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Kariega Foundation: 2019 Community Project Highlights

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Kariega Game Reserve and the Kariega Foundation aspire to emulate the balance and harmony in nature by creating a similar and mutually beneficial balance and harmony between commercial success and stability; community collaboration and activation; wildlife management and conservation to create a sustainable eco-tourism-system that supports our people, animals and our environment.

Kariega Game Reserve, through a 30 year history of dedication and passion, has built a solid commercial platform that enables the Kariega Foundation to make significant investments back into the communities and natural environment that support us to deliver a top safari experience to guests from across the globe.

The Kariega Foundation is funded primarily by a community and conservation levy paid by all adult guests visiting Kariega Game Reserve. These funds are invested into numerous and diverse projects inspired, led and managed by passionate and energetic people from the Kariega Foundation team and our neighbouring communities of Kenton-on-Sea, Ekuphumleni, Marselle and Klipfontein. We are extremely grateful to the many individuals and organisations who contribute generously to our efforts by offering valuable expertise and funds.

The Kariega Foundation was very active in 2019, focusing on early childhood development, youth development through sport and dance, enterprise development, education transformation, environmental education, domestic animal care and the conscious protection and preservation of our natural heritage, wild animals and plant life. In addition many guests brought donations including from baby clothes, stationary, educational posters and much more to support our Pack for a Purpose initiative which we give out to the neediest in our local communities.

These are some of our Kariega Foundation 2019 community project highlights.

Kariega Foundation 2019: Youth Development - Sport

More than 300 children from three communities (Ekuphumleni, Marselle and Klipfontein) took part in our sports programmes in 2019. We employed the services of six coaches, two from each community who trained daily with our budding sports stars. We invest heavily in our coaches and the important role they play in the lives of these children. In 2019 our coaches were trained by Cape Town based non-profit organisation (NPO) CoolPlay to not only coach sport but actively grow resourcefulness and the emotional quotient (EQ) within their players plus provide a safe place for them to express their personal concerns and life problems. In addition they attended a variety of training courses to improve their own skills, qualifications and technical coaching ability in both netball and rugby.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Sports Programme

It is wonderful to see how much joy and purpose sport brings to the lives of the children. It is equally gratifying to watch their progress and share in their successes of which there were many during 2019.

Athletics: The Kariega Foundation paid the registration fees for four children to be part of Athletics South Africa (ASA) so that they could compete in a number of races. These children participated in the Bathurst Pineapple Run with one of the girls achieving second place. They also participated at DRSAC Fun Run in Port Alfred on 2 December. This time eight children took part, four girls and four boys. Two girls placed second and third and one boy placed second.

Indigenous Games: Twelve children were selected to take part in the district games and one girl was selected for the Sarah Baartman provincial team.

Rugby: Two boys from Klipfontein junior rugby were selected to take part in the Albany trials.

Netball: Masele Girls and Junior Vintage Galz were invited to the Alexandria Netball Youth Tournament in June 2019. Masele Girls placed second and the Junior Vintage Galz won the tournament. The Junior Vintage Galz were invited to the Seven Fountains Netball Youth Tournament. The U12 team placed second and both the U13 and U17 won their age groups. Eight girls from Junior Vintage Galz were invited to provincial trials in Humansdorp and one of them was selected to take part in the provincial winter netball camp.

We were extremely proud of the achievements of our players and teams. At the end of the 2019 season the Kariega Foundation coaches were eager to encourage their players to keep giving of their best and build their self-confidence by acknowledging what they have achieved to date. To reward them for their commitment and efforts each child received a gift bag of toiletries and stationery.

Kariega Foundation Community Netball Highlight

Kariega Foundation 2019: Youth Development - Boma Dancers

The Kariega Foundation supported 40 young dancers from two different dance groups, one from the community of Ekuphumleni and the other from the community of Marselle. The Ekuphumleni dance group, Iindoni Ezintle and Gumboot dancers consists of 12 boys and 8 girls, danced for Kariega Game Reserve guests in the Main Lodge. The Marselle group, Iingelosi Zomxhentso consists of 14 girls and 6 boys and performs at the River Lodge boma.

The opportunity to dance, sing and meet people from all around the world inspires these children enormously and the enthusiasm and pride in their culture and performance is tangible. The Kariega Foundation takes great joy in supporting the well-being and personal development of these children in equally tangible ways. Each dancer receives:

  • An annual birthday gift
  • A back to school pack including school shoes, sports shoes and a backpack
  • A fun and informative annual camp
  • Mentorship to save tips received from guests to finance additional future needs and opportunities
  • Participation in COOL TO BE ME Social Emotional Learning programme

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Boma Dancer Camp

Kariega Foundation 2019: Environmental Education

During 2019 the Kariega Foundation team members Marcia and Chris implemented an Environmental Education programme at six local schools and reached approximately 600 students each month. The programme incorporated information on diverse topics including air pollution, climate change, water conservation, biodiversity, oceans, endangered species, saving our wildlife and much more.

