In 1998, Singita Sabi Sand launched its formal community development programme, with the aim of delivering tangible benefits to their corner of the country. Funds contributed by Singita and its guests, as well as those generated by community visits (and the sale of selected items in the Boutique and Gallery), are placed in a trust fund and used to support various programmes.
A committee manages the outreach programme, bringing together local knowledge, management skills and a passion for making a difference, particularly among young children. Singita works in co-operation with other sponsors, government and non-profit agencies to ensure development needs are met in a co-ordinated manner. These programmes focus mostly on education, but also on building environmental awareness among local youth as well as the development of small enterprises.
A number of schools in the area, many of which educate the children of Singita’s staff, are inadequately funded. Singita has been involved in a range of projects, including the purchasing of stationery, text books and computers.
A development programme – called Growing to READ – is underway in collaboration with the Education Department at 10 local pre-schools. The objective is to ensure that young children are well prepared for formal schooling. The programme is implemented by the READ Educational Trust, a well-respected non-profit organisation, and involves the training of teachers and parents, as well as the provision of educational resources and stationery.