There has been a trend in travel recently for lodges to give back to the community, and the Djuma Game Reserve is actively giving back to the local community.
The Djuma Game Reserve is committed to helping the surrounding communities and helped found the Buffelshoek Trust
, which is aimed at uplifting the Manyeleti Villages. It was constituted in 2001 and addresses education in this poverty stricken rural community. The trust functions on the basis that education is a fundamental component of empowerment.
The region has one of the largest poverty stricken communities in the country and over 70% of the community is unemployed
, this is mostly due to the fact that they do not have any employable skills as they do not have access to adequate resources for education.
The initial investment in the community was in school infrastructure as there were insufficient classrooms
and many classes were taught under trees. In extreme weather lessons would be cancelled.
Another huge problem was the fact that many of the learners were under nourished which made it difficult for them to concentrate when lessons were held. To help aid the local community
Djuma with other partners through the Buffelshoek Trust has spent in excess of over R 30 Million constructing three Crèches, refurbished 6 primary and 2 secondary schools. They have also provided electricity to several schools.
They have built 44 classrooms and furnished 3 libraries
. They have set up community gardens and agricultural projects next to the schools which assist in feeding approximately 3000 learners daily. The Trust has also built 7 computer centres and provided clean water for two villages. They have trained teachers.
Future projects of the Buffelshoek Trust include improving healthcare facilities and as well as providing sports facilities and resources to develop coaching so that the children can develop holistically
. The project aims to promote teamwork and play so that the youth engages in a more constructive recreation. They are also hoping to build a tertiary education centre within the local community.