On my way back from Victoria Falls a few weeks ago I stopped over at an exclusive Hideaways resort just outside Dett 25km from Main Camp entrance at Hwange National Park. We, at Bindu Media, had been asked to review what the staff at Elephant Eye are doing to help the local community. As their website states: “Elephant Eye is located on a private concession sharing a fenceless border with Hwange National Park, this luxury eco-lodge hosts guests in sublimely comfortable treehouse chalets”. These rooms are, essentially, the largest, fanciest tents set up on stilts overlooking the local watering hole
When we arrived at Elephant Eye we were served dinner under the stars by a bright young lady, Daphne, who was an orphan that had done well at catering school and been spotted by a talent scout from Elephant Eye. Daphne told us all about Project Penya – a local initiative that enables young girls to make their own washable and, therefore, reusable “Subz” sanitary pads. Read more about it on their website Project Penya – see one of the comments below:
“A headmaster from a South African pilot project told us that when a pupil of his began using Subz Pads, her marks improved dramatically from 48% to 85% simply because she didn’t have to miss school while she was menstruating. “
On the first morning, we were taken to a village in the nearby town of Dett where we were shown how the ladies there had learnt how to transform magazines into beads and necklaces – the paper is torn into strips and then rolled up using cheap glue on the end of a knitting needle to make a single bead – painstaking work but their end results end up either in Dorcas’s shop down the road or being sold to tourists visiting from nearby resorts. Needless to say, we have since sent a whole lot of old Ndeipi magazines for them to use
Dett is very close to the Hwange National Parks which must, surely, have the biggest concentration of wildlife in Zimbabwe so we naturally spent the rest of the day driving around the park enjoying the abundance of game. The day was finished off by another great meal sitting under the African skies next to their boma.
Dorcas (0779-013-987) is a mature, yet well-educated lady who runs a small shop (D Hande Africa Crafts) in Dett where she both instructs local ladies on what needs to be produced at any one time as well as selling their wares to visiting tourists eager to see how they all live.