Our Story in 2023
1. INTRODUCTION & WELCOME
The Trustees present their Annual Report for the Robertson Outdoor Bursary (ROB) for the year ended 31 December 2022.
In our ninth year of operations ROB continued to deliver its programme of work and build significantly on its relations and partnerships in Tanzania to improve the lives of the people in Tanzania that we aim to support.
Thanks to our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation to encourage women to become qualified guides on Kilimanjaro, we were able to continue our Mountain Lioness Project; tracking the progress of our 2020 and 2021 awardees and recruiting and training another five women. We look forward to the final year of this project in 2023. In addition to our ‘Mountain Lionesses’ we were also delighted to support another male awardee through their Guide Licence Training.
The highlight of the year for us was our visit back to Tanzania in October and holding our first ever Guide Training Conference in partnership with Exodus Travels Foundation (ETF) and The College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM). Welcoming 65 participants drawn from employers, awardees and other partners with our guest of honour being the Kilimanjaro National Park Commander Angela Nyaki, we were able to discuss the need for our work and understand the challenges faced by our awardees.
Following the conference, selected team members of ROB were delighted to be joined by Hilary Thomas, a Trustee of ETF, to be guided to the summit of Mt. Meru in the Arusha National Park by two of our Mountain Lionesses: Wadia Kitabia Kaponya and Lightness Samwel Laizer.
Our dedicated team of volunteers continued to grow, and we were delighted to welcome Paulo Sanare Laizer from The African Safari Trails Company to the team as our ‘Official Tanzanian Advisor’. He will be working closely with the College of African Wildlife Management and our Awardee Liaison officer on awardee selection and be advising us on matters within our work programme.
Once again our annual Christmas fundraising event at Namaste Sport in Chamonix, France was a great success. We thank all its supporters who gave so generously with prizes and supporting the event. We also thank our regular donors for their continued support, as their constant commitment to what we do really makes a big difference to our awardees in Tanzania.
Our journey continues and we will keep on adapting to the world situation and obtain the maximum benefit from every penny our supporters donate to us.
We thank all who are walking this journey with us
Chair and founder of Robertson Outdoor Bursary
‘As long as there is a purpose there is no failure’ (Swahili proverb)
2. ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
In 2022 we have continued grow and adapt our work. Our key activities have been:
1) The continuation of our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation and our Mountain Lioness Project, training five more women in April 2022.
2) The additional training of one more man funded by ROB’s regular donors.
3) Holding our First ever Guide Training Conference in Partnership with ETF and the CAWM
4) The creation of a new volunteer post of Tanzanian Advisor and the
recruitment of Paulo Sanare Laizer to this role
5) The Annual Christmas fundraising event
2.1 Key Milestones
This year of operation was marked by the following key milestones:
January – March
• Continuation of partnership working with the Exodus Travels Foundation
April – September
• Recruitment of a further five women and one male awardees
• Planning of Guide Conference and Mt Meru ascension.
• 22nd September Guide Training Conference
• ROB and Exodus Travels Foundation ascension of Mt. Meru in Arusha National Park guided by two qualified ‘Mountain Lionesses’
October – December
• At the beginning of November awardees commence Guide Licence Training at the College of African Wildlife Management
• Annual Christmas Fundraiser in Partnership with Namaste Sport, Argentière, Chamonix, France
2.2 Kit Collections
Post-Covid our kit collection and distribution programmes remained suspended. We have maintained contact and closely monitored the situation with our partners at the Lake District National Park and the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project. We will look to restart this when appropriate.
2.3 Fund Raising
This year we were delighted to continue our annual fundraising event in partnership with Namaste Sport. The income of £850 was banked in 2023 and will be included in next year’s accounts.
We continued to receive income from Amazon Smile donations (though this service will close in 2023). This year it generated £45. We also continued to receive regular income from the ‘Friends of ROB’ scheme. Increasing their number remains an annual focus.
3. AWARDS & AWARDEES
Guide Training Scholarships
At the end of 2021 we agreed with the Exodus Travels Foundation to roll-over the funding for the two unused places into 2022. In addition to this we agreed to recruit the final ten ‘lionesses’ and one male awardee to undertake their Guide Licence Training at the College of African Wildlife Management. We worked in partnership with the college to recruit and select the awardees, though we were only able to recruit five women who met our selection criteria.
We have once again agreed with ETF to roll-over funding and recruit the final seven ‘lionesses’ in 2023. We have been tracking the progress of all our awardees through their training and working as guides on the mountain
4. CORPORATE AND OTHER PARTNERS
Our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation to fund our Mountain Lioness project has been our key focus and we look forward to completing the Mountain Lioness scheme in 2023.
In this our ninth year of operations, our relationships with our Tanzanian partners (The College of African Wildlife Management and Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) and local managers and guides are now well established and they continue to be an indispensable source of support and advice for us on how our donors’ money can be most wisely spent. We have made several new contacts through the Guide Training Conference which we will be building on in 2023.
During the year we received total fundraising contributions and donations of £5,400 (inclusive of Gift Aid).
We awarded grants totalling £650 to fund places on Guide Licence Training scholarships at the College of African Wildlife Management and have allocated funds for the unrecruited places to be paid for in 2023. The visit and conference hosting in Tanzania cost £4,437 and we are very grateful to ETF for their contribution of £1,850 towards these costs.
We pledge that the money donated to us will all be spent on our educational awards therefore we sought external funding from ETF and specific ROB donors to fund the visit and conference costs.
We had an excess of income for the year of £1,878 (2021 £1,880) although, as noted above, unrecruited places in 2022 will be paid for in 2023.
Our surplus funds carried forward at year-end totalled £7,857 (2021 £5,979).
6. LOOKING FORWARD
The key challenge for us continues to be how to adapt our operations in the post-COVID world and the effect this has had on our ability to fundraise and for our awardees to study and find work. It is pleasing that 2022 has seen a return to tourism in Tanzania, so tracking the progress of our awardees and keeping in close contact with our Tanzanian partners will be our top priority in 2023 with our Awardee Liaison Officer and newly appointed Tanzanian Advisor leading this important work.
Our core team is well established but we are aware and grateful for their commitment and for the time and energy they devote to volunteering to work with us. We will continue to review our ways of working and seek new volunteers to support us with their unique strengths and find ways to support our volunteers who so generously gift their time to us.
Maintaining our profile via our website, social media presence and our newsletters will help us to continue build on new partnerships and keep our donors, supporters and awardees up to date with the impact of our work.
We hope to be able to continue to grow and review how we fundraise to finance our work in the future and remain responsive to the needs of the people we seek to help in Tanzania.
Maintaining our relationships with our Tanzanian partners will be critical to ensure that we spend the money our donors have so generously given most effectively. Our visit to Tanzania has enabled us to consolidate our existing partnerships and build new ones and most importantly helped us understand the need for our work now and for the future.
In the year ahead we will:
• Recruit our next cohort of awardees to our Guide Training and Mountain Lioness Scholarships
• Track the progress of awardees completing their Guide Licence Training, sending reports to our partner the Exodus Travels Foundation on the progress of the Mountain Lionesses.
• Maintain a web and social media presence
• Find an alternative income generator for Amazon Smile which will close in 2023.
We look forward to a successful tenth year of operations for our charity and celebrating our 10th anniversary year.