CCFA supporting eco tourism by providing Mantis staff with food parcels during Covid 19

CCFA supporting eco tourism by providing Mantis staff with food parcels during Covid 19

CCFA supporting eco tourism by providing Mantis staff with food parcels during Covid 19

The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA), and Accor’s ALL Heartist Fund, have assisted more than 500 of the Mantis Collection’s team members and their families with food hampers during the COVID-19 lockdown.  The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on people working in the hospitality and eco tourism industry, as well as the communities they support.

International hospitality group, Accor, took proactive measures to protect and support team members and partners during this global pandemic, including the creation of the ALL Heartist Fund, a R1.3 billion COVID-19 special purpose fund.  An application to the ‘ALL Heartiest Fund’ was made to provide emergency food relief during lockdown and to support around 500 team members. This includes families working on Mantis properties in the Eastern Cape.

“Our thanks go to our partners, Accor and the ALL Heartist Fund, which have enabled us to support our teams and local communities during these difficult times.”  Through supporting communities, CCFA hopes to eradicate, or minimise, the circumstances that could lead to hunger and possible poaching of wildlife.

Middle East and Africa Accor CEO, Mark Willis, said, “We are very pleased to be able to support our Mantis team members and their surrounding community through the funds allocated by the ALL Heartist Fund, with the assistance of the CCFA. It really is a prime example of why Accor launched the fund, in order to support its team members and partners in need.”

Expressing her gratitude, executive director of CCFA, Di Luden, said, “The need is great. Without the generosity of Accor and the ALL Heartist Fund and other funders, we would not be able to assist the most vulnerable. We are truly grateful that in some small way we have made a difference in the lives of the families around, who are a vital part of the Mantis team.

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World Youth Skills Day 2020

World Youth Skills Day 2020

Youth and the Responsibility of 21st Century ‘Elders’

Parents across the world are in angst over the disruption in education programmes during the COVID 19 pandemic. While a number of online resources are available to the more privileged scholars who have access to computers and internet connections, the greater population of youth find themselves trailing behind in their educational development.

Many schools have reopened and yet the threat of having to close again looms with the rapid and increased spread of the virus. Parents, older siblings and even grandparents have had to step up and support the younger generationals among them in attempts to maintain a base level learning curriculum, while the gap widens between a stable, structured education and one derailed by both time lost, and a reduction in access to resources. In light of this situation, the most valuable way the older generation; young adults, parents and professionals, can support youth is by sharing their knowledge, and teaching outside of the classroom. This seems to be the time for both millenials and baby boomers to step up and support the youth in their communities. Either by suggesting and encouraging smaller, COVID 19 safe study groups between learners or offering to host small skills development workshops.

CCFA believes that skills development is essential to individual growth in terms of self confidence, independence and a positive contribution to society. Through understanding the ripple effect of the positive impact that one individual’s actions can have on a community, society and even the environment, mountains of motivation and desire to invest in people from a young age are formed. Earlier this year, CCFA sponsored 20 youth to complete their Siyazenzela Life and Employability Skills programme through their partner, Wilderness Foundation Africa, because we understand the positive impact that the trainee youths will have on conserving wildlife and wilderness areas in the future, once equipped with both the knowledge and skills to implement change. The top three students from the course were also afforded the opportunity, through CCFA,  to complete the Ulovane Field Guide Training just before lockdown and are now qualified field guides. While the graduates haven’t been able to put their skills to use out in the field over the past few months, we believe that the experiences and knowledge  gained through the course has equipped them to safely and productively navigate their way through the current threats posed by the pandemic.

Anthony Vaaltyn, one of the newly qualified guides remains motivated to continue with his career out in the field, once the game parks have reopened again. He says he has gained more confidence and his desire to work at the best game reserves or parks in South Africa has only strengthened. Anthony feels that now more than ever, he can make a difference through this purposeful work. Both Anthony and fellow scholar Simamkele Majali, have expressed their wishes to help less fortunate youths in their communities, especially women, who they feel should be presented with more opportunities to work as field guides, as there are currently very few women in these roles.

Siyazenzela Life Skills Programme tutor, Ntobeko Ngcala, also feels that the course has equipped the students to better manage the effects of COVID 19 on their personal lives, within their communities and environments. Ntobeko says he’s grateful for the opportunity to “bridge humanity and nature, both for personal growth and ecological restoration purposes.” The course takes students on hiking trails where they come face to face with both the wilderness and one’s own inner nature; relearning self identity, thus developing good relationship building skills and work ethic.

