In a joint collaboration with 4×4 Outfar, Global Vision 2020 and explore4knowledge, Wilderness Safaris has played a key role in a humanitarian project that brought eye screening to more than 2 500 children in eight Children in the Wilderness (CITW) affiliated schools. The company supported the project with funding, personnel and lodgings as the team traversed northern Botswana last month.
“This has been a great achievement for the company, not only because we changed the lives of hundreds of children but also because we were able to extend a helping hand to our staff in Maun. The project speaks to our commitment to our 4Cs’ Community C – the other Cs being Commerce, Culture and Conservation – which aims to empower and improve the lives of local communities in all Wilderness Safaris areas of operation.
This C encourages us to continually find ways in which we can translate conservation and ecotourism successes into meaningful, tangible socio-economic benefits”, said Lesh Moiteela, Wilderness Safaris Botswana Cultural Ambassador and Community Relationship Manager.
The screening was open to children aged 10 and older, teachers and general school staff. The team visited Shashe, Habu, Tubu, Seronga, Gunotsoga, Beetsha, Gudigwa and Sankoyo, as well as Mokgacha and Eretsha satellite primary schools. In addition, a number of elderly Batswana from the villages were tested and those who needed spectacles were helped. The initiative forms part of the bigger Global Vision 2020 project that aims to provide basic eye tests and prescription spectacles to more than 2.4 billion people.
“As a company born and bred in Botswana, we have had a strong connection to the local communities in and around our areas of operation since we started. We saw this as an excellent opportunity to focus on rural children, whom we believe are the future custodians and conservation leaders of Africa’s wilderness areas. It was a huge success and we are looking forward to participating in many more such impactful initiatives”, noted Lesh.