As many of you will know, we have a number of community projects of our own at Tanda Tula Safari Camp, and we also support various community and regional activities. However, what some of you may not know is that some of our staff have taken this spirit of giving to the next level by setting up their own NGO in their own community, for the benefit of that community.
Harry and Smiling, our well-known barmen have, for the last 5 years, been running an NGO of their own creation known as “Kunevalela”. Kunavelela means “To encourage Hope” in the local Shangaan language, and this is precisely what Harry and Smiling are trying to do in their community that is battling with the ravages of AIDS, AIDS orphans, endemic tuberculosis, malaria and a dire lack of proper sewerage and clean drinking water.
Some of the team
They started with two main projects – the first was the establishment of a boys soccer team, the Kunavelela Blackbirds, which provides a safe and constructive environment for young boys to interact and to “keep children off the streets”, as Smiling puts it.
The second project has been to create a communal vegetable garden for the grandmothers in the village to grow their own vegetables and to provide food to their families and to the broader local community.
Busy in the Veggie Garden
What is particularly unique about Kunavelela is that it was born within the community that it aims to benefit, and it is the dream of two of those very community members, Harry and Smiling. This makes the projects under Kunavelela more relevant, as there is a deep understanding of the needs of their community and also an implicit knowledge of the most effective approach to implementing these projects within that community.
Tanda Tula is focused on empowering our staff, and we are extremely proud of what Harry and Smiling have been able to achieve using their own skills and passion and we continue to support and follow the progress of their projects with great interest.
Well done Harry and Smiling!! For more information about the Kunavelela Projects, please visit kunavelela.wordpress.com/.