This falls in line with what conservationists all over the world realized in recent years: that the smaller conservancy entities need to be combined into landscapes and eventually lead to establishing biospheres and ultimately trans-national parks.
In this broader context the core function of the Waterberg Conservancy within the “Greater Waterberg Landscape” is to have members who are all landowners commit to a common management plan aimed at the restoration and sustainable use of the natural habitat. This includes multi-level marketing of the diverse tourist attractions and extends to the Communal Conservancies east of the Waterberg as part of the Landscape.
We would not be able to achieve our aims without a strong commitment to our social responsibility and to growing our staff, their families and the neighbouring community. Since we firmly believe in education as the greatest equalizer and human development as an integral part of all sustainable conservation efforts we founded the farm’s own Okosongomingo School Aid Fund in 2007 with the aim to support our employees and their school children. Harry’s mother administered the fund until December 2018 when she handed over to Sonja. With our own funds and generously supported by annual donations from former guests from the Netherlands we pay school fees, school uniform items, stationery and school transport. In recent years we even managed to encourage the mothers and fathers among our staff to set aside a small monthly saving towards their children’s education.
Another community activity is steps for children project in Okakarara, the pilot project of steps for children Trust Fund, a non-profit charitable non-governmental organization (NGO) in Namibia. Over the years, steps established more projects in Gobabis, Rehoboth, Otavi, Okahandja and Windhoek.
Sonja started working at steps Okakarara as a volunteer in 2006. Together with members of the local community and financed through the Stiftung steps for children based in Hamburg/Germany she built up a preschool, soup kitchen and after school care which caters for about 200 disadvantaged children daily. In order to become more and more independent of donations economic projects such as a self-catering guesthouse, sewing workshop and vegetable garden were established. In 2011 Sonja took over the management of the project. These days the focus is less on growing the project and more on consolidating achievements, establishing best practices, improving the quality of all services offered and, last but not least, train a team of locals to take over the project management in the near future. Visitors welcome!