Without access to technology, the teachers and learners of many schools in rural areas are at a significant disadvantage compared to their urban counterparts.
In 2015, Singita Lowveld Trust, our conservation partner in South Africa, made a commitment to bring the benefits of digital learning to the communities near Singita Sabi Sand. We first partnered with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Mpumalanga Department of Education in a teaching and technology project that equipped all 19 primary schools in the Ximhungwe district with satellites, connectivity and a number of laptops, tablets and projectors. Over 300 educators completed educational technology and literacy courses via an e-learning platform and received facilitator-led Microsoft training. In 2018 the technology and teaching initiative was fully integrated into the Mpumalanga Department of Education’s programming.
This allowed us to focus on learners through a partnership with internationally recognised NGO, the Good Work Foundation (GWF). GWF’s model delivers digital-era literacy education and career training via community-driven digital learning centres of excellence, of which there are currently five around the Sabi Sand area. Singita Lowveld Trust made a three year commitment to GWF as primary sponsor of the Justicia Digital Learning Campus (JDLC), located in the village closest to Singita Sabi Sand.
Singita Lowveld Trust
In South Africa, the Singita Lowveld Trust manages a wide range of conservation projects in Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park – from anti-poaching initiatives to wildlife research & land management, sustainability efforts and community developments projects such as early childhood development, digital learning and a world-class culinary school.
A highly skilled team of tracking dogs and handlers enhance anti-poaching efforts in the Sabi Sand Reserve, while the Trust’s partnership with the global conservation NGO Panthera has shown that the area is home to the largest density of leopards of any protected area surveyed in South Africa. The Panthera’s Furs for Life project – of which Singita is a partner – has reduced the demand for leopard skins with 50%, and Singita is also a strategic founding partner of the Lionscape Coalition, supporting the Lion Recovery Fund’s goal to double wild lion numbers by 2050.