Wilderness Safaris states “we believe in creating life-changing journeys” and they certainly changed ours! From the beginning Wilderness Safaris has believed in our mission .The belief of such a high profile and well respected company added much recognition for Pack for a Purpose when we were an unknow entity. We are forever grateful.
My husband Scott and I had the fabulous opportunity to return once again to Zambia this past June. We were excited because it was our first trip back to Africa since the pandemic, and we were returning to a place that already had a part of our hearts. Best of all, we were able to bring two checked suitcases full of supplies for Project Luangwa. In addition, due to luggage restrictions, Wilderness Safaris enabled us to have 85 lbs of school supplies purchased locally so they could deliver the supplies to the schools they support near Kafue National Park.
As the Founder of Pack for a Purpose, when we travel, we only use participating accommodations and tour companies on our website. We know that these businesses are totally committed to giving back to the communities where they operate, and we recognize the Big Impact that they have.
Kafunta River Lodge, their sister camp Three Rivers Lodge, and Kaingo were the three camps we stayed at the in the South Luangwa area. We had stayed at both Kafunta River Lodge and Kaingo on a previous visit in 2011. The owners of these camps, Anke and Ron Cowan as well as Derek and Jules Shenton, were pioneers who helped establish Project Luangwa. Project Luangwa supports thousands of children in 8-10 schools in the Mfuwe area, donating equipment, school supplies, and construction projects for classrooms and libraries.
It was our joy and honor to be able to continue our support for this project by bringing much needed supplies for school children in the area. We all know that the pandemic has had catastrophic impacts globally. With almost no travel to Zambia for two years, funding and supplies for their projects were practically nonexistent.
As always, my generous friends contributed requested items and funds for supplies that we could pack and deliver in person. One of Project Luangwa’s focuses is the distribution of Ufulu Pads which provides young women with the sanitary supplies they need to stay in school. From a luggage perspective, these supplies were perfect as they are locally made and provide income to women in the community. We simply gave Project Luangwa the funds and the pads were there on our arrival. My friends, and even my dentist, made it possible for 60 young women to have access to these items for two years. Ian McCallum, the director of Project Luangwa, met us at Kafunta so we could see the pads and talk about the project’s impact.
Our checked supply baggage had to wait until ProFlight (who kindly shipped the bags at no charge) had available space on a flight from Lusaka to Mfuwe. Ian collected the supplies once they arrived and distributed them to the schools and children who had the greatest need. The non-profit The Uniform Project out of Atlanta Georgia generously donated enough soccer shorts, t-shirts, and socks for four teams.
Our last eight days in the bush was spent at two sister camps of Wilderness Safaris, Busanga Bush Camp and Shumba Camp, both located in Kafue National Park. They support four schools, Jifumpa, Kamakechi, Mapoko, and Kabulwebulwe Primary Schools, which service approximately 2000 children from ages 4 through 12. Wilderness Safaris has been an advocate of Pack for a Purpose since our founding. Their positive acknowledgement of our mission helped kickstart our growth as an NGO.
The supplies arrived at Shumba on our third day there, much to the delight of the staff and ourselves. The round-trip journey to the school was over 5 hours; Arnold, the camp manager, and Felicia, one of his assistant managers, took the journey on themselves and delivered the supplies the next day.
Always thoughtful and task-focused, Arnold took several photos when the supplies were delivered so that he could share them with us our last day in camp. He mentioned that the teachers were absolutely thrilled with the chalk as they were completely out.
Scott and I firmly believe that gratitude is universally understood and a positive experience for all involved. We know that when you Pack for a Purpose, the trip you take goes further than the miles you travel. We hope you will choose to express your gratitude on your next journey by Packing for a Purpose.