Press Release, 21 February 2005
Two recent international guests on board Shongololo Express tours returned to their homes abroad with a strong desire to provide help to some of the less fortunate communities they visited while traveling through southern Africa and they are following through superbly.
The two travelers, from different continents who were aboard Southern Cross Adventure tours earlier this year,were so affected by the children they encountered on their holiday, that on their return to the USA and Germany they began projects that will see regular shipment of gift packages to two schools in Zimbabwe.
Joanne Borovoy, a kindergarten teacher at JB Riebli Schoolin Santa Rosa, California, USA, started the Simbala Sister School Project and initiated an ‘adopt-a-box’ program that she hopes will see up to 100 boxes filled with good things for young school goers shipped to Zimbabwe during the next few months.
Writing to Shongololo with a request for forwarding of the boxes, Borovoy said, “We think about our wonderful, magical African experience often and have such fond memories and fantastic tales. We hope that the Simbala School will eventually feel some real effects from our small, but sincere attempts to help out. The boxes will include books, school supplies, toys and clothing,mostly for the four to seven years olds.”
Borovoy says that the project was enthusiastically undertaken by the families in her school. After their first shipment of about a half a ton of supplies in numerous boxes, UPS (the international courier company) donated its services to the project and will ship the next load,another half ton of supplies, free of charge.
Naturally, Shongololo Express was very happy to oblige as well and are taking delivery of the boxes as they arrive and will transport them on into Zimbabwe to the Simbala School aboard future Southern Cross Adventure tours.
A similar project, has also been energetically undertaken by a guest from Germany, Wolfgang Wiedmann of Idstein-Eschenhahn. Wiedmann has enlisted the help of cabin staff on Lufthansa flights into South Africa to speed the boxes on the first leg of their journey to Johannesburg. The first shipment was delivered in September2004 and a delighted Wiedmann says he is already collecting for the next.
Wiedmann too is making up boxes of clothing, stationery items and toys and, once again relying on Shongololo Express and their friendly and dedicated train staff – with whom travelers invariably find a great rapport – to see that the boxes safely reach their destination, the children of Dete School in Zimbabwe.
Cindy Stephen-Stewart, sales and marketing manager at Shongololo Express, says, “We are very pleased that our tour experiences provide not only a satisfying and memorable holiday experience, but that we can also make a difference to the communities through which we travel.”