Karl and Llané Langdon are the two general managers at Ulusaba, Richard’s luxury safari gave reserve located in South Africa. Since joining the Ulusaba family in 2000, both Karl and Llané have successfully managed a team of over 100 staff, helped to rebuild parts of both Rock and Safari Lodges and rolled-out robust conservation and anti-poaching initiatives across the reserve as well as raising their adorable young family in the beautiful African Bush. Nevertheless, one of the proudest achievements of this dynamic duo has been the creation of Pride’n Purpose.
Pride’n Purpose is Ulusaba’s charitable arm committed to helping disadvantaged communities living adjacent to the reserve. The charity was originally founded in 2003 by Karl alongside his close friend, Gregg Campbell. It all began when a staff member at Ulusaba called Linneth mentioned how she was struggling to cope with having to look after her sadly deceased sister’s children as well as her own with only a one bedroom house. The two friends took it upon themselves to help and build her some more rooms with their own hands and very few funds – from their own pockets as well as from some guests. Over time it became apparent just how much need there was in Dumphries village and the project requests started to pour in. By a very sad twist of fate, Linneth also passed away leaving 11 orphaned children. It was then that Karl and Gregg pledged to help the people of Dumphries by giving the people their pride back and by giving them a purpose in the world. From these tiny shoots, Pride’n Purpose was born! Today the family in the story now lives in two houses with 10 rooms with a fruit and vegetable garden, cooking facilities and financial support for all the school-going children! In fact, two of her children work for Ulusaba.
Most of the work Pride’n Purpose does is divided into four key areas: access to clean and safe water, education at all levels, extra-curricular activities for children and support for local entrepreneurs. The organisations philosophy is that people are most effectively helped if they are empowered to help themselves, so the emphasis is most definitely on sustainable initiatives.
Even though the charity is still small – in fact apart from two full-time members of staff Pride’n Purpose has to rely almost exclusively on volunteers and guest support to achieve its goals – the team estimate that Pride’n Purpose now benefits over 35,000 people across six communities living adjacent to the Reserve. Here are just a few of the numbers from the things we’ve got up to in the last 13 years!
- 2 literacy centres constructed
- Over 1,000 fruit trees planted
- 10 permaculture vegetable gardens planted
- 1 recreational centre up and running
- 6 new or renovated homes for orphans
- 5 new classroom equipped for government schools
- 3 successful entrepreneurs helped
- 3 water boreholes drilled
- 2 ‘funpumps’ installed. A funpump functions like a merry-go-round and as the children play, clean water is pumped directly from the borehole to a water harvester for use by the wider community.
- 2 solar powered water pump put in place
- 25 water storage tanks set up
- 3 consecutive years of week-long teacher training workshops completed
- 1 phonics workshop taught
- 1 ‘Walking for Rhinos’; anti-poaching awareness event in Dumphries
- 4 ‘Kick-Start’ off-road motorbike fundraising events completed
- 1000s of angels who support our work
How you can help?
There are two main ways people can donate, and donations of all sizes are welcome. If you are visiting Ulusaba, head to the local villages surrounding the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and volunteer as part of a community tour. Whilst guests can add a donation to their bill at the end of their stay, you can donate online – https://www.virgin.com/unite/content/pride-%E2%80%99n-purpose-0
Popular local fundraising initiatives include Kickstart – an annual Pride’n Purpose motorcycle fundraiser. Each rider pays a feel to enter the race where they get to ride around pristine bushveld on the outskirts of the Sabi Sand in community land. Last year the ride raised in excess of R70,000 which went towards rhino conservation projects.
100% of donations go directly toward much needed projects. It’s through the support of Ulusaba’s team, our guests, Virgin Limited Edition and Virgin Unite that Pride’n Purpose is a success story. From small beginnings, the organisation has grown from strength-to-strength and continues to be recognised by tourism bodies for the difference these initiatives have made to the local community. In 2013, Pride’n Purpose was awarded a gold award by Virgin Holidays in the category for ‘Partnership Award for Sustainable Tourism’. Massive congratulations to Karl, Llané, their children and the Ulusaba team for their continued hard work in making Pride’n Purpose a truly life changing charity. Everyone at Virgin Limited Edition, and the whole Virgin group, is very proud.