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James 2: 14-18

Corporate & Social Responsibilty

It is no secret that Botswana and especially Zimbabwe and Zambia are economically poor countries. We make it a point to emphasize that our countries are economically poor, because we are very wealthy in many ways: Our spirits are high, our hospitality is generous and our outlook on life is positive. We are frequently asked by our caring and generous clients: "How can we help?" There is a long and a short answer to this question. The long answer involves defining what it means to actually help. Helping involves a clear understanding of the difference between empowering and enabling. It involves understanding that giving is not the same as helping. It involves ensuring there is a direct benefit to precisely those communities for whom the help is intended. Suffice to say that the issue of "help" is a complex matter and one vital to us and a worry we live with every day of our lives. 






           School before painting                              School after painting                     Messias joins the students


The short answer is that there are a number of ways to help and to see that your contributions make a tangible and truly beneficial difference. We have sustainable development projects ongoing constantly. When you visit, if you like, we can discuss the ways in which projects help. 


We are blessed to be able to contribute part of our profits, but more important, part of our time and our labour to helping those individuals and communities with specific needs. To be clear, we have families and friends who live in impoverished villages. We see well-meaning people make a real mess. Just Google "Unintended Consequences of Foreign Aid in Africa" for how not to help. We will only undertake individual and community service projects that the elders of the community have deemed desirable for the good of all. We live by the words: "First, do no harm." Our interaction with local communities is on their terms and is based on their customs, not on ours. The communities direct us in what projects directly benefit the people of the village.


We favor sustainable projects whenever possible. A corporate client of ours wanted to give food. We suggested they give live goats – 75 of them. Today the goat population is around 300 and growing. Our guests also find this strange, but a community would often prefer to have a new coat of paint on their school than 50 computers as many of our communities do not have electricity.”


This project is the creation of Échos d'Afrique president, Messias Maoneni. Here are his words:

My thoughts are with the handicapped youths who, despite sharing our dreams as fellow humans always end up stigmatized and ostracized by a judging society. Sadly, in Africa a physical handicap is synonymous with poverty. Many have completed high 

Our corporate sponsor addressing the students & teachers

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school and possess diplomas for jobs/careers, but many companies will not employ them because of prejudices. They live in our shadows – depressed and locked up in self-pity. They plead with humanity for a chance. We believe that they too deserve equal opportunities.


We have set up a fund aimed at disabled youth entrepreneurs. The fund entails a mentorship program, an internship with a company in the area of the youth’s interest and finally actual cash or, better, an asset which will help them start up. We then shadow the youth for a defined period and assist with advice and monitor their progress before weaning him or her off of sponsorship. 


This is very ambitious and often a struggle, but Me2 touches a soft code in me because I am privileged to have friends and mentors who held my hand. This project is my way of paying it forward. A percentage of Échos d’Afrique profits and my time go to this ongoing project. Guests should know that by booking with us, they will be directly touching another human.


Sincerely yours,

Messias Maoneni

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