As part of giving back to our Local Community, Chobe Safari Lodge / Chobe Fish Eagle is engaged in Annual Christmas Party for the Orphan and Vulnerable Children as well as Physically and Mentally Disabled Children of Kachikau Special Unit. The initiative started at 2009/2010 till to date and hoping to continue with this event. This year we were marking the 7th Annual Christmas Party.
These children are under the guidance of organizations such as Red Cross Orphanage, Orphans from Chobe District Council, Children's Ark, Metlha Ya Bofelo and Kachikau Special Unit Primary School which we have officially adopted in 2013 till the year 2020. This year the kids were 233 and shows that the event is growing yearly.
Chobe Fish Eagle believes in fulfilling pillars of 2016, especially the one of "A compassionate, just and caring nation." main aim was to allow employees to interact with the children and show them that we care and love contribute to dispelling the stigma the society has towards those who have disabilities, stressing that financial aid is not the only thing that the children need, that love and affection goes a long way too. The kids are given goodies bag with lots of surprise presents to show them that we care.
With community engagement which will result in community ownership, the project will be sustained and will continue building the lives of the children in years to come.
It is vital that we receive these children in a friendly and positive way, in order to make them feel, loved and accepted, thereby making them aware that they are an important part of our community more especially during Christmas Day.
Transport is always provided by Bush tracks, Chobezi, Puku Safari's, and African Odyssey.
The day is always graced by a representative from the Chobe District Commissioner's office a as well representatives from the various companies' that donated supplies and gifts for the event.
Traditional Christmas Lunch, entertainment is done by Matsosa Ngwao Traditional Group, followed by handing over of gifts to individual kids. This is always joyful day as we will be sharing what we have with the lovely kids.
We engaged Tebelopele Testing Center to bring their services to our Staff Members. They were Counseling and Screening HIV/Aids on the 01st - 4th September 2016. 71 staff members were counseled and Tested for HIV/AIDS with 39 males and 33 Females. It shows than nowadays men cares about their lives.
Kachikau Primary School Special Unit-Outreach
|Dates||Equipment Donated||Beneficiary||Invited Guests|
|8th August 2016||
||Kachikau Special Unit (30 kids) with different disabilities.||Regional Education Officer, Media, Kgosi, Acting Director of Chobe Region - Education PTA chairpersons, Village Development Committee ,Honorable Councilor - Kachikau Village, Parents of the kids, the community at large, 30 Chobe Safari Lodge staff members|
Under one Botswana Sky - Chobe Safari Lodge
We have extended our support for Kachikau Special Unit by renewing our pledge to adopt the special unit until 2020. We did this in order to support the Botswana Education Department request for companies to give back to the Community as a Cooperate Social Responsibility and also promoting one of the Botswana's 2016 Vision Pillars namely A Compassionate, Just Caring Nation. Through this project we have raise awareness to the community, media and other companies nd we are very happy to announce that lot of companies are now aware of what we are doing and they are also involved by giving back to the community.
The community is also involved and are recognizing and appreciating what Chobe Safari Lodge is doing. During the Bots 50 Celebration the community of Kachikau invited us to the village and we were very honored as we received the Appreciation Certificate from the Kgosi on behalf of the School and the Community of Kachikau for Adopting the Special Unit.
We are now busy with the preparation for the 2016 Chistmas Party for the Vanurable kids of Chobe as well as the Physically and Mentally Disable kids of Kachikau Specil Unit which will be on the 2nd December 2016.
List Of What we have Done from December 2015 till to date.
Below are the photos of all the Outreach we have done this year.
Painting of the Kachikau Special Unit Hostels
Management and Staff busy painting the girls hostel.
Girls Hostel on its new look.
Mosquito nets and goody bags for the kids.
Kachikau Special Unit Kids Educational Tour to Caracal
Staff and Kids at Caracal During the educational tour.
Group Photo at CARACAL.
Demonstrations: kids with the snakes
Fork and Knife the skills that were taught by Chobe Bush Lodge waiters.
Busy enjoying their meal at Chobe Bush Lodge Restaurant.
Laura, Diane and Miriam during the tour.
The cake for the kids.
