Desert & Delta Social Responsibility
One of the core philosophies of Desert and Delta Safaris is, to quote Johnathan Gibson the Group CEO, ’While we have large financial investments in property, buildings and equipment, vehicles, boats, engines and aircraft, by far our largest asset is our people’.
Desert and Delta Safaris as a company embraces, not through lip service but through the actions of its people, the fundamentals of sustainable Eco-tourism.
In 2014, in consultation with our communities, Desert and Delta Safaris identified issues of need and decided to focus on key areas with regards our social support: children, the disabled, employment, and health care.
Children: Desert and Delta Safaris believes that children are the future custodians of conservation. Desert and Delta Safaris supports disadvantaged children in two schools by providing the essentials. Tsodilo Junior Secondary School is a government based school situated in Maun. The school takes in 1346 children all ranging from form 1 to form 3. There are 30 classes per form, which accommodate approximately 40-50 children per class. Desert and Delta Safaris supports the guidance and counselling units of the school through donating of uniforms and stationary to 10 disadvantaged children. Desert and Delta Safaris also sponsor the top 10 achievers to a motivational trip to one of the camps. The number of children supported by Desert and Delta Safaris is set to increase to 15. Without Desert and Delta Safaris these children would not have school books or stationary. As an end of the year celebration the sponsored children are taken on a ‘bush experience’, exposing children to the joys of ‘the bush’ and to potential careers.
The Disabled: Desert and Delta Safaris is extending its commitment to supporting those with disabilities beyond its own doors. Desert and Delta Safaris supplies equipment and food to ensure the wellbeing of 30 children at Tshidilo Stimulation Centre. This Centre rehabilitates children who suffer from disabilities, to confidently access main stream education. In addition to the 30 children that attend for the day, there are 15 out-patients that attend the centre for the physiotherapy sessions. Desert and Delta Safaris has sponsored equipment, both in class rooms and in physiotherapy equipment, and also supports the feeding of these children. Disability, until recently, a ‘hidden’ social issue, is becoming more recognized and as such the demands on this centre are increasing all the time. This critical centre caters for 30 children from the Maun community.
Livelihoods: Desert and Delta Safaris are engaged and assist in this is a wonderful initiative that prompts behaviour change amongst the population. Introducing this program into Shorobe has seen the community committing to build 20 additional ablution blocks. Funds are not given to the community for the building of the latrines but rather the community are mobilised to fund the resources to establish these latrines themselves. This ensures the community’s commitment to the maintenance and upkeep of the latrines. Desert and Delta Safaris sponsors the mobilisation of the community, to enhance this public health initiative.
Shorobe Baskets is a multipurpose co-operative which is based on craft production and provides a sales outlet for 41 members. Each member has approximately 5 dependents resulting in over 200 people being supported through this initiative. The co-op is known for the upholding of the traditional art of basket weaving using sustainably harvested palm leaves. Through Desert and Delta Safaris contribution, Shorobe Baskets can now effectively market their products to travellers on their way to and from the Moremi Game Reserve.
Employment: Desert and Delta Safaris is conscious of the need to develop the human potential of the country’s citizens and a particular effort has been made to enhance skills within the company through an active and very successful skills development programme that has produced numerous leaders from the local community who are now employed in management positions throughout the company. With over 400 citizen staff the company has over time impacted on the Botswana tourism industry as a trusted, responsible and quality driven lodge operator.
Desert and Delta Safaris, as a fully-fledged Botswana based company, is the industry leader in ensuring investment in citizen Managers which is a reality rather than just something to talk about.
Desert and Delta Safaris, through our Leroo La Tau property, have developed a very special relationship with our neighbouring community, Khumaga Village. In a way it is a symbiotic relationship in that Khumaga Village provides 85% of the employment needs for Leroo La Tau and at the same time Leroo La Tau supports the community in areas where community needs are identified.
To date Leroo La Tau has supported over 500 people within the community including:
The entire primary school student population including the newly introduced reception class have been supplied with required stationary. In addition, sponsorship of uniforms for those in need as well as stationary and the essential revision books for Standard 7’s primary school leaving exams.
Together with the school parents and teachers, Desert and Delta Safaris have built two cultural houses which allow the school to ensure the culture and heritage of Batswana is passed on to future generations. These also allow guests from Leroo La Tau to enter into a world which is often closed to travellers. In addition, the company has acquired uniforms for the cultural traditional dance groups which perform for guests at Leroo La Tau, from time to time
Desert and Delta Safaris has also been able to support the community with some basic needs such as a bus shelter, building of a house for one of the destitute residents of the community and 3 arbitration shelters for the assistant chiefs.