Gudikwe School Initiative. At present the community projects supported by the Selinda Reserve are concentrated in the five villages to the west of the reserve, Gudikwa, Beetsha, Eretsha, Gonutsuga, and Seronga.
We also support projects in the area around our head office, which is based in Kazungula, near Kasane. We have started with a number of smaller initiatives at Gudikwe.
Kea Supang, a previous manager at Motswiri camp, runs the community projects. Kea has been with the company for sixteen years and was an ideal candidate for community project officer.
One initiative is to go to the schools and give copies of the Emmy Award-winning wildlife documentaries made by Great Plains Conservation’s founders and directors Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s that have been translated into Setswana. Kea delivers the DVDs and sits with the school children during the viewing to answer any questions that they may have about wildlife.
General School Supplies:
Chalk, Colored Pencils, Crayons, Dry-Erase Markers, Pencils, Pens, Rulers, and Solar Calculators
(English) Age Appropriate Story Books
Nets (Netball/Basketball and Soccer), Soccer Balls, and Team Uniforms/Knits for Soccer
Socks (all Sizes)
Gudikwe Artist Initiative. Kea has also been teaching the members of the community to produce goods that we can use in the camps and sell in the curio shops. This initiative has really been popular and we have seen some very creative members of the community produce quality products.
Some examples of these are recycled paper made with elephant dung, food nets with beading, artwork, jewelry from beads, and also baskets. We have built a shelter at Gudikwe where the members of the community can offer their goods to passing trade and Kea has been speaking to other lodges in the area to sell products from their curio shops as well. All profits go directly to the artists.
Art Supplies for Artist Initiatives and Community Produced Projects:
Beads for Bead Work, Crochet Hooks, Knitting Needles, and Wool
Candy and balloons are not on the needs list as they are harmful for the children and the environment for the following reasons:
• Few of the children benefiting from these projects have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes, or a dentist. The candy promotes cavities.
• The balloons once they become deflated are a choking hazard for local wildlife.
Instead of taking candy or balloons, use that space for additional requested supplies, as they are priceless.