This Christmas you can help dreams come true in the small community of Donkerbos in Namibia. The community wants to start a campsite, a shop, a transport service and their own housing project. You can help them raise startup capital for all these projects through this Sanstarter crowdfunding campaign.
Most community members are Ju/’hoansi speaking San, one the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa. San communities suffer a long history of discrimination and marginalization. Formerly nomadic hunter-gatherers, they now face a reality of having to develop new livelihoods as you can read in the community testimonials at the bottom of this page.
Donkerbos – the ‘dark bush’ in Afrikaans – lays on the fringes of the Kalahari Desert, at the end of a long, winding sand track. The location is so remote that if one of the 200 villagers gets seriously ill, the trip to the nearest clinic with a donkey cart will take them 3 days.
The donkey cart is currently the only mode of transport the community can control themselves. Lifts to the closest town are available from people outside, but at inflated prices. A round trip costs approximately 600 Namibian dollars (37 euros) – almost half of the monthly pension that is the only income in many Donkerbos families. Namibia has an unemployment rate of over 30% and the situation is particularly dire in places like this.
Unsurprisingly, one of the first project ideas by the community was to purchase a 4×4 vehicle, which they will use to establish a low-cost transport service.
A vehicle will also be useful in making their other projects a reality. It will be used to bring supplies to the small store the community wants to establish in order to avoid having to pay prices that are up to 3 times as expensive as in a normal Namibian supermarket.
As a third project, the community wants to improve its infrastructure. They want to establish a community campsite to start generating income from tourism. This involves building a toilet and shower block suitable for a setting that has no sewerage system.
In the long run, the community wants to build decent houses to replace their current homes, which are built from corrugated iron, sticks and cow dung. The housing project will start with a couple of community buildings that will host the valuables owned by the community. This will bring secure storage space, which is needed for example for the electronic equipment the community needs in order to start benefiting from digital work opportunities that will be available through the Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub (ICTechHub) and its partners.
The Donkerbos community is one of the long-term partner communities of ICTechHub. The hub supports the community in needs-identification and capacity development for the projects they want to implement. Together we also undertake ground-breaking academic research, which focuses on finding ways to preserve indigenous knowledge and help communities keep their knowledge alive.
If you are in Namibia, you can also support the community by buying one of the unique souvenirs they have produced. The San augmented reality (AR) fridge magnets look like any fridge magnet with a beautiful image of one of the ancient San traditions. However, when you scan the image with a mobile phone, the phone plays a video that shows more of the tradition.
We asked some of the community members what they would like people to know about them and their community. You can read their answers by clicking the images below.
N$1.00 or more
|Norbert Obier||N$786.00||December 31, 2019|
|Rucia Shali||N$100.00||December 20, 2019|
|Hilya Kanyemba||N$100.00||December 20, 2019|
|Anonymous||N$100.00||December 20, 2019|