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Lion Encounter provides both manpower and material support to the some of the schools, clinics, clubs and communities in our local areas as part of our corporate social responsibility strategy, which has been ongoing since our inception. Many of these programs are run in partnership with our charity ALERT (African Lion and Environmental Research Trust) and are assisted by volunteers from our partners at African Impact.
The lion may be the reason behind what we do, but our community and research projects in local communities ensure that the African lion will succeed long-term in the wild. In order to ensure community buy-in when it comes to environmental sustainability and wildlife management, we have implemented a conservation education teaching syllabus in local schools both in Zambia and Zimbabwe. Volunteers and staff are responsible for planning a lesson to take place including deciding on the material to be included in the lesson, which is taken from our conservation education syllabus.
We support three gardens within the communities that surround Victoria Falls, which are designated to people affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. This community group comes together to tend to their crops on a regular basis and over the years we have supported them with water management systems, pest management techniques and seedlings during the growing season.
The Victoria Falls Old People’s Home provides a safe environment for elderly members of the community whose families are unable to care for them. Alongside two caregivers at the home, we have facilitated the creation of a food garden to provide the residents with a healthy diet, refurbished many of the residents’ homes and common area and provided new roofing for their rooms. Weekly, our staff and volunteers work alongside the caregivers in the garden, as well as assist with other tasks and facilitate a support group with those at the home to provide them with support and enrich their lives.