Up at Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda our team paid a visit to the Muhisimbi Sewing Project in Kinigi. This was set up as a community enterprise in order to support young single mothers who have been rejected by their community and their families for becoming mothers out of wedlock.
The young ladies and girls are welcomed to this project, where they are trained to become seamstresses and go on to make reusable face masks, nappies and sanitary pads as well as articles of clothing. Their small income gives them hope for a brighter future. Each day the ladies receive a hot lunch and can enjoy the company of other single mothers who are facing many of the same challenges as themselves.
They are able to bring their young children to work with them too, since many do not have the family support needed to leave a child at home and they cannot afford any kind of day care. If you would like to make a donation towards this project, we would be most grateful. We try our best to raise funds for the lunches, sewing materials and rent for the premises. All donations can be made through our secure online payment platform. Please quote “Sewing Project” as the donation reference.
Emmanuel, who runs the sewing project, is also a guide in the Volcanoes National Park
On the 29th of July our team helped to facilitate the purchasing and distribution of basic supplies (rice, beans, flour and soap) for some of the ladies at the Muhisimbi sewing project since due to a national lockdown they were unable to come into work. Thank you to Ellyn from USA, who is a dear friend of the project for providing the funds required for this support.
Delivering food packages to the Muhisimbi sewing project
Masai Mara food drives
On the 15th of July we carried out our 13th food drive in the Masai Mara. With kind donations received from The Chairman’s Foundation via The Wilderness Trust (48%) and The Mara Rianda Charitable Trust (51%) as well as a number of individual donors (1%) we were able to supply almost eight tons of basic food supplies to 280 families.
Masai Mara food drive
We plan to carry out the last big food drive on the 11th of August and a smaller one in September with the remaining funds. If you would like to make a donation towards these efforts, we would be most grateful for any amount big or small. All donations can be made via our secure online payment platform.
Photo credit Felix Rome
Loldia House food drive
On Friday the 9th July, our Loldia House team returned for the 12th month in a row, to Kasarani Village, to distribute two more tons of supplies to their neighbours. Thank you to the Chairman’s Foundation, via the Wilderness Trust for providing 100% of the funds needed to keep up this great work.
“I’m touched beyond words. Thank you for today’s food drive. Your thoughtfulness is a gift I will always treasure. Kindly pass my sincere gratitude to the donors”- Sarah Njoki, Chief of Kasarani Village.
Loldia House distributes food packages at Kasarani
Supporting the young soccer stars of Kasarani Village
On Saturday the 17th the Loldia team went to visit the TAFA youth football team in Kasarani. We were pleased to be able to provide them a small donation of essential stationery supplies. The kids and their families were extremely appreciative of the assistance.
After having a tour of their Community Centre, we were left feeling very impressed by what they are doing there with the older students; especially in terms of guidance for what lies ahead in life and what to be aware of as they grow up and go into the world (especially for the girls and information surrounding teenage pregnancies).
“It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I write to thank you for your generous donation to TAFA. This will make a huge difference in the academic lives of these kids. Most of them have learnt the art of striking a difficult balance between soccer and academics. Coming in with this gift meant a lot to them. On their behalf and that of their parents, I say a big thank you from the deepest part of my heart. The fact that there are people like you out there makes our job even more vital, and gives us new energy to succeed and work extra hard, to make these kids realize their potential. Words do not seem enough to say how much we appreciate your support” ~ Sammy Gat, coach of the TAFA Football team.
TAFA Football team – photo credit Felix Rome
For those of you who wonder what sort of items are needed by the children in the schools, we suggest small, lightweight items such as pencils, pens, erasers, rulers and writing pads. Footballs, skipping ropes and colouring pencils also always go down a treat with the kids. Please refer to our packing for a difference section on our website, for further details.
Governors’ can distribute supplies on your behalf – photo credit Felix Rome
The Bee keepers of Eburru Forest
Felix Rome, our in-house photographer, was also able to spend some time with our partners at Eburru Rafiki to learn more about the important work that they are doing to protect this precious mountain forest. One of the grassroots initiatives that they support is a community bee-keeping project.
Harvesting honey in Eburru Forest – photo credit Felix Rome
Our guests at Loldia House can head up to Eburru and visit the bee-keepers and enjoy a honey harvesting demonstration in the forest!
‘Seedballing’ with Governors’ Balloon Safaris
We are excited to now have our seed balling initiative fully up and running at the Governors’ Balloon Safaris launch site. Passengers can purchase a packet of seedballs for just USD5, that can be scattered from our balloons during the flight.
Throw handfuls of seedballs over the Mara
100% of funds raised will be passed onto Eburru Rafiki in order to support their tree-planting efforts in the Mau-Eburru Forest. This is a totally unique experience and we are currently the only place in the world offering this fun and worthwhile activity from the hot-air balloons! What a way to help offset your carbon emissions!
Tree planting in Eburru Forest – photo credit Felix Rome
We are working hard behind the scenes to increase our support of some of our partner conservation organisations in each of our areas of operation. We look forward to sharing more information on some of the ways that we will be helping them and ways that you can also give them your support either from afar or get involved whilst on safari with us.
On the 16th of July we celebrated World Snake Day by taking the opportunity to raise awareness about their conservation. Snakes are fascinating creatures that play a vital role in maintaining the balance of nature and yet sadly many species are in decline due to threats such as habitat loss, climate change and declining prey numbers.
A harmless spotted bush snake at Mugie
Public perception has often led to difficulties for their conservation efforts. Certain species are in high demand for the pet trade, often captured and exported illegally. Many of our endemic species are the most at risk of extinction since they do not occur anywhere else on Earth, thus leading to their further demand on the black market. The majority of snakes are killed out of fear and the misconception that all snakes are dangerous. We have all heard the expression: “The only good snake is a dead snake”. This is incredibly sad since the majority of snakes are in fact totally harmless and yet are still killed. Even those that pose a risk to humans have their part to play in the ecosystem.
Egyptian cobra – photo credit Gary Hopcraft
Thankfully the tourism industry offers some form of protection for snakes since there is financial interest in protecting many of the wild spaces where they can thrive without persecution. If you are like the majority of people who fear snakes, you should take heart in knowing that it is actually very rare to come across a snake in the wild as most species will do everything, they can to remove themselves from an approaching human. You should always wear closed shoes when walking through long grass and at night and ensure you can see where you are stepping at night by using a torch/flashlight. Never try to corner a snake or catch a snake. Give them their space and call an expert to relocate them safely if possible.
If you feel in any way moved by any of these initiatives, and you would like to support us, you can make a donation of any kind through the Governors’ Camp Collection Community and Conservation Trust’s secure online payment portal. We will ensure that any funds you send are used to directly improve the lives and well being of our community neighbours. Thank you!
By Alisa Karstad, Community and Conservation Manager for Governors’ Camp Collection.