The African Impact Foundation is our non-for-profit partner that manages all our projects and all donations. They have worked tirelessly over the last 10 years to ensure the sustainability of our work in 9 different locations in South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. They ensure that the volunteer, local communities, and African Impact all get the very best out of our partnerships.
The Foundation has five main focus areas. They aim to foster literacy in adults and in children by creating and facilitating encouraging learning environments. They aim to increase health in communities through education, relief, and rehabilitation efforts. They aim to empower communities both as a whole and by uplifting individuals. They focus on promoting gender equality by empowering young girls and educating young boys. They aim to reduce the negative impact people have on wildlife and conservation through research, action, and monitoring.
The Foundation’s community empowerment projects involve working with individuals from every position – from management hotshots, to institutions, to family units, and individuals. They aim to benefit as many people as possible in the best way. This is done by meeting leaders, tribal councils, government officials and groups from communities who make their needs known so these needs can be met in a responsible and sustainable manner. The aim is to create a sense of self-development, which is why the Foundation focuses on skills creation, income generation, healthcare, and education.
These are the guys that make increased teacher training, bigger libraries, better education resources, adequate classrooms a reality. These are also the guys that put in the hours of researching and monitoring vulnerable species, setting up conservation efforts, and providing training for wildlife tourism operatives. We simply couldn’t do the work we do without them.
The Foundation works hard to understand the African contexts it works in, and to ensure that responsible volunteer tourism is a reality. This is one of the assets that set responsible volunteer work apart from damaging ‘volunteer’ work. Accountability and a clear agenda are not only useful, but necessary, for effective work to take place in vulnerable contexts.