We’d like to propose that as ‘elders’ and professional leaders in our communities, we begin to investigate creative alternative avenues for youth upliftment, growth and skills development, especially while the traditional education systems are being placed under restrictions and stress. Together, may we raise awareness around the need to support future generations and thus the way in which they positively influence society and the preservation of our wildlife and natural resources.

Mandela Day comes early for battling Livingstone Hospital

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Mandela Day came early for Livingstone Hospital staff when they received 500 masks from a “buy one, donate one” mask project run by the Community Conservation Fund Africa.

Community Conservation Fund Africa executive director Di Luden said the organisation had decided to bring its Mandela Day initiative forward in light of the dire and immediate need for masks at the facility.

“It was the most humbling experience to visit the hospital and interact with the staff, who are exhausted,” Luden said.  “Though coping with the increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections, they [health workers] remain cheerful, upbeat, optimistic and we’re truly grateful for the donation.”

 

 

The outer layer of the donated masks is100% cotton, the middle layer is made of Spunbond interfacing which inhibits the transfer of small particles but does not inhibit breathing, while the inner layer is made of polyester.

The donation was arranged through Dr Emma Gardiner and Tania Muthen.

Staff at the handover said the masks would be given to the clinical support services, with the remainder to be used by emergency department personnel and for patients arriving at the hospital without masks.

“The masks are handmade by women in a job creation project, for women who normally sew animal mascots for tourists,” Luden said.  “The lack of tourism and the increase in demand for masks made them adapt their business model to sew masks not only to generate a much-needed income, but they also wanted to assist in trying to contain the spread of Covid-19.

“The masks are available to the general public and for each pack purchased, one will be donated to a local hospital in need.”  The masks are available in four sizes: men’s, ladies, teenagers (age seven to 12), in either a Shweshwe or washed denim look.

Luden said: “We are appealing to everyone to support this initiative, it will not only protect yourself and the people you interact with, but will ensure the survival for a small group of women and their dependents in Kylemore.”

Luden said the initiative would also help provide a much-needed supply of masks for hospitals in the Eastern Cape.

Click below link to read feature

https://www.heraldlive.co.za/news/2020-07-02-mandela-day-comes-early-for-battling-livingstone-hospital/

Food hampers for tourism employees in Zambezi

Food hampers for tourism employees in Zambezi

Food hampers for tourism employees in Zambezi

The Community Conservation Fund Africa (CCFA) and Accor’s ALL Heartist Fund have assisted 225 of the Mantis Collection’s team members and their families working in the Zambezi region, by providing food hampers to them.

The CCFA has had its hands full while tourism is on hold due to the Coronavirus, helping communities who rely on tourists for survival. An application to the ALL Heartiest Fund to help support team members in and around The Zambezi Queen Collection by Mantis (ZQC), which includes the Zambezi Queen, Ichingo Chobe River Lodge and the Chobe Princesses, was made. The fund application included helping families who live in the surrounding villages of Impalila, Kaskika and Kabulabula.

These team members are reliant on the income received from the ZQC in the form of salaries or community leases. The temporary closure of the ZQC in March this year resulted in payment of leases being stopped and the loss of the tourism income stream.

CCFA took the initiative with this donation to pack and deliver food hampers to the 225 team members. The hampers were put together in consultation with a professional dietician and are designed to feed a family of four for a month.

“Due to the loss of income from our business being closed, together with logistical problems of access to the nearest town by water being 98km away, it became essential that we deliver food to these communities,” says Adrian Gardiner, chair of CCFA. “Our thanks go to our partners, Accor and the ALL Heartist Fund, which has enabled us to support our teams and local communities.”

“The need is great,” says Di Luden, executive director of CCFA. “Without the generosity of the Accor and the ALL Heartist Fund as well as other funders, we would not be able to assist the most vulnerable. We are truly grateful that in some small way we have made a difference in the lives of the 225 families who are a vital part of the Mantis Zambezi Queen Collection team.”

Click below link to read feature

https://www.we.com.na/news/food-hampers-for-tourism-employees-in-zambezi2020-06-29