African Monarch sewing project
African Monarch Lodges’ Sijwa Legacy continues to build on the foundation it laid. Not to be deterred by Covid and Dusty’s cancer journey, resoluteness became key and gave everything a sense of purpose.
This is only one of many success stories from The Sijwa Project, where all waste matter from African Monarch Lodges’ and surrounding communities is repurposed and recycled into beautiful artefacts, jewellery pieces and garments. It is here where individuals from our local Mayuni Conservancy who have never earned an income and devoid of any form of skills training or development now go about their daily functions with absolute pride and great accomplishment.
The BEE AND HONEY PROJECT
This ground-breaking initiative aims to address the ongoing Human-Elephant Conflict that plagues the communities bordering the Bwabwata National Park in our region. Method in the madness! Elephants dislike the buzz of bees. When the swaying hives, strung all around the farm and bumped by elephants’ intent on crop raiding, the bees come out to investigate and the elephants soon buzz off.
It’s a win-win for sustainable vegetable growing, pollination and honey production.
Six new members from the local Mayuni Conservancy were chosen as The Sijwa Projects Beekeepers and were trained in the art of beekeeping on-site in September 2023.
THE CARPENTRY WORKSHOP was constructed in July 2023 after which 4 community members were trained as carpenters. They were responsible for the building of the first 100 beehive boxes which were distributed all around The Sijwa Project and local villages in preparation for the bees which swarm this area every year around September and October.
Hereafter the THE HONEY EXTRACTION & BOTTLING WORKSHOP was completed in September 2023.
Once the honey is collected from the beehive boxes scattered around The Sijwa Project, the honey is then extracted at this workshop and bottled for use in the African Monarch Lodges, local distribution or international export.
THE MUSHROOM PROJECT
In July 2023, the team immersed themselves in comprehensive training, learning the art of cultivating Oyster, Button and Reishi mushrooms from experts. The fruits of their dedication took shape in the form of ‘Sijwa’s Own Grown Oyster Mushroom Taco,’ expertly crafted by the Chefs of Nambwa Tented Lodge.
THE BIKE DROP
In December 2023 ERP (Elephants, Rhinos & People and THE CAPRICORN FOUNDATION in collaboration with African Monarch Lodges ensured that scholars stay in class. They sponsored 110 bicycles for children at our local Mayuni Secondary School. The Sijwa Project took custodianship of the bicycles and employed a young bike mechanic to maintain the bicycles. 25 of the 110 bicycles will be handed over to school leaving scholars who will attend the Artist Residency and 15 to scholars from the Mayuni Secondary School who attend the Junior Sewing School in the afternoons at The Sijwa Project.