Conserving pristine wildlife areas means not only day-to-day direct actions of protection but also community involvement. Chiawa Camp has, since its inception, been focused on people through economic & education support and empowerment to surrounding communities.
- In February 2009 Chiawa Camp established and implemented the Lower Zambezi Conservation Collection in order to raise additional funding towards environmental education and conservation activity through Conservation Lower Zambezi. Please click here for more details.
- Chiawa creates employment, as 75% of its staff are hired locally, creating an economy and opportunity for otherwise impoverished communities.
- It provides training for employees so that they can grow within the company, or branch out and establish their own businesses. Many aspects of education are developed to help the local poor communities and makes them partial beneficiaries of tourism. Chiawa has raised funds and designed a Safari Guide Training course available at subsidised rates for all Lower Zambezi trainee guides; which thus helps train other guides as well as their own too. This is focused on practical and theoretical training for locals particularly in guiding and hospitality, and locals can benefit from Chiawa’s renowned in-house training program that has brought together, and created, an award winning team of guides.
- Through their support of CLZ, Chiawa Camp’s involvement in local communities aims to provide sustainable living and farming practices. People are encouraged to not farm near or denude riverbanks, not only of the Zambezi but also its tributaries, and are shown how to terrace fields if they must farm close to the river. This not only prevents erosion and run off, but also better ensures rural communities get crops and vegetables in times of heavy rain and flood.
- In the same way, communities are discouraged from littering and from polluting the river with human waste, detergents and fertilisers. Visits are regularly paid, and leaflets and posters distributed in order to help people understand the importance of these simple actions too often ignored.
- In 2003 Chiawa Camp introduced a joint program with a Swiss charity for Aids Education to CLZ’s Environmental Education Program. Since then, more than 41 villages have been visited in a very large area, with actions that include Aids awareness and STIs, pregnancy prevention and Mother To Child Transmission (MTCT) of HIV/AIDS, malaria and sanitation promotion. More the 10.000 children, teachers and community people have been taught the importance of health. A three-day camp is offered to some children at the CLZ’s centre which includes HIV/AIDS and health education combined with environmental and preservation programme.
- Medical kits have been distributed to local clinics, education material is given through Chiawa, and guest donation has been provided for 300 primary students. What’s more, each Spring time Chiawa Camp purchases and distributes school uniforms and stationery for approximatively 140 students in the 1st & 2nd grade of two community primary schools, Chiawa and Mugurameno, through Swiss charity SidEcole.
- Chiawa Camp donates about 20 bed nights per year (raising some $25,000+ annually) to charity and these are auctioned off to raise funds for orphanges, children’s hospices and other charities within Zambia that assist its most vulnerable people, wildlife and habitats.