Lion Roars' vision is to work together with our communities to have a positive impact on the lives of the people we work with.
Umzi Wethu Academy Lion Roars Internships
Umzi Wethu Academy, a not-for-profit social intervention program initiated by the Wilderness Foundation in 2006, is a response to the social and economic development needs of the Eastern Cape Province.
Umzi Wethu is a training academy which offers a gateway for vulnerable youth to access support, qualifications and self-sustaining jobs in the tourism industry through the provision of accredited skills training, internships, life skills and mentoring, which together qualify vulnerable youth for jobs secured through partnerships with private game reserves, lodges, hotels and national parks.
Through a partnership with African Global Skills Academy (AGSA), Umzi Wethu Hospitality students, based at Umzi's Port Elizabeth Academy, receive THETA accredited training in Professional Cookery and Table Attending equipping them for a wide range of jobs.
Theoretical training is coupled with ongoing on-the-job practical training, which provides students with the chance to turn theory into practice in real work situations.
Umzi's Field Ranging Graduates, through partnership with AGSA, and based at Umzi's Somerset East Academy, work towards the following qualifications: Natural Resource Guardianship coupled with rifle training, first aid training, a driver's license and FGASA 1 Qualification Certificate, which qualifies students for jobs as Field Rangers and Field Guides.
In partnership with Umzi Wethu, Lion Roars is proud to provide internship opportunities for both Cookery/ Table students and Rangers, at our various Lodges. Together with Umzi, our goal with these internships is to provide a valuable experience component to students' ongoing development, and to work with Umzi Wethu to coach and mentor students through a 6-month internship program. We're particularly happy to be able to provide students with exposure to the wonderfully diverse cultures and nationalities of our guests.
During your stay at the Lodges, feel free to ask your host to introduce you to our Umzi Wethu placements. We think you'll find, as we do, that these are remarkable and vibrant young people with great futures ahead of them in the hospitality industry.
Amakhala Foundation Trust
As part of the Amakhala Game Reserve, Lion Roars is a proud supporter of the Amakhala Foundation Trust, an umbrella body under which the reserve's social development program and conservation centre is managed.
The aim of the foundation is to contribute to the building of strong communities in the reserve's surrounds. Projects include early childhood education facilities with bursaries on offer, skills development for existing staff and unemployed members of the community, funding and delivery of HIV/Aids-awareness campaigns, counseling, voluntary testing and nutritional support for community members with HIV/ AIDS.
On the conservation side, the centre conducts research and monitoring in the reserve, hosts environmental education activities and promotes conservation beyond Amakhala's borders.
To be part of the exciting and relevant work being done by this foundation, all you have to do is book a night at Hlosi or Bukela Game Lodge. Every stay at Hlosi or Bukela results in a direct donation to the Amakhala Foundation Trust. If you'd like to be more involved in the work being done, check out the initiatives below, or chat to your host or ranger during your stay.
The Isipho HIV/ Aids Program cares for Aids orphans and vulnerable children in our local town, Paterson. It also provides support and education to those living with the HIV virus. The Amakhala Foundation supports the Isipho HIV/ Aids Program in Paterson in various ways, through management support, monthly food parcels, outings for the children and fundraising.
Isipho currently operates out of municipal buildings that are unsuitable for occupation by young children. The municipality has also requested that Isipho moves as soon as possible as they require the buildings for other purposes. Last year, through funds raise largely by guests to the Amakhala Game Reserve, we were able to purchase a large property with an industrial type building on it.
Buy-a-Brick fundraising campaign
The Amakhala Foundation and Isipho Charity Trust have begun a new fundraising campaign this year to raise money to renovate the building purchased last year. Our aim is provide the Isipho project with its own premises that are safe and welcoming for young children whose lives have been so terribly affected by the HIV virus. WE would like it to be a place where they receive support, love, care, food and education, a place where their sense of self worth is kept intact, and a home they can be proud of.
Fundraising is taking the form of Buy-a-Brick tickets which are available for purchase by guests at all Amakhala lodges. The tickets are R100.00 each and we hope to raise R100 000.00. The donors' names will be listed on a wall of thanks at the new home of Isipho.
Renovations will result in four classrooms for the 120 pre-school aged children and an apartment for the 9 orphans that are in the care of the Isipho Safe House. The safe house will also be big enough to care for more orphans.
Amakhala Game Reserve is actively involved with the management of Isipho & our guests have contributed in many ways through fundraising & donations. If you would like to make a donation please contact Justine Weeks trustee of the Amakhala Foundation or the Isipho Charity Trust for banking details held by De Jager & Lordon Attorneys.
If you'd like to visit Isipho to meet the children and the wonderful people caring for them, or just to see the building progress, please ask your host or ranger at the Lodge. We'd be happy to arrange to take you there.
Amakhala Craft Centre
The Amakhala Foundation has begun its first income generating/poverty relief project in the form of the Amakhala Craft Centre. It is a project that started very tentatively earlier this year ago. An idea that has been brewing for a couple of years, it took two well-timed coinciding opportunities for it to finally become a reality. Reed Valley School closed down in February this year and the school building become available for another use. At the same time, ex-Handson Volunteer, Frances, was doing some pretty persistent begging to stay on at Amakhala in lieu of work. And so the Amakhala Craft Centre was born.
The aim of the Craft Centre is to create an opportunity for unemployed women from Paterson to earn an income. We encourage all guests on Amakhala to visit the Craft Centre, where they are able to purchase the items that have been made there. Products that have been made so far include beaded jewelry, elephant dung handmade paper, ostrich eggshell mosaics and embroidered items. Candle making is next on the list.
HIV/Aids Peer Councilor Course
As part of Amakhala Foundations fight against HIV/Aids, a five day Peer Councilor training course was held in June. The training was provided by Nola Elliot from the Raphael Centre of Grahamstown and was designed to equip two staff members from each lodge with the information and skills to provide support to those infected and affected by HIV/Aids amongst their colleagues, in their communities and to their own families.
We are so proud of Salani Mangobe, Nombulelo Mayinje, Nolita Zealand, Lumka Ntsete, Nomonde Matyila, Thando Nkewana, Liyanda Mgilane, Sylvia Solani and Ncomeka Sokola who gave so much of themselves to complete this course. Their support is so desperately needed in our country where one in five people are HIV positive and 1700 new cases of infection are reported every day. It was also a wonderful opportunity for firm friendships to be made.
This week of training coincided with the 3 monthly HIV/Aids program run on Amakhala Game Reserve. A partnership has been formed with the Raphael Centre and Amakhala, the Raphael Centre provides quarterly counseling and voluntary testing to everyone working on Amakhala and we in turn offer the staff of the Raphael Centre much needed time out in our lodges termed, Care for the Careers.
A social worker from the ARV clinic at Settlers Hospital in Grahamstown spoke on the importance of early detection of the virus and the effectiveness of ARVs and a counselor from the Raphael Centre spoke on the importance of healthy eating habits. This kind of information is as important as it dispels untruths about the disease and attempts to break down the stigma that is attached to HIV/Aids in this rural environment.