As part of the Selous Safari Company’s ongoing commitment to our environment, we are involved in several partnerships with local communities and conservation organisations.
Jongomero Ruaha Community Project (JRCP)
Jongomero Camp is a partner in a variety of community projects and we would like to invite you to join us in our endeavor to improve the quality of life of our surrounding villages: In doing so, you will not only be contributing to the livelihood of an impoverished community but also to the plight of Nature Conservation in general. The future of Africa’s wild places ultimately lies in the hands of the people of Africa, those dwelling alongside these fragile ecosystems. By showing the communities surrounding Jongomero, that they too benefit from the existence of safari camps and associated wildlife viewing, will no doubt, bode well for the future of Africa’s wild places. The closest town to Jongomero camp is Iringa, but we have fifteen villages within close proximity to the park’s boundary. As with most rural African areas, there is a huge need for support and help. At Jongomero, we believe that the best way to support these communities is by empowering certain individuals with the necessary educational skills that will enable them to further empower the community by enlarge. In this regard, we believe that education is the key long-term and sustainable solution to these impoverished communities. It is for this reason that we are searching for funding for the following projects:
- Our Primary School project aims at supplying young children with uniforms and exercise books. To provide these commodities costs only $20 per child per annum. In so doing, we aim at helping instill an ethos of education at a young age, which we will further follow through on, by way of our Secondary Schooling project.
- Our Secondary School project is probably our most vital as this is where true educational foundations are laid and motivation through financial support is most required. Secondary schooling consists of Forms 1 through to 4 and costs $140 per scholar per annum. Alternatively, a donation of $560 will cover the entire secondary schooling costs of one scholar. Secondary schooling is only offered on a boarding basis and the above amounts cover both the boarding and tuition fees.
- The Wildlife College Scholarship Program is a project that we at Jongomero are very excited about! The Pasiansi Wildlife College offers a one year course that is considered to be a good benchmark for those pursuing careers in Nature Conservation. It is our hope that we will be able to sponsor students that will eventually return to work inside Ruaha National Park, either for Tanzanian National Parks or in the realm of Ecotourism. The philosophy attached to such a project lies in the belief that the future of Africa’s wildlife, ultimately lies in a cultivated appreciation within the communities surrounding these ecosystems. The current warden of Ruaha National Park is the chairman of the board at Idodi Secondary School and we are hoping that he can aid us in identifying those scholars that have the potential to become future conservationists. The tuition for this course is $800 per student.
- The Disabled Fund is a fund that we plan to start in the near future (as soon as funding is available) and aims at supporting the disabled members of the community in whatever way we can. To date, there has been NO support or aid for the disabled and we are hoping to make a tangible contribution in this area. A needs assessment will need to be conducted on a case by case basis depending on the type of disability. We would like to source as much funding as possible, before conducting these analyses, in order to avoid creating a false sense of hope. One area where we know we would like to contribute is in helping the lame receive a customized tricycle wheelchair from Dar es Salaam which costs $190.
Latest update January 2008
The Jongomero Community Projects received a big boost this January 2008 when we transferred 4,742,400 TSH to the Ruaha Conservation Fund account, who will distribute the funds on our behalf. Included in this amount, are the board and tuition fees for our five Rotary sponsored Form 2 students as well as an additional two Form 1 students, who are being sponsored from our various guest collections. Jongomero Camp is therefore sponsoring a total of seven secondary school children. $400 has been allocated for primary school books and uniforms. Very excitingly, we have allocated $1400 to launch our disability fund. In the fifteen villages surrounding the park, there are a number of disabled individuals who have not, to date, received any help or aid. It has been agreed with the Ruaha Conservation Fund, that the first and main objective of the Disability Fund will be to get the various disabled individuals mobile by way of peddle tricycles. Once the various individuals are mobile, the fund will then look at providing sewing machines and hopefully helping provide a form of livelihood. For now, an order has been placed to purchase 5 tricycles with our donation. Furthermore, the pictures in our room folders seem to be aiding in the collecting of funds as we received $200 this month from various guests’ donations. In Selous we have at the moment a smaller project going but we are looking also into the development of some new projects.
We support a few students indirectly. They are sponsored by the Rotary Club of Amsterdam and we administrate the funds to these students. The Amsterdam-Zuid wing of the Rotary Holland has sent last month several schoolbooks that were donated to the schools.
Ras Kutani - SeaSense Turtle Conservation project
SeaSense is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) committed in the preservation of endangered Turtle and Dugong species. The main threats are hunting for meat and turtle eggs, incidental capture in fishing nets and habitat destruction. Ras Kutani hosts one of the protected nesting sites along this coastline. The beach around Ras Kutani has always been used by turtles for nesting and protection of the nest is step one in an attempt to increase the survival rate of the turtles. Turtle nests are “relocated” and brought to Ras Kutani to protect the turtle eggs during their incubation. If you are lucky enough to be staying with us when a nest is hatching, your Managers will certainly inform you of the hatching time. Even if you are not and would like to contribute something towards the programme you are more than welcome to do this through Management at Reception. As an NGO, SeaSense relies completely on donations. SeaSense has created a “hands on” conservation initiative working closely with the local communities to consider the opinions and livelihoods of local people. With the help and enthusiasm of school children, fishermen, marine park staff and researchers they are making considerable headway in the protection of these endangered animals and their marine habitats. Environmental education activities are being conducted in coastal villages and school in an effort to teach the local people of the value of this precious resource. Local Community Officers have been trained to relocate and monitor the nests during their incubation. “Finders Fees” are offered to the local community for alerting the Officers of a new nest. Also 2 of our Ras Kutani staff has been trained by SeaSense last December (07) so they will also act as community officers monitoring the nests.
Female turtles return to lay their eggs on the same beach where they were born (after approximately 30 years! She lays three or four nests of between 80-150 eggs during a nesting season Hatchlings take about 2 months to develop – their mother will never see her babies who make it to the sea without help. Only 1 or 2 out of every 1,000 baby turtles survive to maturity Over 40,000 baby turtles have made their way safely to sea since the start of this programme If you would like more information about SeaSense and its projects, please have a look at www.seasense.org.
Ras Kutani has recently “adopted” Gomvu School in an effort to improve the general quality of education in our local community. Gomvu School has a total of 450+ students aged between 7 and 15 years. Up to 80 students participate in each class with 11 teachers employed by the school. Government allocates less than US$3,000 per year to cover books, building, maintenance and furniture for the school so any assistance is tremendously appreciated. Teachers’ take home salary is approx. US$70 per month. The positive side for the families of the students is that there are no school fees charged! Subjects taught at school: 7-8 Years Kiswahili Science Social Studies (Tanzanian culture) Maths Health English Creative / Art – “Work Studies” From 10 years, Geography, History (Tanzanian) and Civics are added. The school will gladly welcome our guests for a visit during school hours.