Every day, these women improve the livelihoods and the overall wellbeing of their local communities. On 15 October, there is a special focus on the contribution of rural mothers, daughters, and grandmothers in producing food and building agricultural and rural development worldwide.
At EcoTraining, there is a team of women who are leading their families and their communities to a better life in areas like the village of Makuleke, located close to the Kruger National Park that is situated in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga provinces.
“We see many households led by women in our local communities. It is therefore crucial to employ and support the women from these rural areas and it is critical to train these women and equip them with the skills they need, so that they not only provide for their loved ones, but create a better future for their families,” said Annemi Zaaiman, marketing manager at EcoTraining.
Tsakani Masango has been employed as a chef at the EcoTraining camps since 2014. After starting as a cleaner at camp, her potential to cook was recognised by the team. Today she prepares breakfast, lunch, and dinner for around 30 people that include camp staff and guests from around the world.
“I love making homemade bread over the fire and butternut soup. Food makes people happy, and I like cooking because of that – it makes me work hard,” said Masango.
As a local girl, Masango grew up eating mopane worms and she now enjoys introducing all EcoTraining’s international guests to this unique South African delicacy. “I make use of the opportunity to educate guests about the mopane worm. This is a traditional dish that some like and others don’t,” added Masango.
She is a single mother who cares for her teenage daughter and believes that her own conservation efforts and respect towards nature plays a big part in securing a better future for her daughter and the generations to come. “It is so special to work for EcoTraining and it also makes me feel very special. There are so many people at home who don’t know how they are going to feed their children. I really appreciate my job, it allows me to take care of my daughter as a single mother,” said Masango.
Women like Masango are empowering people from their communities with knowledge on how to appreciate and care for their surroundings every day. EcoTraining will remain committed to empowering them and their families.