Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy’s commitment to helping communities living on the edge of wilderness extends to our work with Nakatindi Village in Zambia.
Approximately five kilometres from Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma Lodge, the Nakatindi Village sits against the border fence of Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park, its people living with the human-wildlife conflict every day.
Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy believes communities like Nakatindi Village deserve to benefit from tourism, an industry that relies on their continued willingness to coexist with wildlife, and is working with the Nakatindi Village leadership to positively impact lives and livelihoods at the household level.
While in Zambia visit the Chipego Bike Shop, whose women proprietors are happy to share their stories. Talk with residents as you tour the village by foot or bike, stopping at the school, garden, clinic, individual homesteads and marketplace.
With support from Sanctuary Retreats guests, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy has given significant support to Nakatindi Primary School. We have refurbished classrooms, built a school kitchen, and expanded the school’s vegetable garden to generate income and supplement the children’s diets. We believe no child can learn hungry, so every day we provide lunch to the 850 students. In addition, each graduating student receives a bicycle in order to make the six kilometer journey to secondary school.
To teach and inspire children to appreciate and protect wildlife and natural resources, Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy holds events, workshops, and excursions for students at Nakatindi Primary School. On Rhino Watch Trips the children see a variety of wildlife including white rhino and elephants, gaining an understanding of the threats facing these species and the importance of their protection. We hope our efforts will encourage the growth of tomorrow’s conservationists and ambassadors for wildlife protection.
Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy, with help from generous guest donations, built a much-needed medical clinic within the Nakatindi Community in 2013. The clinic, which serves 50 people a day, is taking an active role in the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS, which is highly prevalent in the Nakatindi community. Plans are in place to build and equip an addition to the clinic to serve as a maternity ward. The new facility will make labor and delivery safer for both mother and infants and will reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child.
With one in seven of the population testing positive for the HIV virus, Zambia is among the top ten countries burdened with the highest prevalence in the world. In the Nakatindi area this statistic is sadly even higher, estimated at one in four people testing positive.
Of great concern is the transmission of HIV from mother to infant during childbirth. Identifying HIV status early on is critical to preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child, and with maternal care provided by skilled government healthcare professionals throughout delivery and postnatal care, the reality of HIV free babies being born can hopefully be realised.
Countrywide the HIV infection rates among pregnant women remain high at 16.4%. According to UNICEF, 28,000 babies are born HIV positive every year in Zambia, and 120,000 Zambian children are living with HIV.
In recent years the rate of infection in infants has declined largely thanks to the implementation of programmes for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. These prevention and treatment services, which include the provision of antiretroviral therapy, have expanded quickly; however, the majority of these facilities are located in the country’s urban centres and are out of reach for the 60% of Zambians living in rural areas. Facing long distances without access to transportation, the majority of women in Zambia still give birth at home without the assistance of a skilled health worker.
The new 275 square metre maternity ward recently constructed at Nakatindi is Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy's largest investment to date and provides increased capacity for antenatal care, which currently only 19% of Zambian mothers experience. Thanks to the generosity of Sanctuary Retreats' guests, the facility features a delivery room, sluice, antenatal & postnatal rooms, ultrasound room, duty room for stay over staff, washrooms and an office.
Bicycles, which provide a necessary mode of transportation as well as a livelihood, are also playing a role in enhancing lives. In 2015 we donated hundreds of bicycles which, along with their shipping containers, were used to establish a village bike shop and a bike tour enterprise, called Chipego Bike Shop, run by five local women. Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy assisted with the delivery of the bikes and the construction of the shop, as well as the training of its new employees. In addition to providing the community with access to mobility, the bike shop provides an income opportunity for these women who have previously never had a form of employment. The women also set aside a portion of their profits to fund projects in the local community including the sponsorship of school fee for selected students and a contribution to the new maternity ward.