Singita Sabi Sand has been committed to strengthening local communities and empowering the individuals within them, since the inception of Ebony Lodge in 1993. Its Community Development programmes are largely associated with education but also provide support for small business development, encouraging environmental awareness and facilitating the supply of drinking water to community members.
At the forefront of its support for education is Singita’s focused attention on enhancing the quality of education provided by local pre-schools. Its Growing to Read programme ensures that 10 pre-schools in local villages are provided with professional training and guidance by a dedicated trainer from The READ Educational Trust, a long-standing, non-profit organisation and recognized child development leader.
The teachers from these pre-schools learn the most efficient and effective ways of developing the cognitive, physical and social skills of the young children in their care. Carefully chosen educational toys and books are also supplied to the pre-schools, along with stationary “tool-kits”. Teachers are thereby further enabled to implement the modern and effective methodologies that are shared with them.
On an annual basis, Teach with Africa, a USA-based organisation, sends a team of experienced teachers to work closely with these schools, in support of the overall Growing to Read programme. During the 5 weeks with the schools, they leverage the effectiveness of the broader programme. Singita’s goal is to continue to provide such support to the existing cluster of pre-schools and to also broaden the programme to included other pre-schools in surrounding local villages.
Singita has been integrally involved with the Tshemba Hosi Care Centre since its early days when the centre’s 50 handicapped children were housed in a run-down church hall. Since then we have worked with them to build their new centre and continue to maintain a close relationship of support and collaboration, responding to specific needs as and when they arise. Singita’s ongoing support for this incredible organisation includes assistance with the property and maintenance as well as improvements to the centre. Tshemba Hosi now provides special care and basic education to 100 mentally and physically handicapped children from the local community.
One key aspect of ecotourism evident throughout the lodges – and a result of the company’s community development efforts – is the market it provides for agricultural produce such as honey, eggs, meat and vegetables produced and grown by members of the local community.
During their stay at Singita, guests are able to participate in visits to Shangaan-speaking communities which live in local villages on the outskirts of the reserve. Guests are able to gain insights into the history and culture of local people, their development challenges and their responses to these.
By visiting Singita Sabi Sand, guests help guarantee the protection of this reserve and, directly and indirectly, the well being of local communities.
The teaching and facilities in the local pre-primary and primary schools benefit greatly from support and enhancement, and any contributions will be put to sound use. The cost of this special Growing to Read programme is R250,000 ($28,000) per annum, which translates into R25,000 ($3,000) per school per year. Funding partners to this programme can either make a general contribution to the programme as a whole or can fund the participation of a particular school. Should funds contributed be more than this amount, the extra funds will be used to purchase additional educational materials, which are highly valued by the pre-schools.
If you are however interested in contributing to any of the other programmes listed above, your funds will be put to excellent use as agreed in consultation with you.
For more information about becoming a funding partner to the Singita Community Development Trust, please contact the Community Development Officer at Singita Sabi Sand or the Singita Group HR and Community Development Manager, Pam Richardson, at 27 21 683 3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.