Empowering Communities | Enabling Conservation
&Beyond’s community development partner, Africa Foundation is an independent, tax-exempt non-profit organisation registered in South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom. Working together with &Beyond and in consultation with the communities themselves, Africa Foundation facilitates the socio-economic development of rural communities living in or close to the continent’s conservation areas. For &Beyond, our involvement with Africa Foundation represents our core tenet of Care of the People. Financial support in the form of underwriting the core costs of Africa Foundation takes place, freeing up almost the full funds raised from donors for the development of the various projects across Africa.
The Africa Foundation philosophy
The projects that Africa Foundation supports are based on two simple principles – they are grounded in community participation and are driven by local leadership. Partnership with local stakeholders is critical for the success of the projects and the Foundation plays a pivotal role in facilitating the relationship between communities, local government and &Beyond.
Africa Foundation focuses on four key development areas:
- Small business development
- Environment and conservation
Led by local champions elected by the community, as well as community leaders, projects identified to address community needs are set in motion, with the community leading the way. The right training, skills and resources are provided by Africa Foundation or through partner organisations to ensure projects are not only effectively implemented but remain self-sustainable long after initiation.
To ensure the development of the community and the sustainability of the project, initiatives are handed over to the communities, who take responsibility for their success and growth. Leadership development and support are key areas of focus for the Africa Foundation, as it is only through strong leadership that community initiatives can become sustainable. Local champions are equipped with the skills and knowledge to secure additional funding of their own, building on the solid foundation that has been set in place.
Africa Foundation believes that it is vital to ensure the growth of solid relationships between &Beyond lodges, the communities surrounding those lodges and various government entities and works very hard to facilitate these relationships. All of the Foundation’s field staff and some of their management are drawn from the local communities themselves, thus strengthening the bond between them and &Beyond.