We have built two crèches in the Dixie and Utha villages. The schools have grown since their inception and now over 150 children attend the crèches and are fed a snack in the morning and a full lunch. The school employs 2 principals, a teacher, 6 teaching aides and 2 chefs. All the staff are from the local villages. On a monthly basis we pay all the food costs, salaries, repairs and maintenance and replacement of equipment or crockery and cutlery.
We have frequent workshops on HIV/AIDS and health care. We transport staff to the locals clinics weekly, pay for doctor visits and have adapted our staff ration packs to build immune systems.
We endorse a local soccer team. We purchase kits, boots, balls and trophies yearly. We also endorse a Drama and Debating Team in Hluvukani. This group has been running for 4 years and one of the youngsters has received a bursary to university to study Drama. We fund a marathon runner from Huvukani who runs various marathons during the year. We work closely with the Buffelshoek Trust of which Jurie is a director. We use local contractors and suppliers as far as possible.
We use low voltage bulbs, have lowered geyser temperatures and we use gas for cooking. Left over food and cuttings not eaten by the staff is delivered as pig food in the local village. The waste is separated and the taken to Acornhoek (the company was recommended and approved by the Heritage Programme). The waste is deposited at the Acornhoek dump. All Glass, tins, cans, tinfoil and plastic are already separated and are then distributed to recycling depots which are all registered. We wash towels every 3 days rather than daily and we have messages to guests to save water. We gather rain water for gardens and the soak away from septic tanks used to water gardens. We maintain the road to prevent erosion and we create fire breaks when needed.
We employ 98% of our staff from the local villages. In the case of temporary staff we also use local village people. We pay higher than normal salaries in our area to our staff. One salary in the local village supports on average 8 people. We also employ the crèche staff. We offer a daily village trip to the local villages daily. Guests pay R 183 per person. Their guide or tracker takes them to their homes, crèche & schools, local store and church or witch doctor. This money is then split between the guide, fuel for the lodge and the balance to the crèches or a village project. We support local suppliers and tradesmen.
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