Horizon Ranch – Local Upliftment
A shining example of commitment
Horizon Ranch – Local Upliftment
Horizon Horseback run safaris in South Africa and Botswana and have been deeply involved in the various community upliftment projects within the broader Waterberg area since their inception in 1993.
The first project they were involved in was in the early 1990s soon after Horizon Horseback started. There was a crèche facility and a farm school of about 95 primary aged children on the ranch itself and the Horizon team undertook funding resources and providing clothes basic provisions to the poorer children.
There are now many upliftment programmes within the area and they attempt to help these projects by contributing where they can as well as making guests aware of the needs of the African community.
Over the years they have been able to affect these areas considerably through donations of money, educational tools, medicines and manpower. Many of the guests have become involved in these community upliftment projects. For instance, through a corporate teambuilding exercise they were able to renovate an old farm building into a youth and community centre. This building is now a core of activity on the ranch. Below is a list of the many outreach activities that are going on quietly within their area that Horizon are involved with.
The Waterberg welfare society was formed in 2000 primarily to provide help and support to those individuals in the Waterberg who are infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. The WWS provides educational community upliftment through prevention and awareness workshops, home community based care, hospice, respite, palliative care, voluntary counseling and testing, orphans and vulnerable children programme, support groups for people living with HIV/AIDS, prevention of mother to child transmission. This is a truly remarkable organization that is worthy of any support it can get. Follow the link to find out more about the Waterberg Welfare Society
St John the Baptist Soup Kitchen:
Run by members of St John the Baptist community church, the soup kitchen feeds between 400 to 900 children each Wednesday morning and afternoon from a tent within the Lesideng township.
The operation is voluntarily manned and all foods are donated by the local community or funded by donations from churches and businesses that actively support these local community upliftment incentives.
Terry and Hamish Rodgers are a husband and wife team from the farming community surrounding Vaalwater who run a ministry based on Christian principles. Vaalwater is situated on the central plateau of the Waterberg Mountains within the Limpopo Province of South Africa. The adjacent residential suburb of Lesideng, a large and extremely impoverished community.
- They help run a soup kitchen feeding scheme which feeds about 850 people per week
- Funding for school fees and school uniforms for the orphans. The school fees range from R40 to R400 per year.
- A medical emergency fund which is used for paying doctors bills for those who need emergency treatment and have no means to pay for this.
- Blankets and old clothes
- Educational Toys for the schools and crèches
- Improved housing for families in the informal settlement
They rely totally on donations from the general public, businesses and the commercial sector for their community upliftment drive. It costs R10.00 (£0.80) per day to feed a child. They receive some food donations. They have received food donations from Nestle SA like milk powder and porridge. These kinds of donations enable them to add value to our food parcels. They therefore appreciate any food donations of a non perishable nature such as tinned food etc.
Limpopo Educational Services:
John and Sue Goodwin have been regular visitors to the Waterberg region for many years. Both in teaching in the UK they saw early on the need of community upliftment through educational support in the various crèche and primary schools in the region. Beginning at first by providing teaching resources donated by colleagues in the UK, they have expanded the project to full charity status and now bring teams of English student teachers on an annual basis to assist within the crèche and primary schools here.
Recently, a private English speaking school was started in the town of Vaalwater. Aware of being a school of privilege it has attempted to place outreach high on its list of priorities. Bursary positions have been well funded and the goal of the school is to increase the numbers considerably. In trying to identify children suitable for bursary positions it was found that children coming from a crèche background within the township were already several years behind in their development and would be worse off for moving to a private school.
The school then made available on a monthly basis, the head of department of the pre prep age group to teach township crèche teachers how to motivate themselves and their children. Together with collections of educational toys, writing materials and paints these crèches have improved considerably in the years in which this has been running. The academy also need assistants for pre prep classes so an outreach was implemented whereby an assistant was sponsored by a local business to help in pre prep classes, to be paid to become qualified as a teacher and assisted in this by the very teachers they would be helping.
The Xtreme Academy is a comprehensive life skills program that addresses the needs of at-risk boys in the Vaalwater community. What began as the Xtreme Soccer Team, the only under-20 Christian soccer team in the region, is now much more than a soccer team ; the group is a band of brothers.
This community upliftment project is under the leadership of executive director and coach, Xander Labuschagne. The organization now includes housing, education assistance, a feeding scheme, counseling, mentoring, and more. Programs that specifically address the needs of at-risk boys are rare, making Xtreme Academy’s program, and its successful outcomes, even more significant.
It is always heartening when people stand together to help the less fortunate, and the Horizon team are a shining example of community upliftment and support in action.
If you are interested in booking a riding holiday at Horizon Ranch you can visit any of these projects and your holiday funds will support all the above projects. Any additional donations will be much appreciated and you are able to specify which projects they should support.