27 October 2020Wilderness Safaris’ non-profit partner, Children in the Wilderness, has delivered over 1 000 food hampers to various communities in the Zambezi region since the start of COVID-19. In addition to these food relief efforts, 71 Days for Girls hygiene kits were distributed to students at St Mary’s Primary School in Hwange last week, giving them a vital opportunity to attend school and to be present for the rest of the academic year..“We are so grateful for the generous support from our donors and sponsors – our amazing Conservation Heroes – who are making such a difference by providing the crucial funding needed to help meet basic food needs. Over the last few months, we have been able to distribute over 45 tonnes of food to families who are most in need. This includes food packs generously donated by sponsors to many of the scholarship students around Victoria Falls, Hwange, and Tsholotsho”, notes Sue Goatley, CITW Zambezi Programme Coordinator.Containing essential food items including maize meal, rice, peanut butter, sugar beans, salt, cooking oil, and soya chunks, the food packs will help hugely towards the food insecurity brought about by COVID-19. The poverty issues faced by many families, many of whom were already struggling, have been exacerbated. Thus, these food packs have taken some of the pressure off beneficiaries, by providing much-needed sustenance for their dependants..“With an average of six dependants per family, the food packs have helped over 5 000 people, and we hope to see this number grow. There is so much gratitude expressed at each of these distributions, and it is intensely heartwarming to see the joy and relief that the food packs provide. We would like to thank all of our generous donors, including the Wilderness Safaris Chairman’s Foundation, Grand Circle Foundation, Antoinette MacKenzie, Hunter Valley Grammar School, AAC, West Towson Elementary, as well as our many sponsors, for their generosity and thoughtfulness during this turbulent and challenging time”, Sue adds.CITW has also continued driving various other important empowerment initiatives during this time, including the establishment of worm beds and fertility trenches in the Jabulani community garden a few weeks ago, and the completion of a community meeting hall. This simple but effective structure provides a place for income-generating groups to gather and work on their projects, sheltered from the hot sun. Furthermore, as village visits take place in Jabulani, having a dedicated space for the income-generating groups to display and sell their products will create an anchor for the marketplace once tourism resumes..“We were also delighted to assist the students at St Mary’s Primary School with hygiene packs. As examination classes have now returned to school for the first time since March, there are only a few weeks left before these students write their final Grade 7 exams. Ensuring that girls have the opportunity to finish their primary schooling is so important. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks once again to the Stanwood Camano Island Chapter for their continued support and the positive difference they are making in the lives of so many”, concludes Sue.Click here to read more about the ‘Days for Girls’ distribution, and here to watch a short video highlighting CITW’s food-relief efforts in Zimbabwe.ENDS.