Through Pack for a Purpose, intrepid guests that visit the Okavango Delta, Central Kalahari and remote Kwando Private Reserve can make a measurable impact in the Botswana communities that live closest to the wilderness.
Kwando Safaris is the lead sponsor of the grassroots initiative Mummy’s Angels, and the organisation has gone from strength to strength since its humble beginning in April 2018 thanks to guests and Pack for A Purpose.
Spearheaded by three ladies living in the safari hub of Maun and blessed with growing children, the founders sat with unused second-hand clothes and other baby items in great condition. They wanted to donate these pre-loved goodies somewhere it could make a difference.
Staff at the Letsholathebe Hospital receiving bags on behalf of the recipients (pictures of the actual recipients are not featured to protect their identity).
So, they put the word out and soon located a deserving home. Discussions with nurses from clinics and local hospitals revealed that first-time mothers often arrived to give birth in Maun but could not afford the essentials to grant their babies a fighting start.
Mummy’s Angels was born! The team cleverly devised baby bags that were ready to go at a moment’s notice. Each pack was stocked with necessities, such as nappies, wipes, clothes, plus pyjamas or slippers for the mothers.
Women come from as far as Ghanzi, Gumare and Rakops to give birth using the enhanced facilities in Maun. Often they have very little with them, or the moms are very young without work or funds to support a family. Items as simple as soft pyjamas or cosy slippers are treasured by these moms.
Mummy’s Angels has been approved and welcomed on a local level with great reception from government clinics and the Maun hospital so the delivery of goods lands with women identified by the nurses on duty. The Mummy’s Angels telephone number is displayed proudly at the front desk of the Ngami District Health Management Team.
Sadly, the team has also noticed an alarming rise in teen pregnancies and works closely with social workers and police cases where necessary.
Kwando Safaris invites guests to bring specific items in their travel bags when they come out to Botswana on safari. For every item donated, Kwando Safaris then matches the donation with a similar item, doubling the impact of each contribution.
New or gently-used newborn clothing items, clothes, bags and other baby essentials such as baby soap, bum cream, nappies, nappy bags, sanitary napkins, disinfectant, talcum powder, vaseline, and wet wipes are all gratefully received and used to prepare a baby bag.
Thanks to generous guest donations, Mummy’s Angels can go the extra mile to empower mothers with newborns in Maun lacking financial or family support. The project has helped guarantee the delivery of 180 bags to date and assisted almost 200 newborns with nurturing basics. In 2021, Mummy’s Angels still delivered 43 bags to women, thus helping 46 babies during the pandemic when guest numbers slowed down considerably.
Mummy’s Angels sorting the donations received
Further donations of adult clothes and items for older children has furthermore allowed Mummy’s Angels to extend their scope of charity. The organisation keeps up strong communications with other welfare groups in Maun, such as Shelter Botswana, Bana Ba Letstatsi, Women Against Rape, Lerato House and Feed A Child Botswana. In this way, Mummy’s Angels have supported five families with food and clothing and offered assistance when it is identified by the community.
The idea is to grow even more. Mummy’s Angels aims to assist ladies and their little ones beyond the first week in the hospital and nurture a partnership. The greater goal is to provide the means for an easy six-week checkup and facilitate vaccines for the babies too.