Responsible Travel is not solely about the environment, it is also about the social and economic impact of your visit. Our South African programme includes Zulu Sponsor, a project which aims to help children in Zululand. Many of these children are orphans having lost their parents to AIDS. They do not have money for food or school fees which means no education and very little hope. We are delighted to be sponsoring two children and promoting Zulu Sponsor because we know the people running the project deserve our help.
"Zulufadder" is an organisation established by Mari Maurstad (a Norwegian actress and author) and Ragnhild (Rung) Button (a Norwegian-born Tour Operator and guide, living in Durban, South Africa). The word "Zulufadder" is Norwegian, meaning "Zulu Godparent" or "Zulu Sponsor".
The aim of the project is to help as many children as possible in Eshowe, a district in Zululand. Many of the children are orphans; in most cases AIDS claimed their parents. It is not uncommon to find as many as 15 children living together with their grandmother or aunt in the same hut. They do not have enough money for food or school fees, which means no education.
We are involved, Why not join us?
With both the project's originators being Norwegian it is little surprise that Zulu Sponsor already has many benefactors in Norway. We hope that we can generate a similar support from our clients in the UK and further afield. Each sponsor pays the equivalent of US$30 (approximately £15) per month. It's not a lot and for this, each child receives school fees, a food parcel each month, as well as help with other needs such as a blanket, clothes, medicines if they are ill, etc.
Each sponsor receives a profile of "their" child with photo, brief history and also information of the child's hopes and dreams for the future.
As well as helping to promote Zulu Sponsor here in the UK, we are also delighted to have adopted two of the children both of whom are pictured above. We hope to support them for a long time to come and will follow their progress on our website over the years.
Who knows, maybe one day they will become guides for Activities Abroad in KwaZulu-Natal.
NHLAHLENHLE NGCOBOIS - "GOOD LUCK"
Nhlahlenhle Ngcobois is impossible to pronounce but means "good luck".
"I was born on 4 August 2001. In my family we are five people: me, grandmother, one brother, one sister and my aunt. My parents have passed away. We get foster care grant and grandmother gets old age pension. My grandmother also have responsibility for many other children, so we do not have enough money for buying food and clothes for everybody. It is hard to feed so many kids only from her pension.
"When I grow up I would like to become a teacher. My biggest wish right now is to get new shoes. We need blankets and clothes to stay warm."
SAMKELO MTHEMBU - "THANK YOU"
Our second little girl is Samkelo Mthembu. Her Zulu name Samkelo means "thank you".
"I was born on 23 June 2000. Both my parents have passed away. I am living with my grandmother and four cousins. My uncle used to own a little store, and my family had an income from that. He passed away in June 2006 and since that it has been hard to get enough money to buy food and clothes for the whole family. Our only income now is the child support grant.
"When I grow up I would like to become a nurse. I am sleeping on the floor on a Zulu mat. We don't have water at home and I have to carry big buckets of water on my head from the nearest tap."