Donation of Wheel Chairs and Vegetables to the Special Unit
We did a boat cruise with snacks and refreshments for 72 of the children from Red Cross plus some of their minders and members of Red Cross (103 pax in total) - CSL sponsored our 2 big boats plus the food.
Many of the children who are all from Kasane/Kazungula had never been on the river before.
So much fun had by all.
Wheel chairs donated by the Rotary Club Members Nigel B. Bellamy and William Lee
Under One Botswana Sky Director Mr Duncan Britton and Mr William Lee fixing the wheelchair for Senase Maeba- Kachikau Special Unit
Mr Duncan Britton posing with Senase Maeba (grateful for the donated wheel Chair)
Michellin and colleagues posing for the photo
The boat cruise was held on the 31st of January 2014 for 25 of the Mentally and Physically disabled children from our CSLCFE Adopted school - Kachikau Primary Special Care Unit. The trip also hosted the 8 care givers, 1 teacher and about 10 others from Press, Chobe District Council and CSL employees.
We provided lunch and refreshements for all in attendance. Face painting was also enjoyed by the children.
The day was about the children having fun as well as our Chobe Safari Lodge employees having time to get to know the kiddies and show oodles of love.
Leanne Britton hosts beading workshop on Sat the 15th of March 2014 with 14 Orphans from Red Cross.
Chobe Safari Lodge wins Runner up at the 2014 SADC Gender Protocol Summit Awards in the Gender Based Violence Category and will represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Protocol Work Summit in RSA
Leanne Britton and Kubi Rama (Genderlinks Deputy Chief Executive Officer)
Chobe Fish Eagle a Botswana owned Company comprising of 6 Camps and Lodges operating in the Tourism Sector throughout Botswana; namely (Chobe Safari Lodge, Nata Lodge, Pom Pom Camp, Gunn’s Camp, Moremi Crossing and Chobe Bush Lodge). The group was represented by Mma Leanne Britton the company’s “Group Training and Development Manager” who started the involvement with the Kachikau Special Care Unit for the Mentally and Physically Disabled Children of the Chobe District in 2012, when the group was approached to assist in supplying donations for the School's - Special Olympics Event.
Chobe Fish Eagle through Chobe Safari Lodge then officially adopted the Kachikau Primary School Special Care Unit of the Chobe District in September 2013 in order to comply with Vision 2016.
Mma Britton said that the motivation for the company to become involved in such a worthwhile project was to support the 2016 Vision Pillars namely "A Compassionate, Just, Caring Nation" through adopting the 23 children, 1 teacher and 8 care givers of Kachikau Primary School Special Care Unit and through this show love, care and support of the school and its pupils.
The delivery of this was and is achieved through visiting the school to show its support to the children, teachers and care givers. Chobe Safari Lodge is able to show the children that its 187 employees, accept, care for and support them. The children’s confidence has grown so much just in knowing that they have friends from within the community. Chobe Fish Eagle has also committed to obtaining donations of time and equipment where possible to assist with any special needs of the children, teachers and care givers of the Special Care Unit. This initiative assists in bridging the gap between what the Governments is able to provide and the needs of the school through Corporate Social Responsibility. Further motivation to get involved with this initiative is to dispel the stigma attached to the Mentally and Physically Disabled Youth in our Chobe District.
It is a known fact that 1 out of 3 disabled children are soft targets of Gender Based Violence due to their limitations. The company believes that through its friendship and the involvement of its representatives it can be the children’s protectors, eyes and ears. This is done through exposing as many Chobe Safari Lodge/Chobe Fish Eagle Employees and Chobe Community Members to the school. Highlighting the facility and the excellent work that is being done there. The initiative is good practice as it brings awareness to the community, children's parents and teachers of Kachikau Primary School as well as the Chobe District.
As a result of being nominated as Runner Up in the Gender Based Violence Category at the SADC Gender Protocol Summit – spear headed by Gender Links, Bala, Women Affairs Department and the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Mma Britton will now be going to represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Gender Protocol Summit in South Africa being held from the 25th till the 29th of May 2014. Should Mma Britton win her category in the Gender Based Violence section then this valuable initiative would be adopted by the other SADC counties to be implemented in their districts in order to fight Gender Based Violence and promote the rights and needs of the Mentally and Physically Disabled Children of the SADC region.
