Smart in Africa Journey May – June 2012
Five Countries, Five Weeks, 5,000+ Miles & Countless Stories: Small Ideas Make a Big Difference
Passage To Africa is proud to sponsor Anton Crone & Brent Wild as they make their journey through Southern and East Africa.
As told by Anton Crone, travel writer and photographer, making the trip by Smart car with filmmaker Brett Wild: The purpose of our Smart in Africa journey is to ignite change by sharing the stories of individuals and organizations that, through their own clever initiatives, are helping Africa move forward. There is much to learn from Africa and we hope these stories of people who make a difference in their communities - often in the face of great economic and environmental adversity - will inspire people worldwide to make take their own steps, no matter how small, to make their own changes in their communities.
They left Cape Town on the 15 May driving a tiny city runabout that belongs to Brett's wife through five Southern and East African countries in five weeks. The Zenith of their trip is the Serengeti in Tanzania, just south of the equator, and the total distance they will cover is roughly equivalent to driving from New York to Los Angeles and back (this gives you a sense of the size of the African continent).
By driving the smallest, most urban car possible ( a Smart car) through the harsh conditions of Africa - the supposed domain of the SUV and 4-wheel drive vehicles - they aim to persuade people that they don't need huge, gas guzzling vehicles for every day driving. The size of the car is also symbolic of "small" ideas that make a big difference. Ultimately if everyone does one small thing to make a difference, the accumulative effect can be world changing.
There will be many uplifting, entertaining stories that they share along the way but some examples of the people and initiatives they will be visiting are:
William Kamkwamba's village of Wimbe in Malawi. It was here as a teenager that Kamakwamba made windmills from scrap to generate power for his home. He is now generating power and aid for his village with the help of an aid organization called Moving Windmills.
Another is Tim Conibear of Cape Town who teaches township kids about HIV/AIDS and the other challenges they face in life through surfing. He finds the waves are perfect analogies for these challenges and he helps kids overcome these daunting issues.
Then there is Shiwa Ng ‘Andu in Zambia, a lodge and wildlife reserve which is involved in many community-focused initiatives. They are instrumental in building and supporting clinics and schools for a community of over 10 000 people. Education is the most important "need" in Africa and this will be their greatest focus.
Just as significant is the contribution of Solar Aid, their charity. Through donations they provide solar lighting systems to schools, clinics and community centers, as well as encouraging economic growth and sustainability by entering markets with solar products, training entrepreneurs in marketing and encouraging beneficiaries to make an income from their solar power. Solar light eradicates the need for harmful, expensive kerosene lamps. Ultimately it means people can study more at night. "After all, it can't be the "Dark Continent" if it is full of bright people" states Anton and Brent.
About Smart in Africa
Brett Wild is a filmmaker. Anton Crone is a travel writer and photographer.
You can follow the Smart in Africa journey on http://www.smartinafrica.co.za
View their teaser video here: