Safari Destinations – Building a good neighbourhood

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Safari Destinations, It Takes A Village
It takes a village to raise a child and weather the storms of life. If we want that kind of support, the place to begin is with ourselves. You start building a good neighborhood when you yourself decide that you will be a good neighbour.

As a Destination Management Company, Safari Destinations in Maun are known for our passion, creativity and professionalism when it comes to promoting Botswana. What is less known is that we apply these same talents to our Social Responsibility. In this edition we thought we’d share this side of our organisation with you.

Safari Destinations has a long history of assisting our community. This year however we decided to increase our efforts in celebration of our 10 years in business, which coincides with the 50th year of Independence of our Country.

After meeting with and soliciting input from our staff members, our Social Responsibility Campaign 10FOR50, was launched in June this year. The 10FOR50 campaign will see us donate 500 hours to community service, along with Ten substantial financial and material donations to deserving charitable causes.

We kicked off with a Winter Clothing drive, soliciting donations of warm clothing and blankets from the community for distribution to the less fortunate. The response was overwhelming and we managed to ensure that winter was indeed warmer for many of Maun’s underprivileged citizens.

We still felt we could do more to alleviate the cold of winter however, and after receiving a generous donation of jerseys and blankets from Bush Ways, we made up bundles and invited staff members to take them home to distribute in random acts of kindness. We received some wonderful, heart-warming stories, and it was great to see the kindness and thought that our staff members put into delivering their gifts.

Next up was a refurbishment for local NGO, Woman against Rape (WAR). The ladies from WAR had long lamented their depressing and uninviting reception area. A date was marked, SD volunteers gathered and, armed with paint brushes, paint, furnishings and a sense of humour, we transformed their reception over the course of a weekend!

Then came the big one. A Community Bus! A common thread out of our recently held consultations with NGO’s  stakeholders, was the lack of reliable scheduled, free transport in Maun. Our bus is going to fill that void by solving the transportation challenges faced by Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC’s) and the Elderly.  Jointly managed by Safari Destinations and Travel For Impact the bus will perform scheduled morning runs delivering nutritious meals daily to Elderly Members of our community, as well as providing them with transport to collect pensions, medical necessities etc. In the afternoons the bus will collect orphans and vulnerable children from their schools and transport them to Bana Ba Letsatsi, a rehabilitation centre that offers a place of safety, and then back to their homes in the evenings.

We have no intention of slowing down after our countrys’ celebration of Independence on the 30th of September either! Amongst other events, we’ll be assisting Maun Animal Welfare (MAWS) with volunteer work at their annual Halloween fundraiser in October, hosting a Fun Day for the Bana Ba Letsatsi Kids in November and hosting our annual Christmas party for the elderly in December.

In addition to our increased Social Responsibility Initiatives this year, we will continue with our partnership with Travel for Impact (TFI). TFI is a non profit organisation that believes in changing lives through travel. They provide a crucial link between donors and beneficiaries and assess NGO’s at various levels, including their effectiveness and financial integrity.
The organisation is funded by a 1 US$ levy on bed night bookings per night booked which is paid to TFI. TFI uses these funds to support core functions in NGO’s ensuring their continued sustainability. We have also recently introduced a bed night bank whereby suppliers donate bed nights for us to sell on. The proceeds of the sale of these bed nights go to TFI for disbursal.

As an organisation we couldn’t have done any of this work without the continued support of our suppliers, agents (many of whom contribute over and above the TFI levy), travellers and dedicated staff. We thank one and all for the continued support we have received over the past ten years and look forward to the next decade!

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