Corporate Social Responsibility
At Chobe Holdings Limited we believe in creating shared value through our integrated approach of investing in wildlife, investing in people and investing in Botswana. We do this by developing meaningful and longstanding relationships with communities, organisations and programmes in line with the values of Botswana’s Vision 2036.
Geographically the primary areas we support are those areas in which Chobe operates, North-West, Chobe and Central Districts, although Chobe also support national causes.
Funding for Corporate Social Responsibility programmes is dispersed from Group treasury, but is accounted for at subsidiary level.
Investment in Wildlife
Desert & Delta Safaris has been an supporter, since their 2016/17 financial year, of the Peter Smith University of Botswana Herbarium which is housed at The Okavango Research Institute and dedicated to the study of wetlands and adjacent drylands. The company has been donating BWP 50,000 annually to go towards research and collection of data. It is important for the company to invest in caring for the very environment from which it runs its business. More than that, Desert & Delta Safaris is committed to investing in education, knowledge and understanding of the Okavango Delta environment including its people and the data Mobilization Project with Herbarium will ensure that.
Investment in People
By investing in people, both staff and communities, we have developed an innovative and integrated corporate social responsibility programme which is coupled to community development initiatives, where possible in support of government programmes.
Bana Ba Letsatsi
Bana Ba Letsatsi offers a range of programs to support, encourage, rehabilitate, and empower children who have been orphaned, or are at risk of being failed by adults, adult-driven systems, and institutions. The Centre assists children with programs implemented in line with their needs, including: counselling, home visits, skills development, informal education, reintroduction to formal education, daily meals, clothing, shelter, transportation, medical attention, and hygiene facilities. Bana Ba Letsatsi currently serves 145 children.
Ker & Downey Botswana and Bana Ba Letsatsi have a long-standing relationship of 12 years that sees the company spending a minimum of BWP 250,000 annually on operational costs for the organisation. This is made possible by the company’s family package that has been designed to contribute towards funding Bana Ba Letsatsi. This support has been a fundamental to the on-going, much needed operations of Bana Ba Letsatsi.
As Bana Ba Letsatsi grew, they saw it fit to build a new and more modern centre that would fulfil their needs. In addition to the operational costs, Ker & Downey Botswana has pledged its support towards the construction of the Sunshine Hall, the kitchen and eating area of the Centre, also known as ‘its heart’, a minimum amount of BWP 460,000.00. The COVID-19 Pandemic caused some delays with the build, but Phase 1 has been completed and Phase 2 which incorporates the Sunshine Hall has begun.
Ker & Downey Botswana offers added value to Bana Ba Letsatsi children in the form of offering tourism experiences to the children with all costs covered by Bana Ba Letsatsi. This is a once in a lifetime experience and a chance for the children and staff to unwind and enjoy the beauty of the Okavango Delta. Additionally, Ker & Downey Botswana has provided employment to some of the beneficiaries of Bana Ba Letsatsi when they have graduated from the Centre.
Mathiba I Memorial School
The partnership between Mathiba I Memorial school and Ker & Downey Botswana became official with the adoption of the school in 2019. Recently Desert & Delta Safaris has also been included in this partnership.
Mathiba I Memorial School has thus far have benefitted from:
- The purchase of a high-capacity printer as well as the operational costs being covered by the company.
- 40 revision books per subject, school stationary, 10 chalkboards, and 10 stands for the boards have been purchased for the school
- The company has also been a major player in establishing the Preschool at Mathiba I Memorial School through the purchase of Porta-cabin classrooms and furniture along with the materials needed for the children.
Chobe Holdings has spent over BWP 500,000 on the school in its efforts to support education and enable the school to perform to its best ability. All these efforts have borne fruits as the school has improved from a 54% pass rate to a 74% pass and plans are underway to further achieve their set target of 80% in 2022. In an effort to help the school to achieve this goal, Desert & Delta Safaris has launched a tutorial program at the school, bearing all the costs for the wages of the extra lessons, to provide the students who have been struggling in their respective subjects with the help they needed. The program has been welcomed and appreciated by the students and staff and has proven enormously successful as student’s marks have shown significant improvement.
Tsodilo Junior Secondary School
The adoption of Tsodilo Junior Secondary in 2014 has resulted in the company buying school uniforms and stationery for 20 underprivileged children annually so they are comfortable around their peers, setting the mood for a healthy learning environment.
The school receives support during the annual prize giving ceremony, with the company offering an all-expense paid safari experience to the top 10 best performing students in the school, for 10 underprivileged children plus some staff. This has always been a highlight of the year for the children and staff.
Khumaga Village and Primary School
Desert & Delta Safaris has a lodge operating near Khumaga village, and therefore saw it fit to support the community. A bus stop structure was erected and donated to the village and The Village Development Committee has been supported with other resources over the years.
