The Sijwa Project is the repurposing and reinventing of all recyclable waste from the African Monarch Lodges – Nambwa Tented Lodge and Kazile Island Lodge on the Kwando River in the Zambezi Region of Namibia – and from the local community into exquisite sellable arts and crafts. Another part is an organic permaculture nursery to supply food for local people and lodge guests (reducing the air and road mileage that lodge food usually travels). The sandy soil is nourished with composted food-waste and super-strength worm juice, given another boost by the occasional dollop of elephant dung. Sijwa is also about a cultural village, an artisanal skills training centre, a beehive project, a free-range egg producing scheme and a junior ranger training venue. Plus, it’s an indigenous tree nursery for visitors to buy and plant a tree to offset their carbon footprint. The tree is looked after by a local ‘tree guardian’ to ensure a better chance to survive nibbling goats.

  1. PROJECT1 PERMACULTURE PLANT

    1. Erect greenhouses and bring in the expertise of qualified permaculture experts to teach us how to grow vegetables, fruit and herbs based on the strict principles of permaculture
    2. Procure seedlings, indigenous trees, seeds, equipment for the greenhouses
    3. Build compost pits & worm farms to create nutrient dense soil for organic produce 
    4. Build chicken coupes and procure chickens to lay Free Range Eggs whilst at the same time producing nutrient rich soils 
    5. Cost/Budget = N$275,000

  2. PROJECT 2 BEEHIVE PROJECT

    1. We will train people from our local conservancies to build beehives so that these are erected around the greenhouses and around the community villages. 
    2. The threat of bees is so intensely felt by animals that conservationists are using it to help prevent the kinds of conflict that put the elephants at risk.  In our conservancies the people experience human-wildlife conflict on a regular basis as elephants naturally cross over from the Bwabwata National park into the neighbouring villages to feast on their lush crops.  Elephants & Bees projects exist in various parts of Africa to combat the human-elephant conflicts; it is our wish to establish this project in the Zambezi region. Sijwa Island is not part of the age-old migratory route of the elephants traversing this area, however, we believe our organic farm will draw elephants. 
    3. We will build our own beehives to deter these gentle giants.  The beehive building skills will be taught to our community.   The beeswax will skillfully be turned into candles and other artefacts, which we will sell.
    4. We will build a carpentry workshop and install equipment for the making of the beehives
    5. We will employ an expert for a minimum of 6 months to teach our local people the necessary skills to build the hives. 
    6. We will buy all the safety wear and equipment to run a successful bee farm  
    7. Cost/Budget = N$220,000

  3. PROJECT 3 RECYCLING GLASS

    1. Our lodges have started collecting and separating glass bottles for the glass-recycling project.  We will crush the glass and melt it to make beautiful jewellery, décor pieces and artefacts for sale at the center. The glass bottles will also be used to secure the beds of the organic herb and vegetable gardens in the greenhouses. The bottles can be used to build wall structures and mosaic tiles for artistic flooring.  We foresee this project to be a hype of activity as we explore various designs for curio resale.  The most important part of the glass project will be to blow our own glassware to grace the tables of our lodges.  This will create awareness with our guests during their dining experiences.   Creating awareness increases demand and improves sales of the items skillfully crafted by the individuals we will employ from our community to work at the glass project. 
    2. An artisan from neighbouring countries will be brought in to teach the community members and our Junior Rangers who will train and work at the project to blow glass.
    3. We will build 3 glass recycling workshops for the crushing of glass
    4. We will build/buy furnaces for the making of glass beads and the blowing of glass
    5. We will bring in an expert to train our local people how to blow glass and work with recycled glass to create products for resale 
    6. Cost/Budget = N$245,000

  4. PROJECT 4 RECYCLING ALUMINIUM

    1. Our lodges have started collecting tin cans in preparation of the project. 
    2. We will build 3 aluminium recycling workshops for the melting of the tin cans, the casting and finally the polishing of the final product.
    3. We will build our very own foundry to melt down all tin cans collected from our lodges, the villages in our area and nearby lodges.  Scrap metal lying around the area can be melted down as well. 
    4. We will buy safety equipment and clothing for the workshops employees
    5. We will employ individuals from our community and train them to crush cans and work with the foundry and melt down all the cans collected. Beautiful artifacts will be made from the molten aluminum and these items will be sold at the center and will grace our lodge’s guest tables to create awareness.
    6. Cost/Budget = N$250,000

