Shopping to support the local community
By buying gifts from Honey Badger's gift shop, our guests have helped us to raise over half a million shillings for the Second Chance Education Centre. Whats more, our shop is more than your average hotel curio shop, it is part of a vocational business training programme at the education centre, aiming to equip our students with crucial livelihood skills that will give them more chances in life.
Before I continue I would like to extend a big thank you to the hard working SAIDIA volunteers who made this project the success it is. In particular to Alex, Jacqui, Pia, Matt, Karen, Hezena, Chris and Ella. We would also like to thank Barefeet international who provided the start up funds for the activities.
The programme has multiple aspects to it.
1. Tie and dye: this is a local art technique whereby material is literally tied up in different patters and then dyed! the school students have been trained how to do this and make the designs etc themselves. Once dry the material is crafted into different items: dresses, house coats, bed spreads, napkins, head bands, lampshades and many more. Honey Badger has many of these items in and around the lodge, we have purchased 25 housecoats for our guests (who are able to buy them if they like them) and over 100 napkins for our restaurant. As well as lampshades, menu covers and more.
2. Bead making: Thanks to SAIDIA's talented volunteers (Karen, Matt, helped by Hezena, Chris and Ella) our students have been taught how to make different designs of beaded bracelets. They then label them 'made by ..." and these are in the shop! They have been selling like hot cakes... which is lucky given that they have made around 100 to sell!!!
3. Business training: Alex and Jacqui designed a course business training plan which involved key business skills (issues of supply and demand, pricing/costing, marketing/branding, inventories/stock keeping). The sessions were run over a two week period and involved alot of participatory learning. Session 4 involved a complete branding exercise. The students got stuck in to designing and creating the 'creating a second chance' logo (the photos will follow). The students are still talking about this event today. During their final session (led by Ella and Pia) they came to the shop and discussed the process of running a shop. They now come up weekly to take an inventory and collect the sales (Honey Badger gives 100% to the school!).
We hope to continue to support this initiative indefinitely. It is crucial these students learn vocational skills. Honey Badger is committed to investing in the education of our local community, however this has to expand beyond the formal class room teaching into skills that equip our students for their lives, given that many will not progress on to university. We therefore continue to rely on the support from our guests... keep shopping and keep helping us to help the students!!
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