Setting up a Khwe community-based training and tourism enterprise
The project is based on the “wilderness tracker” project initiated and supported by Gebeco in 2013 whose main objective is to preserve the unique traditional knowledge of the local Khwe community to pass it on to younger generations and to generate new sources of income through tourism integration. For this purpose, training programs have been developed and implemented in order to transfer the knowledge from the elders to future generations. In addition, initial programs for sharing the traditional knowledge with travellers were created and tested with Gebeco travel groups.
Now it's time for the Khwe to start their own business. The aim of the current partnership is therefore that the Khwe can manage their project independently and generate a stable and sustainable income for their community. For this purpose, the Khwe are supported in the establishment of a so-called "Cultural Village". It is intended to become a permanent starting point as a central training centre as well as for the reception of visitors.
The main objective of this project is to assist the Khwe communities around the Bwabwata National Park to improve their living conditions by generating a stable and sustainable income and to support them maintaining and expanding their rich and diverse traditional knowledge.
In order to achieve this goal, the following activities are planned:
1. Ongoing training of Khwe community
An important part of the project is the continuation of the development of training programs for the local community. The project focuses on the preservation and promotion of knowledge that is very important for the daily life of the Khwe community: dealing with wildlife:
Elephant expert training: Two representatives of the Khwe community are being trained as elephant guides by the local partner EHRA in a train-the-trainer workshop to enable continuous implementation of action and knowledge sharing in the community. In addition, the entire Khwe community learns in trainings what kind of measures they can use for the peaceful defence against elephant attacks.
In addition, regular training is provided to ensure that the traditional knowledge of the elders is passed on to the younger generations. The training also includes the leadership and interaction of / with young people, visitors and tourist groups.
2. Development of a strong community-based enterprise, the “cultural village” with the project partner Living Culture Foundation Namibia (LCFN):
The LCFN is committed to rural development in Namibia by helping local communities combine the preservation and transfer of their traditional culture with the creation of new income opportunities in the tourism sector. The LCFN follows the principles of in-house development and responsibility, whereby the organization provides support to the local community, but the projects are developed and executed by the communities themselves. The LCFN will support the Khwe community over the coming months in the task of setting up their own Cultural Village as a community-based training and tourism enterprise.
The outbreak of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic affects the further development and implementation of our project as well. Unfortunately, the opening of the Cultural Village is strongly dependent on the further development of the worldwide pandemic. Due to the lack of tourists, the Khwe's income has also decreased, and thus their livelihood is threatened. It is still unclear when trips to Namibia and visits to the Khwe village will be possible again.
In order to be able to live independently of tourism in the long term, another source of income needs to be created. The soil in the village is very rich and well suited for the cultivation of crops such as corn. Unfortunately, water is scarce and there is no functioning water supply in the village. The Khwe fetch water 4-5 times a day from the Kavango River about 1km away, but the way there is very tedious, and the water is just enough for daily needs, but not for irrigating plants.
Our goal is to offer a permanent water supply in the Khwe village, so that they not only have clean drinking water, but can also cultivate crops. With a solar pump, water can be pumped via a pipe from the river into a 5,000-litre water tank.
We would be very happy to receive donations for the provision of a functioning water supply system in the Khwe village.