As an organisation, the fundamental philosophy that drives what we do is the belief that we can engage in sustainable and constructive ecotourism. Our mission is to preserve the biodiversity of the area by empowering the local community to collectively build a lasting landmark tourist destination that will continue to generate benefits for the local community, for conservation, and for ecotourism.
We are humbled to collaborate with our community partner, the Mirantha Youth Development Project, in empowering the youth of our local communities through life skills programs. The Mirantha Youth Development Project is a registered non-profit organisation that cares for, and educates, neglected orphans and vulnerable youth—the “forgotten children”— in the town of Acornhoek, Mpumalanga. The Project is run by Happiness Lubisi, a champion social worker, who currently supports more than 80 orphans and vulnerable youth in her community, offering them food, clothes, and emotional relief.
About the Project
Left without the guidance, financial support, and protection of their parents, the “forgotten children” are disproportionally vulnerable to poverty, abuse, crime, and extortion. The large majority of the children have dropped out from school due to a variety of socioeconomic reasons, which further increases their vulnerability due to poor literacy, the inability to find jobs due to lack of skills, and the inability to integrate well in their community.
Several members of our Imbali Concession team and their families hail from the town of Acornhoek, which lies just outside of the Kruger National Park. The survival of the surrounding communities of the Park is directly reliant on the business and investment that comes from the presence of ecotourism activities in the area. In order to secure the stability and prosperity of these communities, the empowerment and protection of their youth is a fundamental requisite.
How does the Project Work?
The Mluwati Family and the Mirantha Youth Development Project share the core value of the spirit of Ubuntu in sharing resources and knowledge for the benefit of all. The aims of the project are to provide life skills such as:
- Computer Literacy and Preparations for Interviews for Employment Opportunities
- Promotion of Food Security through starting home food gardens and teaching knowledge of permaculture
- HIV awareness campaigns and workshops
- Fundraising to build a physical Youth Development Centre for school drop-outs
What are the Challenges and How Are They Mitigated?
As a non-profit organisation in a rural community, the lack of funds for the operations of the Project is a fundamental challenge. The Project has taken decisive steps to achieve financial stability by selling vegetables from the home gardens to the community, rendering service of its photocopying and printing facilities to the community, and collaborating with various stakeholders for additional funding.
The greatest long-term challenges that threaten the survival of the Project are the lack of economic development in the area, the lack of access to resources, and the subsequent lack of knowledge on key skills that drive the Project’s success. The Imbali Concession family has strongly invested in a resource-based approach to this project to address these key challenges that will determine its long-term sustainability. Through the provision of books, stationery, food, and other resources, the Imbali Concession seeks to supply the Project with the tools that it can pass on to the youth.
Ultimately, the Imbali Concession firmly believes that the dedication of time to the transfer of knowledge to the youth of these communities will produce the greatest benefits. Through regularly scheduled visits to the Project, we are privileged to be able to understand the needs of the community and engage with them in whichever way we can.
How can you help?
As part of our extended family, our guests are encouraged to contribute to our resource-based approach to the project by donating books, stationery, and educational toys directed towards the age groups of 3 to 16, when they visit our properties. These resources will be given directly to Happiness Lubisi and her team who will incorporate them into their learner plans.
As a passionate social worker, Happiness would also love to hear from you!
Our guests are welcome to write letters to Happiness and her team, which the Imbali Concession family will gratefully deliver to her.
We are proud members of Pack for a Purpose, an initiative that allows travellers like you to make a lasting impact in the community at your travel destination. If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the projects we support in need, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families. Please click here to see what supplies are needed for our project/projects.