Singita Grumeti, situated adjacent to the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, is an integral part of the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem, the home of the Great Migration.
The reserve was created by the Tanzanian government in 1994 in order to protect the path of the annual wildebeest migration and the indigenous biodiversity of this vast and important ecosystem. In 2002, the Grumeti Community and Wildlife Conservation Fund, a not-for-profit organisation, was granted the right to manage and conserve these 350,000 acres, for the benefit of Tanzania, Africa and the world. Four years later, Singita took over the management of the property, at the request of the concessionaire and began the task of generating, via low impact tourism, the funds necessary to ensure the long-term sustainability of the reserve through conservation and community partnerships.
SINGITA ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION CENTRE
Singita’s commitment to conservation, development and community outreach come together in perfect harmony in the establishment of the Environmental Educational Centre. The Centre serves to engage and educate the community’s next generation of leaders on the importance of a balanced, sustainable ecosystem.
The Singita Environmental Education Centre is dedicated to teaching students in their penultimate year about the majestic Serengeti Ecosystem and instilling in them an appreciation and understanding of this incredible place. The Centre also provides education on wildlife and environmental conservation and the reasons for creating “protected areas” as well as general, local and global environmental issues. The Environmental Education Centre conducts approximately 25 week-long courses per year. These are attended by 300 youth from the 26 secondary schools in the Bundu and Serengeti districts, which border Singita Grumeti. The content of the course is aligned to the school curriculum and, as such, enables the youth to be better prepared for their formal education. Knowledge
shared includes soil and vegetation usage and management; water conservation; as well as the protection of local wildlife including birds, animals and insects. The Centre also includes teachers in its 5-day on-site programmes to help better teach their students about these crucial topics. In order to ensure the long term sustainability of the ecosystem and the rich biodiversity within it, it is essential that the local communities be empowered, informed and engaged with conservation. The Environmental Education Centre ensures that local people are being brought into the conversation at an early age and helps to create well informed and responsible decision makers for future generations.
Further Community Development Projects at Singita Grumeti
Singita Grumeti continues to invest strongly in the education of local youth. Its scholarship fund has over the last few years enabled hundreds of young people to complete their schooling, university degrees, and has enabled physically challenged students to attend learning centres for disabled youth in Arusha or Dodoma. So far Singita has assisted with 88 scholarships with 34 at tertiary level.
Right to play – the Grumeti Fund provides financial support to the ‘Right to Play’ project, an international organisation that uses structured play to bring about healthy physical, emotional and social development of the youth of the Serengeti district. The project trains teachers as coaches to engage children in regular sport and play activities devised as part of this initiative.
Small Business Development
Adult education has been a key focus, with a special emphasis on training and support for small agricultural businesses. These enterprises include vegetable gardens, pig farming, chicken breeding, bee-keeping, and cultural centres and tourism supported by means of guest community visits. This is helping to create self-sustaining jobs, provide alternative sources of protein (reducing reliance on bush meat and illegal hunting) and ensuring the existence of model small businesses which can be replicated within local communities.
Access to Fresh WaterA core programme requested by local communities during the early days of involvement in the area, was the provision of clean drinking water. This project has now achieved: the drilling and maintenance of 37 boreholes and the training of local water committees; improved water spring sources; and 3 natural water harvesting projects per year.
Want to Help?
You can become a valued funding partner of the Singita Grumeti Environmental Education Centre by sponsoring a five-day course, attended by 12 learners and two teachers. The cost of this is $2,000 or just under $150 per person for the full course. Funds received enable the Centre to implement an increasing number of courses and so maximise the impact of the programme on the preservation of the reserves and of the community lands.
If you are interested in making a contribution to this or any of the other programmes listed above - or if you require more information about any of the programmes - please contact one of the lodge managers at Singita Serengeti and/or Pam Richardson, Singita's Group HR and Community Development Manager - 27 21 683 3424 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Your funds will be put to excellent use as agreed with you.
SOURCE; Singita Grumeti Game Reserve website.