For those who know me and are familiar with the Kusini Safaris story, you will know that making a positive difference to the communities and landscapes we visit on safari is the driving force behind our existence.
I set up a safari company the same way a lot of businesses start - largely by accident. Having already fallen out with safari guiding and deciding on a career in conservation, my wife and I came to Tanzania and Ruaha. It didn’t take me long to figure out that these places could really do with more visitors. It also didn’t take me long to realise that the relentless grants treadmill that all conservation projects have to contend with, wasn’t for me either. Maybe there was a way around both problems?
Through the years we have sought to explore this area between the tourist business, the conservation industry, local communities and institutions. Taking clients off road to visit communities, going to the off beat destinations, facilitating client philanthropy, taking donors to the projects they support, raising money during the pandemic and so on. We have consistently given as much financial support as possible to the people we work with along the way. Not though occasional gestures or counting how much park fees we’ve paid but by talking to the people doing the work. Many of these people are our friends and mentors.
The Kusini Fund seeks to formalise this effort in providing a separate entity for us and our guests to focus their fundraising efforts. The fund will distribute money to a select group of projects working in our core areas of Southern Tanzania. The fund will also support initiatives in Tanzania and across Africa where we go on privately guided safaris, and of course those handpicked by our donors.
Donations will be unrestricted - meaning that recipients are free to spend the money how they choose; on diesel, on salaries or whatever their needs may be at that time. Projects will not have to compete for funds and we will make sure efforts are not duplicated. Fundraising rounds for special projects will take place throughout the year with the Kusini network and guests will be encouraged to make contributions as part of their safaris. The Kusini Fund will be a separate entity to Kusini Safaris, financials will be conducted accordingly and regular impact reports produced.
The first special project for The Kusini Fund will be raising money for new bandas (roofs) for the student accommodation at Mkuyu Guide School. The current roofs are made of grass and being several years old, are falling apart and won’t survive another wet season (December). We have already received a very generous donation of $5,000, but we need your support to hit our goal.
You can see the current bandas and tents (which also need replacing) below. Alongside the new classroom we helped to build last year, the tents will have corrugated iron roofs like this.
Find out more about Mkuyu Guide School here.
If you would like to donate, volunteer your expertise, or if you know some worthy causes that deserve some attention or you want to get involved in any way, get in touch and I'll be more than happy to discuss further.