Dqae Qare San Lodge
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. Over USD38,000 is paid out annually to D’kar village for community development projects like fresh water infrastructure and support for the preschool – projects that are invaluable for a community living in extreme poverty and subsisting on around 30 US cents per capita per day.
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 accommodation. Planeterra also connected the lodge and campsite with a steady stream of travellers from G Adventures, which will ensure regular revenue for the lodge, its employees, and the Kuru Development Trust.
With a grant to upgrade their campsite, the Dqae Qare San Lodge 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 just in time for G Adventures travellers to start visiting in May 2019. This additional revenue will allow Dqae Qare San Lodge to invest more in their business, empower and employ more people from D’kar, and invest more into community projects and infrastructure.