Tanda Tula has always been deeply committed to our surrounding communities and wherever possible we turn to local suppliers to fulfil our lodge needs and requirements. By working together and sharing our responsibility, expertise, and resources we are able to have a much further reach and more impactful effect on the people living on the edges of the Greater Kruger region. It is this sort of collaboration that lies at the heart of our commitment to our people.
By utilizing local products and services we can reduce waste (packaging), reduce carbon emissions (due to less travel distance) and increase local jobs. All of this contributes to our role in conservation not only of our land, but also of our communities.
It was with these community projects in mind that we have turned to one of our local NPO’s, the Kulani Collective and their sewing project to help us with a few things we needed around the lodge.
Kulani Collective is an inspiring NPO operating on the border of the Timbavati. It was started by a group of strong, creative women who identified a desperate need in their communities for people to earn an income. They saw the value of being able to create items that could be sold in order to support individuals’ families. As they delved deeper into exploring this potential, they also realized the massive gap of knowledge in the communities on how to run a small business, as well as a lack of access to the right opportunities to sell their products. After many discussions, visits to artists workshops and creative spaces, meetings with retail outlets and other NPO’s in the area, The Kulani Collective was born.
One of the projects Kulani is involved with is a sewing program, they have partnered with an incredibly skilled and knowledgeable seamstress from the community, Joana. There is a team of trainee seamstresses working alongside Joana, who are enjoying the process of learning a new skill and are flourishing in the work that they are doing. Kulani has also begun to assist in creating a range of products for these women to sell and will continue to assist in the mentorship process as their team grows.
The sewing project is based at the Mapusha Weaving Co-Operative, where the women work closely together in creating items that cross mediums, mixing weaving, sewing, macrame, crochet and knitting – all in one space. Currently they are creating the most incredible, woven new bread baskets for our breakfast tables as well as sewing laundry bags and yoga mat covers for us.
It is a fabulous opportunity for Tanda Tula to be able to support this talented collective, to help uplift individuals in our community and in turn assist their families. But, more than this, there is an immeasurable reward in knowing that we can support a local enterprise that in turn foster’s purpose, income generation and pride in other people’s lives and has hopefully made a small difference.