Leanne Britton with the children and caregivers
Leanne Britton with some of the young ladies
Chobe Fish Eagle wins 2013 SADC Gender Protocol Summit Award in the Education and Economic Development Category and will now represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Protocol Work Summit in RSA.
Chobe Fish Eagle a Botswana owned company comprising of 5 Camps and Lodges namely (Chobe Safari Lodge, Nata Lodge, Pom Pom Camp, Gunn’s Camp and Moremi Crossing) represented by Leanne Britton the company’s “Group Training and Development Manager” started being involved with the Chobe District Youth Council’s out of school youth Industrial Attachment Programme in June 2006.
Leanne says that it has been her privilege to be involved in facilitating the 3 month Industrial Attachment programme. Her motivation has been that as a youngster her parents did not have the ability to send her to study further after she had completed her schooling. She said that she had, had to rely on character references that were written by her neighbor and hairdresser in order to apply for her first job. Her driving factor for being involved in such a project was not only that the youth would get experience in the Hospitality Industry but that they would obtain a reference letter and certificate of service, thereby allowing them to have a better chance of securing full time employment.
During the 6 year period their have been a total of 132 Chobe District Youth Council Trainees that have been through the 3 month Industrial Attachment Programme. To date 49 or 39.5% of those trainees have been employed within the Chobe Fish Eagle's, 5 Camps and Lodges.
The 3 month programme allows the trainees to be allocated to all departments of the lodge for a period of between 1 and 3 weeks. During this time the trainees are attached to full time employees and work side by side in a "on the job - practical" manner. This allows the trainees time to not only experience the work at hand but also the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the guests. This experience ultimately gives them a good overview of the Lodge and its operations but it also gives our Managers and Heads of Department an opportunity to get to know the trainees, thereby providing the company with potential employees to fill vacant positions.
The youngsters also form part of the Mongoose Research Team an initiative by the Chobe Biodiversity Center (Caracal) and Chobe Safari Lodge in which the youth observe and capture data on the movements of the mongoose and other wildlife on the Chobe Safari Lodge grounds adjacent to the Chobe National Park. The trainees also receive a certificate form Caracal for being a Research Assistant for the 3 month period.
This programme forms part of the Chobe Fish Eagles community development goals. Leanne says "It displays our company's commitment towards developing and improving the lives of both youngsters and women from within our community". In essence this programme assist in alleviating poverty, the reduction of a high unemployment rate, assists in keeping the youth away from immoral practices such as crime and sex work, as well as helping to motivate in the fight against HIV and Aids. Having basic skills attained on the 3 month attachment programme enables many of the young men and women to secure full time employment and in so doing allows them to financially and emotionally assist their families.
Chobe Fish Eagle not only provides Hospitality Industrial Attachment opportunities for BNYC youth but also that of students from various BOTA registered Technical Colleges and Institutions from within Botswana and has assisted with a total of 282 trainees since 2006.
Leanne says that it makes her proud and her heart very happy when she comes across some of her previous Youth Council Trainees doing well in various establishments such as Air Botswana, Botswana Police, Chobe District Council and variouse other company's. Leanne believes that if Chobe Fish Eagle can be involved in such a successful initiative then she would like to encourage other companies within Botswana to also facilitate such a programme, then we are certain to continually improve the livelihood of all. In essence such an initiative works hand in hand with the 7 pillars of the Nations vision 2016 of improving the people of this county’s future in every way possible.
As a result of winning the SADC Gender Protocol - Education and Economic Development category spear headed by Gender Links, bala, Women Affairs Department and the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs Leanne will now be going to represent Botswana at the Regional SADC Gender Protocol Summit in South Africa from the 22nd till the 25th of April 2013. Should Leanne win her category in the Education and Economic Development section then this valuable initiative would be adopted by the other SADC counties to be implement in their districts in order to fight Gender Based Violence and promote the Empowerment of women.
Officers of the Departments of Information and Broadcasting Services in Kasane have been commended for raising funds and donating a wide range of goods and educational material to the Kachikau special education unit on October 25.
