Relying on partnerships to
change lives and livelihoods
Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy’s core principle is to partner with communities where our guests travel. Fortunately, we have the unique flexibility to do our work completely internally or through a partnership with a respected and established nongovernmental organization (NGO).
Collaborating with communities
In Southern Zambia, AKP supports Nakatindi Village, which is located on the border of the Mosi oa Tunya National Park, and is just a seven-minute drive from Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma in Livingstone, Zambia. With a population of approximately 8,000, there is only one government school that caters to more than 1,000 students in Nakatindi. An estimated one in four residents has HIV, which is high given the overall HIV prevalence rate in Zambia has been reduced to around 11%. There is a high unemployment rate and limited access to opportunities, and 54.4% of the population lives below the national poverty line.
Given the great need in Nakatindi, AKP works with our neighbors to address education, health care, job creation and conservation. Since our collaboration began in 2012, we have initiated more than 20 projects across all four of our pillars. This support is an example of doing work internally and directly with the community: AKP finds the contractors, works on architecture plans and sees the project through to the end.
In the area of education, the community requested the construction and expansion of the school’s classrooms. As a result, AKP constructed and furnished four classrooms. We also added grades to the school to increase the number of children it can serve, fully refurbished the building, planted a vegetable garden, built a learning center, established a school feeding program that feeds more than 1,000 children five days a week, and more.
In 2014, AKP constructed a clinic, which is open 24/7 and staffed by the Ministry of Health. The clinic provides access to healthcare for 16,000 people. We also built a maternity ward, which has delivered 455 babies. In an effort to provide clean water, AKP drilled two boreholes with hand pumps and has provided LifeStraw Community filters to the school.
Our two enterprise programs have provided women with job training and the ability to earn income and run their own business. The Chipego Bike Shop, which was AKP’s first bike shop, has received 14 containers of bicycles since it was established in 2014. The Sishemo Bead Shop opened in 2019. Women make glass beads from recycled material and turn them into jewelry.
Sussi & Chuma guides provide regular conservation education workshops for Nakatindi students, who also get to go on park exposure trips. Most of them have never been in the park and have only seen the animals who come into their compound. Like many communities living on the edge of wilderness, most people in Nakatindi have a negative association with the wildlife inhabiting the Mosi oa Tunya National Park, which borders their community on two sides. The goal of our conservation education is to equip future leaders with an awareness about both the wildlife and the value derived from the tourism industry.
Partnering with local NGOs
In other instances, we can make a larger impact by forging strategic partnerships with NGOs that already have expertise in their fields.
Trailblazer Foundation in Cambodia
In Cambodia, for example, AKP partners with the Trailblazer Foundation, whose expertise is water. Nearly 3.4 million Cambodians (one out of every five) do not have access to clean water. When safe water is unavailable, people drink from whatever source is available—river, canal, lake—and the unsanitary conditions cause typhoid, cholera, dysentery and other preventable diseases.
Coordinating with the Ministry of Development, Trailblazer digs wells to access water and constructs bio-sand water filters to purify both surface water and well water. Not only does the clean water improve sanitation and health, it is also used to irrigate farm plots and provide drinking water for domestic animals. Healthy animals and good crops result in increased opportunities for families, helping to lift them out of poverty.
To date, AKP has funded the drilling of 1,500 wells, thereby providing clean water to more than 28,000 people for drinking and irrigation, preventing illness and allowing families to grow crops for consumption and sale.
Children of the Rainbow Foundation in Peru
Another example of collaborating with NGOs is in Peru, where the Niños del Arco Iris (Children of the Rainbow) Foundation has spent 20 years transforming the lives of boys and girls between ages 3 and 13. The aid extends to their families, who want a better future for their children.
AKP has partnered with the Children of the Rainbow Foundation since 2008 to support the school’s children. We have built classrooms, provided educational resources, improved facilities and supported the school’s feeding program. Annually, the school benefits an average of 200 children and their families.
In addition to directing 100% of all charitable gifts to our projects, AKP employs coordinators throughout the world who have firsthand knowledge of the communities we serve and are involved hands-on in our projects. We also have the unique ability to know when to initiate a project and when to partner. We are thankful to each and every supporter who lets us impact lives and livelihoods on all seven continents.