This is my first blog post for the Maliba Trust. I first became involved with the trust back in late 2010, when I visited the lodge. Anyone who has been there will tell you the same thing, the place and people are amazing. Like nothing I expected to see in Africa. This may seem like a cliche (well it is), but I expected it to be hot dry savannas teeming with wildlife, or steamy jungles. Instead you are faced with a magnificent alpine environment, sandstone mountains, pristine streams and rivers, and the friendly, generous hospitality of the Besotho people.
But, and there’s a big but, these people by and large also live in abject poverty, with all the trappings such as starvation and disease, of which HIV is epidemic.
The thing I like about the Trust is that its designed to empower the people through education and providing the tools required to enable self empowerment. Virtually 100% of the money donated goes to the front line. If you donate money, the administration of the trust and it’s projects is likewise donated. So I decided to help.
I work for one of the Trust Directors in his Australian based business, so I have been helping in many ways, through support of the trust website and so on, but I also wanted to do something that will assist in a material way. So when I told the boss I’d like to donate to the trust, he suggested that I run a small project to install a water tank. The plan was hatched.
I then asked the trust manager Daniel which school was most in need. This happened to be St Peters Primary. I have raised a little extra money from friends and work colleagues, but then that gave me an idea; raise the funds to install water tanks to all the schools in the valley. So I’m now asking my friends and family to donate money to my little project. There is only another 2 schools that require tanks, so that’s about $800-900. And of the money for the first tank, the only out of pocket cost was the money transfer itself, which was about $33. The organisation to purchase the materials and planning were donated as well. Tell me one other aid agency that can boast that?
Hopefully this takes a burden off the school children of collecting water, so they can concentrate on much more important matters such as obtaining an education.
I’ll keep you posted with the progress of the other two water tanks…