Dqae Qare San Lodge
With a grant from Planeterra, improvements to Dqae Qare San Lodge that would have taken five years to complete took only a matter of months. In addition, the revenue brought by Planeterra connecting Dqae Qare San Lodge to a wider travel market, including G Adventures tours, allows the Kuru Development Trust to invest more in their business, empower and employ more people from D’kar, and invest more into community projects and infrastructure. The Kuru Development Trust uses revenue for the lodge for community development projects like fresh water infrastructure and support for the preschool – projects that are invaluable for the community. Additionally, with the D’kar community living on about 30 cents a day, the jobs provided at Dqae Qare are truly changing lives. One Dqae Qare employee is able to support a family of ten back in the village of D’Kar.
Like all Indigenous communities around the world, the San of Southern Africa are a marginalized people – often excluded from the formal economy and lacking social services, while under constant threat from the ‘developing’ world that seeks to diminish their language, history, and culture. The San, who are the earliest inhabitants of Southern Africa, currently number around 113,000 and are scattered across six countries in Southern Africa, with a large number residing in the Kalahari region of Botswana.
The Kuru Development Trust was formed to protect the San of Botswana, and their activities centre around assisting the D’kar community of around 2,000 inhabitants. Dqae Qare San Lodge, which is a wildlife area, lodge, and campsite, offers full-time employment to 12 staff members and part-time work to some 40 individuals who offer cultural activities and other small jobs at the lodge.
Seeing the amazing work that the Kuru Development Trust has done to empower, employ, and support thousands of San in Southern Africa, Planeterra partnered with Dqae Qare San Lodge to assist them with improvements and upgrades to their campsite and lodge accommodation.
When they received a grant from Planeterra to upgrade their campsite and accommodation, the Dqae Qare San Lodge staff went to work, building an ablution block – including six showers, toilets, and wash basins for travellers visiting the wildlife area and staying on the property. Local labour and material were used, and the local Kuru Development Trust art project decorated the outside of the new toilet block in May 2019. Meanwhile, work started on upgrades to the lodge, with new doors installed, floors repaired and washrooms upgraded.