveness of current anti poaching strategies that rely on ground-based patrols and response. During the course of the dry season SLCS and ZAWA are able to dispatch ground-based anti-poaching patrols through vehicle deployments for approximately eight months of the year. During this time, relatively large areas of remote ground can be covered on foot, but in comparison to the potential areas covered by air, ground surveillance remains moderately insignificant. Wet season anti-poaching fly camps and standard patrols are even more challenging given that rivers are in full flood, a large percentage of road networks are inaccessible, and deployments and observations take much longer and are limited to areas that are only accessible by boat or vehicles. Aerial support will easily direct ground patrols to areas of illegal activities.

In addition to anti-poaching work, the plane will also be used for monitoring radio-collared carnivores as part of an ongoing long term research study in the Luangwa area.

The aircraft is currently being exported from South Africa and should be airborne in Luangwa in the next two months!!

Guest Donations

A big thank you to all of our guests who have very kindly bought along with them gifts, school supplies and clothes for the children in the local community.

These are greatly appreciated by the children and there are smiles and excitement all round! It is very important that these gifts are given in a fair and structured way and make sure the pupils understand the value of their gift and where it has come from
Donations are used as well deserved rewards for pupils who have been working hard in their studies, end of term exams, showing initiative and taking part in conservation activities such as tree planting.

We appreciate its not easy to be packing for your safari holiday and finding room in your suitcase for anything extra but if you would like to bring any gifts the following are much appreciated!

Pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, pencil sharpeners, pencil cases, rulers, calculators, balloons, stickers, wind up torchers, inflatable footballs and pump, craft activities, baby clothes and soft toys.

Photo gallery

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