A community Climate Change march was organised by the Grade 11 Ukhanyo Secondary School student environmental committee and held on 19 September 2019. The march was supported by the Grade 8 students from Alexandra High, Addo Elephant National Park wildlife wardens, Kariega Foundation staff, sports coaches and Kariega conservation volunteers and was the highlight of the year. The number of supporters exceeded 100 people and it was possibly the first march of its kind in a rural, overlooked community.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Climate Change March

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Climate Change March

A waste clean up day held on 27 September 2019 in Klipfontein was another 2019 community project highlight. The clean-up was organised by Chris and Marcia from the Kariega Foundation with support from the Kariega Conservation Volunteers and nearly 60 other people, including the Ward 3 Councillor Cynthia James, Harmony Park Community Leader Eugene Williams, local children from Klipfontein Primary School, Ndlambe Municiality Public Works Programme workers and local residents.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Klipfontein Waste Clean Up

A popular 2019 addition to the Environmental Education Programme was the holiday film programme that not only offered entertainment to the children but also exposed them to films with strong moral and values based themes.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Holiday Programme

Kariega Foundation 2019: Community Donations

The Kariega Foundation team was delighted to spend significant amounts of time during 2019 managing the distribution of donations to those individuals, families or organisations in need in our communities. Approximately 50 donation packs were distributed in 2019.

These donations were mostly items brought by guests when visiting Kariega Game Reserve as well as food and other re-usable items donated by the reserve. The Kariega team take great care to ensure that goods are donated consciously and fairly. 

The Kariega Foundation co-ordinators work through various community organisations including clinics, schools and child welfare (to name a few) to identify people in need. They then visit these families, schools or homes to complete a needs analysis and then assemble a the donation pack to meet the needs. These donations make a significant difference in the lives of the recipients and give them hope that they are not alone or overlooked and someone is thinking of them.

View our list of needs on the website of our international partner Pack for a Purpose.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Donations

Kariega Foundation 2019: Early Childhood Development

The 2019 Early Childhood Development (ECD) highlights included the training of four passionate, dedicated practitioners working in the ECD centres and Grade R classrooms in our neighbouring communities. These practitioners all underwent a stringent selection process including interviews, applications, school visits, referrals and a written test. The group of practitioners completed their training and Portfolios of Evidence and successfully passed the ETDP SETA Verification & External Moderation process. All of the practitioners graduated on 27 November 2019.

We are incredibly proud of each and every practitioner for the commitment they showed to the training and the positive impact they had on the children’s growth and development. Most of the teachers enrolled in the Early Inspiration training programme showed a deep gratitude for this opportunity to increase their knowledge, skills, and develop as professionals. By empowering these practitioners, we are in turn touching hundreds of children’s lives.

These practitioners will complete their level four training in 2020, supported by funds from Rotary Global. The Kariega Foundation will shift focus in 2020 to fund the development and implementation of the Early Inspirations ECD curriculum in ten ECD centres, providing much needed structure and resources.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Early Childhood Education

Kariega Foundation 2019: Domestic Animal Care

The domestic animal care project started at the beginning of 2019 and with a limited budget and has been a testament to what can be achieved through collaboration and community activation. A team of dedicated individuals from the Kariega Foundation, Kariega Conservation Volunteers, Kariega Veterinary Clinic Kenton-on-Sea, Ndlambe SPCA and many locals have given their time and expertise with meaningful results.

  • Approximately 50 dog houses were donated to dog owners in local communities
  • Many female dogs and cats were sterilised to reduce the number of stray domestic animals
  • Assistance was provided to injured or sick animals
  • A number of community outreach days were arranged for dipping, deworming and vaccinating animals.

Kariega Foundation 2019 Community Project Highlights: Domestic Animal Outreach

More About Our Kariega Foundation

To find out more about the work of our Kariega Foundation please visit the various sections on our website. You can read more about the focus on education and visit our blog to read updates on all our community initiatives and conservation projects.

You are also welcome to contact us via email on or come and chat to us in person while on your safari. The Kariega Foundation office is located at Main Lodge reception. The Kariega Foundation community and conservation levy already makes every guest a valued partner but many guests feel like they want to do more.

Here are some ideas if you would like to support the work of the Kariega Foundation:

Chat to us about what is in your heart and we will try to find a way to make a difference together.

Images thanks to Cedric Vandenschrik, Chris Bakkes, Marcia Fargnoli, Jone Haesslich and Sophie Smith.