Activities & Projects
The new buildings and renovations at TUCSIN Tsumkwe Lodge are completed; – some equipment and appliances still need to be delivered and installed in the new kitchen. The bar, now moved to the main lapa area, creates a welcoming communal area.
A new fire pit was completed in June with funds from the Culture Class Project. This is located in the circle of bungalows. It will serve as a focal point for cultural performances, a meeting place for guests in the evening and will be used for the storytelling program in the Culture Class.
Here are several achievements towards attaining our strategic goals to establish the TUCSIN Tsumkwe Training & Hospitality Centre right in the heart of Tsumkwe and its inhabitants and visiting tourists:
7 employees of TUCSIN Tsumkwe Lodge were assessed by the Namibian Training Authority in several areas of hospitality. All seven staff members passed successfully and achieved certification at level 2 and 3.
One of our guides, Tsamgao (Smallboy) Cigae, was accepted for training and is scheduled to sit for the National Professional Hunters examination.
A Community Based Tourism training program is also being developed. One of our aims this year will be to increase access to income through tourism by expanding the number of activities and villages that we work with. Three trainings have been done in the village of //Xa/oba where we are currently conducting the Bush Walk Tour. Two of the trainings were done to arrange new cultural experiences including the Immersion Activity and the Traditional Hunting Activity.
TUCSIN Tsumkwe also assisted the Office of the President and UNAM to identify 3 members of the local San community to be enrolled in the Lower Primary Teacher Degree Program. TUCSIN advertised the opportunity, collected applications, coordinated and constructed the Recommendation Committee, submitted recommendations to UNAM and liaised between UNAM and the applicants. The 3 successful candidates are currently engaged in their first year of study.
In late March, the Culture Class Project, funded by Ubuntu-Germany, continued with a Training and Planning Workshop for 8 Elder Teachers from the San Community. Classes were held at Tsumkwe Primary School during the after-school study period and at the Community Library during the school holiday. The daily program included traditional storytelling, crafts, hunting and tracking, bush foods and medicines as well as sports and games for any children. The program reached an average of 18 children per day. In early June the hostel program for those children who do not return home on the weekend, began and will continue each weekend with lessons in San language, hunting, gathering, dancing, games and crafts.
The Hostel Support Project, funded by NAMAS Norway, is designed to reduce drop outs by improving the hostel environment in Tsumkwe. Entertainment, sports and play activities are organized for the children. In addition, toiletry packs are provided for up to 200 children each month.
The handover ceremony was held on 01 June 2017 at which TUCSIN Tsumkwe was represented by the Training Manager, Bruce Parcher, the Lodge Manager, Elaine Roussow, and the Guides, Tsamgao (Smallboy) Cigae and Tsamkgao #Oma (Leon). Also present were the chief of the Ju/’hoan Traditional Authorities, the Tsumkwe Primary School Principal, Teachers and Hostel Staff, the community and, of course the children.
The TUCSIN Tsumkwe Lodge will help each month to distribute toiletries to the students. The Culture Class Elder teachers will spend time each weekend to supervise and coordinate activities for the children after the cultural program.
Academic Success Project, i.e. Grade 10 Support Project, funded by The Office of the President targets school dropouts from Tsumkwe Secondary School that still want to complete their Junior and/or Senior Secondary Certificates. This year a group of 11 San students were enrolled with the Namibian College of Open Learning in the subjects of Mathematics and English. The students have completed all their assignments with assistance provided by TUCSIN Tsumkwe, and a 10 day study meeting is still planned for the August school holiday to prepare for the exams in October.
The Nyae Nyae Village Schools Feeding Project, with funds raised by Candi Miller from Great Britain, aims to improve nutrition and increase access to education by providing supplementary food to schools in Nyae Nyae. TUCSIN Tsumkwe orders, receives and stores the food stock as well as provide updates and reports to the donors. The Principal of the school will coordinate the distribution.
