Category Archives: Community Development

Wonderbag Foundation Donates 500 Wonderbags to Children in the Wilderness

March 2015 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW), the non-profit partner of ecotourism company, Wilderness Safaris, is thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Wonderbag Foundation, which will see 500 Wonderbags allocated to CITW’s Adult Eco-Club Project.

The Wonderbag has been developed to ease some of the social, economic and environmental impacts of living in poverty. It is a portable, non-electric slow-cooker that allows food, which has been brought to boil on a fire, to continue cooking for up to 12 hours after it has been removed from the fuel source. Not only does this make cooking more efficient, but it also reduces the amount of time women in areas of poverty have to cook, thus providing time for more entrepreneurial, productive and healthier activities. This makes it the ideal fit for CITW’s Adult Eco-Clubs, which assist rural community groups with start-up capital and guidance so that they are able to set up their own businesses.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous donation from the Wonderbag Foundation, which will greatly assist us in achieving our goal of creating sustainable new businesses and diversifying livelihoods in the rural communities in which we operate. The Wonderbag Foundation and Children in the Wilderness are perfectly aligned in terms of both organisations’ commitment to creating thriving businesses and we look forward to working together on this exciting new initiative”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Programme Director.

Of the 500 Wonderbags, 100 will go to the Shashe Adult Eco-Club, while the remaining 400 will be distributed to the various other CITW Adult Eco-Clubs in Botswana. The Wonderbags are sold to the Eco-Club for a nominal amount, and they are then able to sell the bags on for enough to pay back this amount, and earn a profit which then goes into supporting the Eco-Club and buying stock for future projects.

CITW launched its Adult Eco-Club concept in Shashe village (Maun, Botswana) last year, assisting an already-established community women’s group with start-up capital and business guidance. Based on the success of this pilot project, the programme has been rolled out in a further three communities in Botswana, with plans to expand the programme to Namibia and Zimbabwe too.

“The Wonderbag Foundation firmly believes in doing rather than giving, in trade rather than aid, and empowering women in communities of need. We are confident that the Wonderbag will be a positive catalyst for change in these communities and we are very grateful for partnerships like this that bear fruit in getting local solutions off the ground to make a real, sustainable and long-term difference”, says Nicky Kidgell, Executive Director of the Wonderbag Foundation.


Mike’s Bikes Foundation Donates Bicycles and Cycling Gear to CITW Eco-Clubs in Botswana

April 2015 – Children in the Wilderness (CITW), one of the non-profit partners of ecotourism company, Wilderness Safaris, has received 24 bicycles as well an assortment of cycling equipment from The Bike Shop, as part of  an exciting new partnership.

The donation, which was facilitated through Mike’s Bikes Foundation in the United States, will enable CITW to run competitions in its Eco-Clubs, with winners each receiving a bicycle, along with a helmet, riding gear, and various other accessories. Two bicycles have been allocated to each of the Eco-Clubs, while four bicycles will go to CITW’s Adult Eco-Clubs, which will also run a competition.

“We are extremely grateful for this generous donation which marks the start of an ongoing relationship between CITW and Mike’s Bikes Foundation”, says Dr Sue Snyman, CITW Regional Director. “Our Eco-Clubs create opportunities for like-minded children to meet, learn, discuss and expand their knowledge of environmental issues, and we are certain that the possibility of winning such an exciting prize will incentivise and motivate them even further”.

CITW’s Eco-Club programme forms part of the normal school curriculum and uses interactive sessions to involve children in projects that benefit both the community and the environment. Last year, CITW also launched its Adult Eco-Club programme which is aimed at diversifying livelihoods amongst rural communities in Africa by helping them to set up their own businesses.

“We are very excited and proud to be associated with CITW, based on its excellent track record, reach, governance, sustainability and credibility – all of which are very important to the Mike’s Bikes Foundation”, says Paul Mazurkiewicz of Mike’s Bikes Foundation.

“We believe in the power of the bicycle. The most efficient mode of transport ever created, the bicycle is an ecologically and financially sustainable vehicle that can provide freedom, mobility and positive change in the lives of people who need it most. From our side, we wanted to consolidate our efforts and align ourselves with a partner with a similar vision so that we can collectively make a greater, more meaningful contribution to the communities that we serve”, concludes Mazurkiewicz.