WOMEN – THE MATRIARCHAL POWERHOUSES OF AFRICA

African Bush Camps Foundation is a female-founded organization. Sophia Klein’s key motivation was to work with people in partnerships, in a practical, hands-on way, creating relationships where both sides benefit and grow from their interactions. (Read more about the team and the African Bush Camps Story here.)

The resilience and dedication of women are reflected in the groups who receive business mentorship and skills development through the Foundation. These groups are women-dominated, diligent, responsible, reliable, and consistent in running their sustainable businesses and empowering their villages through this. They have managed to transform their own lives and reclaim their place as the matriarchs of their communities. These women sustain not only themselves but their children and the greater community. The average working woman in Zimbabwe supports around eight dependents, so when you support a woman, you support a community.

The African Bush Camps Foundation was built to empower communities. The Community Empowerment Projects such as the Vuche Vuche Craft Cooperation, Thandanani Sewing Projects, Vukani Group, and Detema Sewing Group are comprised of dedicated, talented women. The Foundation builds on their existing skills and provides training and support to develop self-sufficient and independent business owners while promoting, nurturing, and developing community spirit.

Maunga’s Beatrice – Deputy Senior Head Woman of the Maunga Village

Beatrice Mukang’andu is one of the leaders of the Maunga Village, which is the closest community to Thorntree River Lodge that the Foundation supports. Her official title is ‘Deputy Senior Head Woman of the Maunga Community,’ and she helps lead the community with resilience and grace. She is also an Elder of the Zambian Royal family, where she functions as the ‘Keeper of Traditional Knowledge,’ which must be where her wisdom and leadership stems from. A true powerhouse of a lady, she drives the village forward through creating and maintaining relationships with third-party stakeholders such as the Foundation.

The clinic in Maunga was built with women in mind, as the infant and maternal mortality rates in Zambia are very high, particularly in remote rural areas like Maunga, where the closest health center is a 20km walk away. Now, women will have immediate access to skilled antenatal and postnatal care, and community members seeking medical attention will be able to do so within their community.

The knock-on effect of the development of the Health Centre, in partnership with the community and local government, is the Maunga community realizing tangible benefits from tourism in their area and now seeing wildlife and nature as resources to protect for the improvement of their livelihoods.

Watch the video of her tour of the Health Centre: Link to video.

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