The Foundation manages the reserve, providing protected habitat for many threatened and endemic species. It also runs a prominent Education Centre which hosts more than 9,000 children every year for day trips and overnight stays. The goal is to ensure that “young people in Botswana grow up to be good custodians of their natural history”.
The Reserve itself is managed for conservation and ecotourism, and houses a Sanctuary where injured or abandoned animals can be treated and prepared for release back into the wild. The Sanctuary also provides many educational opportunities for the children visiting the Education Centre. The Centre can accommodate up to 40 boys and 40 girls at a time, with courses covering issues such as wildlife conservation, climate change, water management and social welfare. It also provides special camps for orphaned and vulnerable children including those living with HIV / AIDS.
Tusk has supported Mokolodi since the 1990s. Early grants provided a vehicle for park rangers and an emergency response to flood damage. Later the focus moved to the education programme with funding for a 25-seater vehicle and special camps run for AIDS orphans and street children.
Changing hearts and minds is a long-term process. Ongoing funds are needed to continue these activities and bring about the cultural shift that is so urgently needed.