charity begins at home

As part of The Bushcamp Company's commitment to the wildlife and people of the South Luangwa, we work closely with the expanding local community, and with conservation organisations, to develop projects that help conserve precious resources, support education, and generate a sustainable source of income to those who live around the Park.

In 1999, The Bushcamp Company started providing much-needed help to two local schools: Chiwawatala Primary School in Mfuwe Village and Chilongozi Primary School in a remote area close to our bushcamps. Since our support began, the development and progress of these schools has been remarkable. With generous donations, we have been able to sponsor pupils, pay teachers’ salaries, build classrooms and staff houses, provide access to clean water, and take the school children into the Park on game drives. In 2010 The Bushcamp Company embarked on a long-term project to improve the infrastructure of the only secondary school in area, Mfuwe Day Secondary School, which had been borrowing classrooms from an adjoining primary school. To date we have raised funds to build six classrooms and offices, four dormitories and adjacent ablution blocks, social areas for both boys and girls, and refurbished an existing girls' dormitory. In 2017 we commenced an ambitious project to construct a school assembly hall and dining room.

In 2017 we also constructed toilets and sports viewing stands at Jumbe Day Secondary School, and commenced providing help to "Aunt Mary's Academy", a new pre-school in Mfuwe.

We are now supporting projects in five local schools.

Beginning in 2013, we instituted a school feeding program, where we feed around 2500 pupils per day at 3 schools. Teachers say that they have seen improvements in attendance, concentration, energy, and health of the pupils. Most of these pupils walk a distance of over 10 kilometres to reach school, often without any real sustenance at home. One head teacher says that she has seen a 40% increase in the pupils' ability to attend their afternoon school sessions, as well as a significant increase in concentration levels. The program gives the pupils' families the security of knowing that their children are receiving necessary nutrition, giving them energy not only for school, but also for the often arduous journey to and from home.

Mathematics has been identified as a school subject where many Zambian children are failing. "Edulution" is a new approach to helping these children improve their maths skills by using trained coaches, rather than busy teachers, and tablets rather than textbooks. The company is currently funding 350 children to receive this extra important training in addition to their normal school work.

Through our own registered charity, we currently sponsor around 350 local children to attend schools and colleges. We also support a tree-planting program through which approximately 500 trees per year are planted, and which serves to educate youth about the importance of conserving woodlands in the local ecosystem.

In 2014 we introduced our “Commit to Clean Water” project with the intention of drilling deep boreholes to provide safe, clean drinking water to villages in the local area. This is an ambitious, but extremely valuable project, benefitting thousands of people. By the end of 2017 the number of new boreholes will have risen to 60, with 15 more planned for 2018.

We run programmes on HIV and AIDS awareness for our staff, and we also support a local theatre group that perform plays for our guests about human-wildlife conflict. We fund-raise and provide logistical support to several conservation organisations that aim to tackle the threats posed to wildlife; supporting Conservation South Luangwa, Zambian Carnivore Programme and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife.

In recent years, we have also tried to make our properties as green as possible by introducing solar technology throughout.