Unemployment and poverty levels in these communities are incredibly high. Through comprehensive needs assessments carried out with the communities we realised that many of their development initiatives were based on the sustainable use of natural resources. Knowing that wildlife-based economies can help promote environmental conservation, we have partnered with experts in various fields to provide the support needed for these communities to develop these ideas and skills into alternative livelihood streams. These workshops have been facilitated by CCB and were headed up by expert craft developer Sandi Albertson, who brought her extensive experience in craft development with San communities in Ngamiland in northern Botswana to help assist these communities to develop to their full potential.
We are incredibly thankful to all of the stakeholders involved for their patience with the various cancellations caused by COVID, and especially to the community members who came armed with enthusiasm, creativity and a strong desire to learn. We are very proud that in the workshops already conducted, 47% of participants have been women, helping us to bring potential income opportunities to women in the community, a group who can be disproportionately vulnerable in these traditionally patriarchal societies. We have gifted each community with a Singer sewing machine, that can be used by participants to develop their work long into the future. Thank you to everyone involved in making this fantastic initiative a reality, particularly the financial support from the European Union through IUCN Save Our Species.
This article was produced with the financial support of the European Union through IUCN Save Our Species. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Cheetah Conservation Botswana and do not necessarily reflect the views of IUCN or the European Union.