Tourism – a two way street
Our passion for Africa runs deep. We genuinely care for the welfare of the African people, particularly the children. Through a range of charitable projects Safari Sun seeks to give something back to local communities, improving the plight of the wonderful people who have touched our lives. There are 3 causes in particular that are close to our heart:
Ace Africa was established in 2003 with the aim of helping communities in Kenya and Tanzania who were in a desperate state. HIV and AIDS had reached crisis point, there was a serious lack of infrastructure and the outlook for many villages in East Africa was bleak. The organisation adopted a long term approach to improve 4 key areas - child development, community health, nutrition and economic empowerment. They now employ 53 indigenous staff, engaging 4,000 community volunteers who have helped over 650,000 children.
Belinda Rattray is proud to be an ambassador for Ace Africa. Since being introduced to the charity by a colleague and one of its founding members, Joanna Waddington, she has helped to raise more than £25,000 for their cause. A recent charity climb organised by Safari Sun generated substantial funds for the Child to Child (CTC) programme in Tanzania, improving children’s rights and education. The group who visited the CTC project in Arusha also donated clothes and shoes to orphans, vulnerable children and people suffering from HIV and AIDS. Local primary schools received sports clothing and books for their libraries.
Streetsmart SA is a charity run by another friend, Margi Biggs, in South Africa where Belinda grew up. The charity was founded in Cape Town in 2005 in an attempt to better the lives of homeless children. The concept is quite simple – when presented with their bill, diners across the city are asked to make a donation of R5 or more. The money is used to help rehabilitate children and reunite them with their families. Removing children from the street means they are no longer threatened by violence, sexual exploitation, drug addiction or human trafficking.
In her youth Belinda had a close connection with a child who died on the streets of Cape Town. She now runs charity golf days to raise funds for homeless children and gives StreetSmart as much exposure as possible through Safari Sun. To date the charity has generated in excess of R5million to support South African children.
The Afri Twin scheme was set up in 2001 by Jayne Martin to inspire mutually beneficial relationships between schools in South Africa and the UK. Afri Twin identifies and pairs schools of a similar size and type, inspiring them to develop friendships and share their knowledge and experiences. The programme encourages racial tolerance and good citizenship. It also creates an understanding in the UK of the challenges associated with the educational system in less developed countries. Regular contact results in exchanges both of students and teachers, international workshops and jointly run conferences.
Safari Sun helps schools to diversify their syllabus by organising affordable trips to their overseas twin.
Visiting Africa can be a humbling experience. The African people leave a lasting impression. The majority have so little and yet they are some of the most gracious and kind hearted souls alive. When you visit local communities and see first hand the exceptional work that is being done by charities, you cannot help but put your own life into perspective and regain a sense of what’s important. If you would like to visit a community project as part of your trip or make a donation, please do get in touch.