Honey badger is situated in a rural community, where many of the community members are poor, living in basic housing (no electricity, or water) often on less than a dollar a day. The Renju Family believe it is important to ‘give back’, by this we mean providing opportunities for the development of our surrounding community.
Part of the proceeds from the accommodation and safaris go toward the development of community initiatives. As seen below, we have a multi-faceted approach to achieve our aim of being a genuine community and environmentally-conscious travel option. We welcome any thoughts and suggestions.
We have regular requests and enquiries about volunteering. Jenny (one of the Honey Badger Directors) first came to Africa as a volunteer and Joseph (her husband and the managing director) directed his own volunteer organisation from 2002 - 2012. We therefore know the value of a volunteer and the potentials of such determined and altruistic individuals, couples and groups. In 2013 we partnered with Michelle at Hostel Kilimanjaro to provide a link to a geniune worthwhile volunteering organisation. Michelle offers low cost and developmentally focused volunteering. Unlike many hostel based volunteering options, Michelle is not driven by the volume of volunteers but focuses on the details of what each volunteer is doing, therby ensuring sustainable development in the projects she supports. For those interested in volunteering you can either contact us or get in touch with Michelle directly (hostelkilimanjaro.com/ ).
Supporting Orphaned and Vulnerable Children
In 2013 we are proud to announce that we now have two arms to this part of our giving back program.
We continue to support Second Chance Education Centre and we have recently (as of January 2013) partnered with others to support the Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need project.
The Second Chance Education Centre was founded to give children, who for various reasons would not be able to otherwise attend school, the opportunity of continued or to start their education. There are two different education components to the centre. Firstly there is a nursery school (called first chance education centre) and secondly a Secondary education centre. The centre is unique, it aims to support the formal education structures within Tanzania buy offering better opportunities prior to starting schooling and then continued support throughout with tutoring and mentoring through to the secondary level.Our history with the centre goes back a long way. In fact it was the Lodge that actually raised the funds to start the centre.
Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need is a Tanzanian based non-profit organization dedicated to helping young girls work towards better futures in Moshi and Mabogini. In this rural region of northern Tanzania, poverty, abuse, and the loss of parents often create unsafe home environments and force many girls not to attend school and escape home, looking for work at very young ages. KYGN strives to provide opportunities previously unavailable to these girls, allowing them to fully realize their potentials.
Honey Badger is proud to support both worthwhile initatives. We continue to support the second chance education centre through financial donations, strategic planning, administration and providing low cost accommodation for the Centre's long terms visitors. Our inital support for the KYGN project includes a long term commitment to their overheads, linking volunteers and vistors to provide hands on support and encouraging and directing monetoary and inkind donations to the centre.
You can read more about the Second Chance Education centre on it's facebook page: www.facebook.com/CreatingChancesThroughEducation and you can make any donations to the centre through their betterplace site: www.betterplace.org/en/projects/7787-creating-chances-through-education
You can read more about the Kilimanjaro Young girls on their website and on our facebook page as we continue to update you on our progress.
Supporting local community groups:
We endeavour to purchase community produced goods, building capacity where necessary. Such an initiative encourages financial independence thereby improving the communities’ ability to support itself. For example we have various tie-dye materials/products in our rooms and around the lodge which were produced by local women/girls. In 2013 we started a new partnership with Jiendeleze, an organisation set up by a young and very talented Tanzanian women (Jesca) to support local women in her community. Honey Badger is working with the group to develop items that the lodge can purchase regularly (like soap and jam etc) and other items that guests can purchase (arts and crafts). The women are all from our local surroundings and guests are welcome to visit the women of the project. Our aim is to provide a market for all these local groups both from the lodge directly but also to our guests. We believe that this type of set up can provide a sustainable source of income for these women, families and groups.
One of our goals is to be a centre for community development, we have different strategies in place to achieve these goals. One such strategy involves offering training opportunities to hospitality/tourism students. Secondly we have a special Honey Badger training scheme. It is made up of 16 training modules, for each department there are some compulsory training modules and the other ones they can select if they wish. 14 of the modules currently relate specifically to the work at Honey Badger and the remaining two focus on the personal development of the staff (health, HIV and first aid and livelihood training). We will be welcoming in various guest trainers for the programme.
You can read more about this in one of recent announcements:
Honey badger is in the process of ‘greening up’; we are working hard to establish more environmentally friendly and sustainable sources of electricity and water. 2010 will see various additions, including water harvesting systems, solar panels (for water heating and electricity) and improved waste disposal.