Poaching is one of the most significant challenges faced in most of Zimbabwe’s wildlife areas, and due to this, copious amounts of snare wire are collected on anti-poaching patrols daily. Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Zambezi saw a fantastic opportunity for aiding anti-poaching efforts, and enabling and empowering some of the local men and women in the community surrounding Victoria Falls. Through this, the Snare Wire Jewellery Project, facilitated by CITW, was established.
The project focuses on using collected snare wire to make beautiful handcrafted jewellery, providing a meaningful way for it to be ‘recycled’ while creating awareness around the poaching plight. CITW has partnered with local jewellery company Ndau in Victoria Falls for this project. Ndau Jewellers trains rural community groups to make various jewellery items that can be sold in the Wilderness camps’ Trading Stores, and used on Wilderness uniforms as buttons and zippers.
Income-generating groups such as these that have been established by CITW in rural Zimbabwe greatly assist with economic growth and poverty reduction, while uplifting the community and encouraging women empowerment. A requirement of joining the jewellery-making group is that part of the income earned is used to pay children’s school fees, ensuring that children remain in school and gain an education.
Workshops have also been provided to educate community members on household budgeting and small business management. Armed with this knowledge, it is hoped that groups like these are sustainable, lessening the need to rely on CITW for ongoing support.
Furthermore, this project creates awareness around the poaching plight by using collected snare wire – which is repurposed from an association with cruelty to an association with hope and beauty – through the jewellery.