  5. PROJECT 5 RECYCLING PLASTIC

    1. Our vision is to recycle all plastic bottles collected from our lodges and the villages in our area.  
    2. We will build as many structures as possible using plastic bottles.  
    3. Numerous community members will be employed to fill the plastic bottles with sand and other non-organic waste in preparation of the ‘building site’. 
    4. Individuals from the community will be employed to build the structures using the filled plastic bottles and cement.  The skill will be taught and transferred into the surrounding areas, which will hopefully reduce the chopping down of trees to build local houses.  
    5. Cost/Budget = N$90,000

  6. PROJECT 6 TREE NURSERY TO OFFSET OUR GUESTS CARBON EMISSIONS

      1. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a major contributor to climate change.  
      2. To help combat climate change we plan to have our guests partake in a program to offset their carbon emissions.  
      3. The first step is to plant hundreds of small indigenous trees in our tree nursery.  Once the guests arrive at our lodges we will calculate their total carbon emissions since their arrival in Namibia.  They are then encouraged to purchase trees to the value of their carbon emissions.  They can select the trees and also decide where they wish to plant their trees.  We will identify areas in our conservancies where trees have been chopped down for firewood and structures.  GPS coordinates will be taken of the planted tree and regular updates will be sent to the guests on its progress.  This will encourage carbon footprint consciousness within the guest and may entice him/her to return to the area to visit the tree he/she planted. 
      4. We will build small nurseries for the planting of the indigenous trees
      5. We will buy seedlings or seeds
      6. We will employ an expert to teach our local people how to propagate, plant and look after the trees
      7. Cost/Budget = N$180,000

  7. PROJECT 7 JUNIOR RANGER PROGRAM

    1. The Zambezi Region has a shortage of qualified guides and it is our wish to develop an interest in guiding within the next generation and to start a junior ranger course which starts the ball rolling towards this dream.
    2. We wish to build a classroom in which to setup our Junior Ranger Training program for the Grade 10, 11 and 12 high school scholars at our local school.  
    3. In partnership with EcoTraining, we will first perform a ‘Train the Trainer’ Guide Course with 10 adults within our community, giving these selected individuals an opportunity to receive formal training and to thereafter impart their knowledge with the younger generation.   Once they have successfully completed the Guide Course and the Junior Ranger Train the Trainer Course they will undertake the role of running our Junior Ranger Course with the scholars. 
    4. The scholars will receive an accredited Eco Training Junior Ranger Certificate upon the successful completion of the course, which will include work, and training in the above mentioned African Monarch Lodges Permaculture, Recycling and Waste Management Plant over a 3-year period.  The Junior Ranger Course with the 3-year Practical Environmental Program will challenge the young people to find their purpose, passion and place in the world.  They need to follow the fundamental principles of our Permaculture and Waste Management Project that will include performing the following:
        • Complete 1 hour per week for 3 years at the African Monarch Lodges Permaculture Plant, where they will care for the worm farms, the compost heaps and learn how to plant and look after gardens
        • Complete 1 hour per week for 3 years at the African Monarch Lodges Recycling plant where they will be taught how to separate waste, skills to melt and craft aluminum, crush and blow glass and how to build with plastic bottles
        • Fully understand the benefits of beehives to protect elephants, combating human-wildlife conflict and how to harvest ‘elephant friendly’ honey, which will be part of the final year Junior Ranger Exam
        • Fully understand the Principles of Permaculture, which will be part of the final year Junior Ranger Exam
        • Fully understand the benefits of worm farms and composting for nutrient rich organic vegetables, which will be part of the final year Junior Ranger Exam

    Cost/Budget =N$550,000

  8. PROJECT 8 PRE-SCHOOL & LIBRARY

    1. The Zambezi Region and more specifically the Kongola region and our two conservancies do not have a pre-school for the development of children and to get them school ready.
    2. We will build a pre-school 
    3. We will build a library for all children living in this area to have access to
    4. Donations could include school books, age appropriate reading books, colouring books, crayons, thick pencils, scissors, play dough, clay, paint etc
    5. Cost/Budget = N$750,000

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