Covid Kindness: Supporting Our Village Elders
Written By Natasha Parker On May 19, 2020
Most governments around the world are emphasising the importance of a few small steps when it comes to fighting COVID-19:
protecting the elderly and the immunocompromised
washing your hands as often as possible
But these are difficult goals in Zambia, where families often live on top of each other in very small mud huts or houses, where community is a vital part of every person’s identity, where the elders are cared for by their children and grandchildren, and where many hygiene products are a luxury rather than a necessity.
Green Safaris and Tongabezi are taking steps to protect our staff and communities with a proactive education initiative and a delivery system for basic necessities.
The Green Team started by identifying the oldest and most vulnerable in the local villages. The goal was to ensure that they have an understanding of the situation and the support that they need.
We embarked on a COVID-19 education programme, distributing flyers and posters in multiple local languages throughout the nearby villages.
The Green team also went out in person to explain (from a safe distance) social distancing, isolation, and simple affordable ways to maintain hygiene standards.
Of course, this has all been done with the support of the Ministry of Health to ensure that the information shared is up to government standards.
The Green Team, led by our wonderful Killian Syalyabonga, also initiated a delivery system to ensure that people in our immediate surroundings have access to basic hygiene and food products without needing to go into town and put themselves or their family at risk.
We donated water buckets, hand wash and laundry soap, mealie meal (a staple Zambian food), cooking oil, and other assorted groceries to 72 disabled and elderly people in Mukubesa, Simachila, and Sitali villages in the Simoonga community.
We also installed washing stations throughout the Simoonga area, to ensure that everybody has access to vital sanitisation.
Finally, the Green Team designed a ‘Tippy Tap’, a simple system where a water bottle, string, and some sticks create sanitizing taps that don’t need to be touched by hand at all. The beauty of the Tippy Tap is that anybody can make one, so they have now spread through the local villages!
Livingstone Tourism Association (LTA) chairperson Rodney Sikumba and the Community leader were extremely thankful and said that Tongabezi GS is the first tourism player in Livingstone to donate towards the fight against COVID-19.
Tongabezi and Green Safaris were born from a desire to empower African communities and protect their wild spaces, and we will continue to do so despite the challenges that our tourism sector is facing at this time.
The most important thing that we can do is to continue to provide employment in a part of the world with few other job opportunities. So we have come up with a wonderful plan to support our Teams, our Communities, Our Wild Spaces, and our Future.
The Green Teams might not be able to host guests at the moment, but with your funding, they can still work on community empowerment projects like this one.
If you would like to support our #CovidKindness initiatives, please do get in touch with any member of the Tongabezi or Green Safaris Team.