The Nyae Nyae Village Pre-School project, sponsored by the Kalahari Peoples Fund, has plans to extend their partnership with TUCSIN Tsumkwe this year by expanding the pre-school pilot project implemented in 2016. Melissa Heckler, an educator from the U.S. and TUCSIN’s Bruce Parcher, based this project on the initial goals of the Village Schools of community based learning in local villages. 3 villages participated and received materials and training to help prepare their pre-school aged children for formal education. The plans for this year include further training, new materials and more villages. TUCSIN Tsumkwe has provided logistical support and made follow-up visits to the villages.
Tracking in Caves
Our staff member Tsamkxao Ciqae will join the up-coming International Conference in the Neanderthal Museum and the Institute of Prehistoric Archaeology – African Archaeology on PREHISTORIC HUMAN TRACKS – May 11-13, 2017, Mettmann & Cologne, Germany
“This project, labelled Tracking in Caves, started in 2013 with the purpose to better understand the late Pleistocene* human footprints that can be found in some of the caves with rock art in southern France. For this research assistance and expertise was sought among the Ju/’hoansi San of the Namibian Kalahari. Three professional, indigenous trackers were invited to Europe and contributed substantially to the research in the caves.”
* The footprints are about 17,000 years old.
The participating experts come from: Asia, Australia, Europe, South & North America and Southern Africa – see here the program: http://www.tracking-in-caves-online.de/program-may-11-13-2017/
A visualization can be seen at U-Tube (in German)
Republikein 5/4/2017, Tsumkwe:
“The prestigious Maltas Club Namibia joined forces with Lark Journeys Namibia last week and held a three-day extensive workshop on leadership and personal development. The purpose of this workshop was to educate pupils on basic life skills, which are vital for them to succeed at school. Approximately 50 pupils from Grades 8 to 12 took part in this workshop.” read more
One of the participating educationists was Dr Wilfred April, TUCSIN Alumnus: “It was the most rewarding learning experience. We loved the students. So much hope, possibilities, dreams and talent. (…) We also loved your lodge.”
Through the Omaheke – Eastern Namibia – as driven on 26/9/2016
Normally visitors approach TUCSIN’s Tsumkwe Lodge via Grootfontein or even from Rundu via the B8 and C44. As a rule their return trip follows the same route, unless they choose to continue on to Botswana. Being Namibia fans, we three Germans (Martin, Sabine and Cornelia) asked ourselves: Why not try the eastern approach?
The route from Gobabis to Tsumkwe via Drimiopsis, Epukiro and Gam is a total of 456km (C22 and C44), which we covered in 9 hours including breaks. It proved to be a far more variable route than the commonly used B1 starting from Windhoek.
To follow a comparison:
– Northern route: Windhoek-Tsumkwe on the tarred B1 and B8, C44 gravel: 708km
– Eastern route: Windhoek-Gobabis: 205km, Gobabis-Tsumkwe: 456km, in total: 661km
READ THE FULL TEXT…with photos
By the way – the cell phone coverage was quite excellent during the trip: In Drimiopsis, Epukiro, Otjimanangombe, (I think also) Okatumba and Gam we were exchanging sms as well as whatsapp messages.
This is our new blog of the TUCSIN Tsumkwe Lodge (TTL).
We present news about steps of progress as well as background information.
– In March the educationalist Bruce Parcher, well experienced and acknowledged in the teaching field, became head of the TUCSIN Tsumkwe Training Program. He immediately started a Hospitality Training Program addressing the staff at the Lodge. From 2017 onwards also participants from outside will take part.
– In July repair work has been started to improve the cabins one by one as well as the construction of a new, fully-equipped training kitchen. This work is combined with an Apprenticeship Training Program in in construction work. Visitors will hardly be disturbed by these activities.
– In August Bruce Parcher held a workshop for local San-teachers giving classes within the new Cultural Class Program from September onwards.
– 13th – 16th of September: A workshop in Tsumkwe deals with the interaction of national and international genetics researchers with regard to the local population. The project will be co-ordinated on behalf of SASI (South African San Institute).