A Development Project: Culture for Jobs and Income
The local indigenous Shangaan communities of the Timbavati region have preserved ancient story-telling traditions that hold the White Lion sacred as a tribal totem animal and symbol of ancestral presence on earth.
Craft Development Project
In 2007 a foundational craft development project was jointly initiated by local communities and the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT), to showcase the importance of the White Lions in their cultural beliefs. The White Lion icon appears in many celebrated forms in the arts and crafts produced by the community.
As a second phase, the WLT will engage professional product designers to identify more commercially viable and sustainable product lines so as to sustain the craft project economically.
Reconnecting the Youth with their Cultural Heritage
The WLT also runs a parallel cultural programme with local schools in the region using arts and theatre to reconnect the indigenous youth with their cultural heritage. Two schools have been trained to date to produce 'intelligent conservation drama', which interprets the critical issues associated with White Lion conservation. The schools perform at surrounding lodges and villages and also perform for foreign visitors and learner groups visiting from outlying schools.
In 2007 the WLT coordinated an opportunity for 25 Funjwa Primary School learners to present their "Madiba: White Lion" play to Mr Nelson Mandela.