Undoubtedly a highlight on any tour to South Africa, a community trip offers a wonderful opportunity to engage with the enchanting communities surrounding the wildlife sanctuaries of the Mpumalanga province. Hosted by Africa Foundation, &Beyond’s community development partner, who has been active within these rural communities for 25 years, you will gain first-hand knowledge of the foundation’s various projects to improve education, healthcare and water access as well as the development of local businesses in the area.
You will have the opportunity to visit projects in the communities of Welverdiend or Hlabekisa. These tours offer insight into the everyday lives of community members as well as the difficulties they may face. For instance, in the Welverdiend community, the Nhlalala Crèche was operating out of temporary shelters before Africa Foundation came to its aid, building two classrooms, a waterless sanitation block, and assisting with a kitchen, borehole, vegetable garden and playground equipment. Mtembeni Primary School is one of three primary schools in the Welverdiend community. The school has an enrolment of approximately 500 learners, Africa Foundation has worked with the school to develop its infrastructure, including the construction of a kitchen and EnviroLoos.
In the Hlabekisa community, you will have the opportunity to visit the Mayelana Creche, which started in a corrugated makeshift structure, caring for 24 children. Africa Foundation has supported the construction of a double classroom, EnviroLoos, borehole and fencing. Not too far away, is Bilton High School. Previously, this community did not have a high school and children from the area where travelling and staying with relatives in other communities in order to attend school. Africa Foundation supported the construction of the school; including classrooms, an admin block, EnviroLoos, kitchen, and fencing. Be sure to make a stop at the Bohlabela Craft Market, which was officially opened in April 2009. Built by Africa Foundation, outside of the Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate, the market brings together 25 women and one gentleman that had been working in isolation to sell their goods on the side of the road.