Welcome to the Chitungulu Foundation!

 

Our aim is nature conservation by improving the living standards

in and around Chitungulu, eastern Zambia


 


                

The Chitungulu Foundation takes its name from a remote Zambian village, where we strive
to balance the need of the people with the conservation of their natural environment. Our dual aim, improving the living standards of people in order to contribute to nature conservation, builds on the community work as laid out by the founder of our foundation, Chris Brugman, in 2011.


Chris’s involvement with Zambia dates back to 1987. She has been working for over ten years in this country, mostly for the Netherlands embassy in the capital city of Lusaka, and during various eras in Zambia's history. In 2007, Chris met with the residents of Chitungulu for the first time when she helped the nearby lodge in Luambe National Park in setting up various socio-economic community projects. The year thereafter she left to work as a nature/field guide in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, but returned to the lodge in 2011, now as a Community Relations Manager. In 2012, the lodge closed down but Chris continued to assist the community with the Chitungulu Foundation. In May 2015, the newly established Luambe Lodge has started to operate under completely new management, and we have entered into a partnership with the new lodge owner-operators in order to achieve our dual aim of nature conservation and community development.

 

During her work in Chitungulu, Chris discovered the extraordinary, yet uptapped, potential of this village to induce a form of sustainable development in order to break the circle of poverty and malnutrition. Chitungulu is situated in a beautiful, pristine wilderness area, bordering the relatively small-sized (247 sqkm) Luambe National Park with its remarkable variety of habitats, supporting populations of various wildlife, including an incredibly rich bird life. Luambe Lodge, the only lodge within the park, is situated along a scenic route which attracts increasing numbers of adventurous travellers.

 

Given this special location, Chitungulu is in a unique position to benefit from small-scale tourism in this region. The Chitungulu residents themselves are enthusiastic, eager to learn, and ambitious. Their proactive ideas and suggestions to improve their lives have resulted in some sound initiatives which the foundation is glad to support. This is the main characteristic of our community outreach program: building on the strength of the community itself.

 

The need for our support to the approx. 11,000 Chitungulu residents will be evident in the light of the following constraints and challenges faced by this community:

  • the area is prone to seasonal droughts as well as floods

  • animal husbandry is not possible due to the presence of the tsetse-fly

  • wild animals such as elephants and lions pose a constant threat to both the villagers’ safety and their food security

  • due to Chitungulu’s isolated location ....

    - has road infrastructure been neglected
    - is Chitungulu not connected to the national power grid
    - are health facilities inadequate
    - and educational standards low

  • industry is not permitted in the Luangwa Valley, whilst job opportunities in tourism have not yet been fully utilized

The Dutch-based Chitungulu Foundation assists Luambe Lodge in their conservation efforts by focussing on uplifting the living standards of the Chitungulu residents. All four members of the board of Chitungulu Foundation are academically trained in African Studies and have been professionally engaged in a wide range of Africa-related jobs for many decades.

 

Why do we value support to Chitungulu?

With Luambe Lodge in Luambe National Park, we share the view that local communities should benefit from the presence of a National Park lying at a stone's throw
of their villages. It is our firm belief that nature conservation within populated areas only stands a chance to succeed if wildlife conservation is made beneficial to the local population.

 

By means of successful, social-economic projects aiming at sustainable economic development, the community of Chitungulu can be compensated for:

  1. the loss of hunting as a means of meeting protein requirements,
  2. the cost of living within close proximity to potentially dangerous wildlife,
  3. the isolated location of Chitungulu, which poses particular challenges to this community.

The residents' first priorities are food security, good-quality education, and good and accessible health services. However, in the longer run, a well-educated community should be able to benefit more extensively from the current economic boom in Zambia. More widespread access to solar power, knowledge of computer skills, and further exploitation of tourism-related jobs are seen as this community's key to further, sustainable development.

 

Our projects

In our approach to poverty alleviation, we make use of small-scale, well-defined, manageable projects with specific time frames, which all contain one or more of the following aspects:

  1. education, including vocational training
  2. food security
  3. the development of income-generating activities
  4. nature conservation

All our projects are demand driven, taking the local initiative as departure.

 

We currently support:

  1. the Community schools Chocha and Chilubezi;
  2. the Nutrition Clubs to combat malnutrition, especially in young infants;
  3. the Women’s Club in their endeavours to support orphans and disabled children;
  4. the Carpentry Club as example of a successful income-generating activity;
  5. the Crafts Club to supplement the income of various households;
  6. the Chitungulu Conservation Club to raise environmental awareness, understanding and appreciation of the natural environment;
  7. through our Sponsorship Program we enable excellent pupils to pursue a higher education.

More information on our projects can be found on our page Projects.

Our policy and principles are described in Strategy.    

 

Would you like to support us?

We are a fully independent, Dutch-based and registered charity, run by dedicated board members who do their work without receiving any personal financial benefits. This, coupled with our decades-long working experience in Africa, will guarantee you that your donation will be spent efficiently and fully for the benefit of the community of Chitungulu.

 

NL registred KvK-number: 55480330 • Triodos Bank account no: NL82 TRIO 0254 7397 68

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stichting Chitungulu Chiefdom