When various community-based projects collaborate, they become more powerful. By working together and sharing their responsibility, expertise and resources they are able to have a far-reaching and way more effective impact. This sort of collaboration is what lies at the heart of youth development, and is something Thornybush Community Projects has first-hand experience in.
Recently Thornybush Community Projects, Warrior500 , and three young men who first came to us through Wild Shots Outreach Program, came together to create a truly magical story of skills sharing and upliftment, together with Conservation South Africa.
Warrior500 is a unique, never-been-done-before challenge which saw two adventure-lovers, Simone Bishop and Grant Christie, walking 500km through some of South Africa’s most iconic landscapes within the Greater Kruger National Park. The aim was to create a platform through which funds could be raised for the most vulnerable members in the tourism chain: the local communities and those who are dependent on the industries support.
Thornybush was asked to partner with the Warrior500 team while on their ‘route’ through the Northern Sabi Sand Game Reserve. We teamed up with them for Mandela Day, which lead to an extremely successful few hours spent at the Hananani Primary School.
During this initiative, the Warrior500 media team were intrigued by three gentleman who were there taking video and stills footage of the event. These three young men from the local community – Rafumo, Neville and Vusi, had initially been beneficiaries of the photographic inspired Wild Shots Outreach Program. They showed so much potential that they were given the opportunity to complete a years internship with Conservation South Africa, through the Yes 4 Youth program.
The three Wild Shots graduates, who are now all media micro enterprise business owners themselves, were given a further opportunity to be mentored by Darnie and Daniel, who were part of the Warrior 500 media’s team.
The young photographers were tasked with the job of capturing stories around the woman who are working in tourism industry, for the #IAMTOURISM drive lead by SATSA, the voice of inbound tourism. They had to go out and meet inspiring women who work in the tourism industry, interview them as well as take their photographs.
Obviously, Thornybush excitedly volunteered to be a part of this uplifting woman’s month initiative. It was so exciting to have Rufumo, Neville and Vusi spend the day at Thornybush’s Game Lodge, capturing the stories of some of the influential and special woman who make up a large part of the Thornybush team.
One of the key elements of this project was to look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the women in tourism. It has been a hugely successful drive and all these inspiring stories will be shared on the Warrior500 website as well as on all the SATSA platforms.
Women play an important role in community, they lead and teach other women, but most importantly they have the ability to positively influence the generations to come. It has not been easy for any of these women over the past few months, but the images and stories collected are inspiring and uplifting.
We are proud of have been part of this wonderful collaboration and we will continue to foster and nurture these partnerships.