The feeling of helping another cause is often just as rewarding to the person at the giving end as it is to the person at the receiving end. Many of us go through life expecting something in return… fruit for your labour, return of investment, what is in it for me in return? Charitable giving or volunteer work does leave you with something in return, that nice warm feeling of “I have done something amazing”. That is the true gift you get in return from helping those in need.
Bench Africa, together with Imvelo Safaris in Zimbabwe, hosted two trips for travel agents and their family members. Our group headed to the Hwange region last month. Those accepting spots on this trip helped to raise money for schools in need. I escorted the last trip where the money raised helped to dig a Bore Hole facility for Kapane Secondary School as well as helped them to paint classrooms and other various things needed at the school.
The Safari For Change package included accommodation and a guided trip starting at the “Gorgeous” Gorges Lodge up-stream literally at the edge of the Zambezi River Gorge. From there we embarked on an adventure via the Elephant Express Tram through Hwange National Park where we were hosted by Bomani Tented Camp, Camelthorne Lodge, Nehimba Lodge and then finishing back at Zambezi Sands, on the Zambezi River.
Our trip included, of course, seeing various forms of wildlife on game drives and stays at luxury accommodation… but the main purpose of this trip was for people to see and engage in a program for which they raised the funds and to experience first-hand how their money was being used. How many of us donate to charities never seeing the end result with our own eyes? Speaking of end result, it made us all realise that the end result is not just the bore hole or the paint, we can do so much more and we are now planning to continue Safari4Change over the next few years to give Kapane High School much better facilities.
The time we spent with the children and the teachers here was an eye opener to how satisfied some can be with so little. We can learn from them and just the feeling that we have made a difference in their lives gives us that nice warm, cosy feeling.
I would like to thank the wonderful people from Imvelo Safari Lodges, without whom this would not have been possible, as well as our attendees who raised the well needed funds:
Briony Harris, Sarah Hewitt, Cassinda Stanton, Lauren Hewitt, Jared Hunter, Gabrielle Hyde, Rosie Hemsley, Renee Wilton and Rose Wilton.
This was a trip none of us will ever forget!