Making safari dreams come true whilst supporting the local community is an ethos Tongabezi Safari Lodge lives by. Helping local communities and providing a better future for the underprivileged has always been close to the Tongabezi team’s hearts. The Tujatane Trust School, located in a small Zambian village, is the lodge’s pride and joy, and one of the ways Tongabezi is making a difference.
Mable, one of the assistant teachers at Tujatane, joined the school to help and was trained up as an assistant and later as a storeroom manager. She has children at the school, and her son who went to Tujatane through sponsorship is now a pilot.
‘Tujatane is a very good school and it has brought about a lot of positive change in my family. Being a single parent, I wouldn’t have managed to support my children with their basic needs, especially with the paying of their school fees.
Tujatane School has been sponsoring all my children, especially my son Arnold who is now a pilot. Had it not been for Tujatane my son was not going to have his dream career of being a pilot because studying to become a pilot here in Zambia is very expensive.
Tujatane came to my aid and helped my son. I am also able to feed my children because Tujatane offered me a job as an assistant teacher and a storeroom manager. Being a storeroom manager has really helped me gain my self-esteem, as I feel empowered. I am really happy to be a part of the Tujatane family.’
Mable and Arnold’s success stories have given much hope to the other local mothers and their children who attend the school. Tongabezi guests can visit the school during their stay at the lodge and meet young minds like Arnold who are eager to learn. Education is the pillar of a brighter future, and Tujatane is taking steps towards creating something wonderful in a rural Zambian village.
A Bit More About Tujatane
Vanessa Parker (Tongabezi owner Ben’s wife) founded Tujatane in May 1996. Vanessa donates her time to the school on a voluntary basis. The school provides education to the local village as well as Tongabezi staff children and has grown exponentially from 15 students to over 240. The development of the school has been made possible through donations from the lodge’s guests (past and current) as well as other sponsorships from around the world. Resources in the local village are scarce and the donations have helped with the community’s food programme as well as building costs.
If you are interested in making a donation, please visit their website here.
The Tongabezi kids have created handmade Christmas cards and Vanessa is taking orders. All proceeds from the sales of these precious cards will go towards the school. Please contact Vanessa for more details and to place your order.
Written by Nelli Stranden