A summary of Desert & Delta Safaris’s support includes contributions towards: the annual Independence Day celebrations hosted by the community; the playgroup has been supported with classroom stationary, graduation gowns, and most recently the installation of a water standpipe on the playgroup premises; staff are employed from the village; two candidates have been selected from Khumaga village to participate in the “Leaders for the Future” programme that offers scholarships to study at tertiary level; the Primary School has received floating trophies to use at their prize giving ceremonies; gifts are bought for the best performing students at the prize giving ceremony; and a highlight in the school calendar is the career fair which Desert & Delta Safaris hosts at their lodge for the Standard 7 students where different professionals are invited to engage with the children.
Golden Years Age Group
This is an initiative to support the elderly in the community through a financial contribution of BWP 1500 going towards health check-ups and home visits.
Leaders For the Future Programme
The programme started in 2016 in partnership with Botswana Accountancy College with the aim to empower young Batswana into management positions in the camps. The program supports one student per year with the scholarship covering 3 ½ years of schooling amounting to BWP 210,000.00 per student followed by 2 years of employment. During the program the candidates are given a chance to intern at the camps to give them industry experience during their school breaks. The Program has successfully produced two graduates and will see two more candidates graduating in 2022. Whilst the sponsorship continued for existing student throughout the covid years, new scholarships were not awarded.
Sedia Hotel & Glass Recycling Livelihood Project
The Glass Recycling Project is a women’s livelihood initiative founded by The Impact Fund through the support and funding of the US Embassy with the goal of operating a sustainable jewelry enterprise through recycled glass. The jewelry will be sold to the local and international tourist markets, generating income for the women involved.
The Sedia Hotel houses the operation. This provides much needed support to the women with regards to rent costs and guests at the hotel can visit the project providing a potential market.
The Sedia Hotel is in the process of renovating a building at the hotel's entrance. This building will allow all things local to be profiled, marketed and sold. This is fabulous for the small craft producer and service providers as marketing and visibility are one of their biggest challenges. This space will allow for craft workshops to be held, basket weavers to showcase their skills, craft works to be sold and ‘what to do around Maun’ activities to be accessed and sold.
Polokong Elderly Care Centre
Polokong Centre for the Elderly is a community project which started in 2010 in Maun Botswana with the aim of making a difference to disadvantaged elderly people in the community. The objective is to make them feel special so they may live the remainder of their lives in dignity. The centre provides daily meals, clothes, and blankets for those in need, supplementary Nutri meal to boost the immune system of the elderly and any other services needed to make their lives easier.
Desert & Delta Safaris has been a huge supporter of Polokong as they recognise the importance of having such an institution that takes care of those who have had a hand in building our community. Desert & Delta Safaris has pledged BWP 102,000 for the year 2022, which will be used by the centre to continue supporting the elderly specifically with regards to provision of nutri-porridge, cleaning materials and transport.
Junior Rangers Botswana and StartUp4Kids/Aflatoun Programs
Junior Rangers Botswana program is a pioneering environmental education project focusing on children and young adults providing them with the necessary technical, social and design skills in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability that will enable them to participate in shaping the future of our natural resources. The children are taught about specific environmental protection topics in educational units both at schools and in the Maun Educational Wildlife Park. The program also offers nature camps lasting several days where the children can experience exciting activities in nature, deepening their understanding and knowledge. There are currently 125 participants from 9 different local schools that Junior Rangers works with.
Desert & Delta Safaris has partnered with Junior Rangers Botswana and offered to support the activities offered with resources where appropriate. The company has pledged the use of its camping sites, transport around the bush during camp visits, and where possible support with running the camping expeditions. DDS will also offer its professional guides to assist the environmental talks and activities in the schools, sharing their knowledge and experiences with the children.
StartUp4Kids/Aflateen provides social and financial education to vulnerable children, youth, and women in the Maun region to support them with relevant life-skills. Desert & Delta Safaris has partnered with StartUp4Kids to establish a pilot programme at Tsodilo Junior Secondary School to complement the school curriculum and provide kids with additional 21st Century & Life Skills. Aflateen plays an important role in addressing issues faced by young people today. The program works to enhance youth’s understanding of money and the markets that increasingly affect them as they become consumers, workers, and producers. The program greatly improves their opportunities for the future, as it prepares young people for a complex and turbulent job market. During the lessons they explore concepts such as age, gender, nationality, ethnicity, socio-economic status, and religion, in addition to the key Aflateen theme of financial education. Desert & Delta Safaris will offer financial assistance to the program to enable them to buy materials such as stationary, run workshops amongst other assistance they may need going forward.
Investing in Botswana
Listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, Chobe encourages broad-based participation in both Botswana’s tourism and financial markets. We are dedicated to our corporate citizenship activities, responsible business practices and shared value proposition. We are committed to ensuring that all revenues are remitted to and income taxed in Botswana.