The Assistant Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri commended the team for restoring dignity to children living with disabilities by taking care of their needs and viewing them as individuals who also had a role to play in the society "By so doing, you are helping us push the mandate of the disability unit at the Office of the President by caring for the welfare of children with disabilities," he said.
The deputy permanent secretary (DPS) in the ministry, Mr Mogomotsi Kaboyamodimo also applauded the team for using money from their own pockets to make such a significant difference in the lives of these children.
He said this demonstrated that employees of the two departments were not all about office work, but they also cared about the welfare of the Chobe community.
The two departments donated two hand sewing machines, one electric sewing machine, a 4-in-1 printer, a laminating machine, two DSTV decoders, two magic tables, ten wood smart shapes, electric irons and teddy bears among other items.
Through fundraising initiatives such as a beauty contest, boat cruise, backyard garden and pledges from the team members, the team managed to raise enough funds to purchase some of the items that the school management had listed as priority items.
The special education unit is the only one in Chobe where children with different forms of disabilities are brought in to be taught in a specialised environment. Head of department, Ms Meginah Bridge said a total of 23 students are registered with the unit, 14 boys and nine girls.
She said one of the challenges that they are facing was that there is only one teacher for all these 23 students despite the fact that they have various forms of disabilities. And there is also one classroom and the unit also has eight caretakers, one of them being male a person.
"This ratio is not good because boys need male caretakers so that they are not stripped of their privacy by having to be under the care of female caretakers." She said.
Although the school is paved, Ms Bridge explained that the pavement only covers a small section of the school, so it limits the movement of those who are wheelchair bound.
Additionally, there is no dining hall for the students and no proper chairs and tables for the students with special needs. Coupled with shortage of educational materials specific to the students’ needs and lack of transport, the unit has had a lot of challenges to deal with.
The caretakers are not fairing any better either, as they work in shifts but, have no shift allowance and could do with proper training on handling children with disabilities. These and many more are some of the challenges that face the unit, Ms Bridge said. She expressed her gratitude towards the efforts of the two departments.
As a result of this project by the two departments, other organisations such as Chobe Safari Lodge and Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) stepped in to make their own donations. Chobe Safari Lodge donated towels, sheets, pillows, special educational materials, school bags, TV stands, DVD players among others, while BRCS donated mosquito nets.
Additionally, Chobe Safari Lodge also announced that they have decided to adopt the Kachikau special education unit through the Adopt-a-school initiative. Several companies and individuals also played a part in previous fundraising activities such as Chobe Marina Lodge, African Odyssey, Kasane Spar, Water Lily Lodge, Tshenyo's farm and Chobe Farms among others.
Chobe Safari Lodge recently donated an assortment of utensils to the special unit of Kachikau Primary school.
They included hygienic material, clothing items, footballs and other necessities. The lodge has adopted the unit as part of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development's "adopt-a-school" initiative in 2012.
Receiving the gifts on behalf of the Chobe District Council, council secretary, Ms Rachel Jeremia said what Chobe Safari Lodge was doing was in line with the government’s vision of showing compassion and empowering people with disabilities.
She explained that the special care unit was run by the Ministry of Education and Skills Development and the Chobe council with the help of Chobe Safari Lodge which had partnered in adopting the unit.
She thanked the lodge for coming on board and playing a role in the welfare of these children, who have special needs. “The lodge always ensures that these kids have all they need to feel comfortable. She added that they fail to meet every need that the kids have and as such rely on such partners to meet them halfway.
One of the challenges, she said is that there is only one special needs teacher and the caretakers are not professionally trained for the job. “Because there is only one teacher, we are unable to classify these kids according to their needs, so we only have one class,” she said.
Presenting the gifts to the children, group training and development manager for Chobe Safari lodge, Ms Leanne Britton said that she is not a woman of many words, but wanted to be known by her works and action.
One of the students, Boitumelo Samunzala expressed her joy at the goodies from Chobe Safari. She said that the lodge cares about their welfare and hygiene as 'ma-special unit.'
The students' teacher, Mr Sidney Mandigo said that their relationship with the lodge dates back to 2012 when they sponsored them for the Special Olympics, which helped spread awareness about children with disabilities. Ends