Eighty kilometres of gruelling single track cycling every day across dusty, rugged terrain through South Africa, Zimbabwe and Botswana, clocking up 300 kilometres over 4 days – we asked General Manager of Singita Sabi Sand what compels him to undergo this test of endurance year after year.
Actually there are a few good reasons why Jason Trollip keeps coming back for more. Amongst them are the incredible scenery, great wildlife and caring community spirit created by this event. However Jason tells us that the overriding goal is to raise funds for Children in the Wilderness and that’s really what tugs at his heart strings.
Children in the Wilderness is a non-profit environmental and life skills educational programme. Their vision is something that Singita can relate to and stand behind.
Jason – “The sense of achievement at the end of 4 days is incredible and experiencing 300 kilometres of some of the best areas that Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa have to offer is just sensational.
You have to at all times remember that the whole event is to raise money for environmental awareness – it’s a great cause, and knowing we are helping young people and conservation by having so much fun, made it a perfect 5 days away!”
Jason Trollip, General Manager, Singita Sabi Sand. Jason is now in his 9th year at Singita, beginning at Singita Kruger National Park and then most recently managing Singita Sabi Sand properties. No stranger to the Lowveld area, Jason grew up here, and prior to his management roles he was a field guide for 7 years – that totals 15 years in the bush. With a keen interest in birding, we look forward to seeing some of his sightings captured on camera.
All over South Africa yesterday there was a buzz in the air – all because of an extremely special occasion: Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday.
In case you didn’t know this, but as a result of the success of the birthday celebrations in London, June 2008, to commemorate Nelson Mandela and his life work, it was set in motion thereafter to acknowledge Mr. Mandela’s birthday each year as “Mandela Day“. What a perfect way to ensure that his legacy endures for a very long time.
The Mandela Day campaign message is simple: “Mr Mandela gave 67 years of his life fighting for the rights of humanity. All we are asking is that everyone gives 67 minutes of their time, whether it’s supporting your chosen charity or serving your local community”.
In a tucked away corner of the Kruger National Park, a group of people decided to take this challenge very seriously – our amazing Singita staff at Singita Lebombo and Sweni Lodges. They came up with some innovative and creative ways for everyone to particpate in order to raise funds to make a difference. Some signed up to shuffle for 6.7 minutes; delicious cupcakes were auctioned off; some chose to cycle 67 kilometres while others opted for running 6.7 kilometres – and even one staff member signed up to hug or kiss 67 girls! All proceeds are planned to support local primary schools in the area. What a day and a great amount of fun had by all – all for an oustanding cause.
If you have been following the updates on the Singita School of Cooking, located at our Staff Village in Singita Kruger National Park, then you will definitely enjoy watching our newest video clip. The clip details the background of the school; some of the success stories; and dreams of what we hope will be coming next. Listen to Oriel Mbowane, previous Sous Chef from Singita Sweni and now Skills Chef Trainer at the School of Cooking, talk about his own inspiring history and dreams for his students in the future.
For more information about Singita School of Cooking, take a look at our website and furthermore a previous blog article about this life-changing community project that has touched our hearts.
Recently Wynand Reiman, Singita Lebombo’s Senior Sous Chef (and Regional Chaine de Rotisseurs, Young Chef of the Year 2010 winner) carried out a teaching session on ‘how to make stocks and sauces’ with the Singita School of Cooking students. The students thoroughly enjoyed Wynand sharing his skill, knowledge and expertise with them.
Enthusiastically taking notes during the session.
Eight students were enrolled in the new cooking course that began on the 15th September 2010. This is an 18 month long program which prepares students selected from the local community, for a career as a professional chef.
If you would like to consider sponsoring a full scholarship, or be a co-sponsor please email the General Manager of Singita Kruger National Park at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read more about the ambitious efforts of the Singita School of Cooking, please click here.
The Singita School of Cooking is located on site at the Staff Village that serves Singita Kruger National Park (Lebombo and Sweni Lodges). It was established with the aim of encouraging the development of culinary skills amongst local youth from our neighbouring communities. Each year, 8 to10 students are selected – based upon clear criteria including showing a real interest in cooking – to participate in an 18 month long training programme.
It was an incredible undertaking initiated by Kurt Abrahams a Senior Sous Chef at Singita Sweni and Jason Trollip the former General Manager of Singita Kruger National Park. Jason and Kurt took up the challenge of taking on young members of the local community who had little or no understanding of what being a chef is all about and training them to the level where they could find employment as skilled trainee chefs at the end of the year long course. Kurt embraced the project wholeheartedly and became the Head of the school sharing his knowledge, exceptional culinary skills and passion for training people. The programme was practical, with the perfect facilities already in existence at the staff village. The first group of students graduated successfully from The Singita School of Cooking (SSC) at the end of 2007.
Year to date the graduating students have all been employed either at a Singita property or by other organisations.
Since opening the SSC has continued to produce well educated, employable trainee chefs and with its reputation now well established we took a decision in 2010 to extend the course to 18 months. The objective now being to take the students to the next level and equip them with Comis Chef level skills, thereby giving them greater earning capability post graduation.
Oriel Mbowane was promoted from Sous Chef Sweni in September to Skills Chef Trainer for the school of cooking. The new course started on 15th September 2010
If you would like more information about sponsoring a Singita School of Cooking student please refer to our Giving Back section on our website.