About the Wild Wings Educational Trust Our mission: to improve lives and offer hope through education.
The Wild Wings Educational Trust is a registered charitable trust (reg no IT2218/2011) and Public Benefit Organisation (PBO reg no 930049705) which operates on a not-for-profit basis. Our mission is to improve lives and offer hope to disadvantaged children from local communities through education.
The Trust was launched by Wild Wings Safaris as a public benefit organisation through which the company and its clients (tourists from all over the world) can give back to the local community and make a meaningful and lasting difference. We love South Africa, we believe in responsible tourism, and we have found that many of our clients who visit Southern Africa as tourists are looking for ways to contribute meaningfully to a worthwhile cause or organisation that is working to improve the lives of disadvantaged people.
The Wild Wings Trust is such an organisation, overseen by some of the same people who run Wild Wings Safaris with utmost integrity, professionalism, service excellence and attention to detail. Our vision is to touch as many lives as possible through better education. The trust relies entirely on donations, and provides an opportunity for safari travellers to contribute meaningfully and voluntarily toward social upliftment, as part of their trip to Africa. In addition, we are working on ways in which tourists can volunteer their time, skills and resources in practical ways, such as by donating books, clothes or stationery, or by helping out as a volunteer at one of our projects or partner organisations.
One of our key projects is a scholarship program, which identifies and sponsors individual children from disadvantaged backgrounds to attend a top private school in George, Glenwood House. Glenwood House has generously partnered with the Wild Wings Trust to sponsor half of the school fees (effectively offering our scholarship students a 50% reduction in school fees) and the Trust pays the remaining 50% in the form of a full bursary. More information about this project can be found under the Projects tab.
To ensure the long term success and sustainability of this scholarship program, the Trust has a dual strategy. On one hand, we aim to establish the scholarship program as a type of endowment fund. This means we will maintain a healthy capital reserve which remains untouched, while only the interest on the capital is used to sustainably fund bursaries. The second strategy is to find long term sponsors who are able to commit to one child's education and sponsor their school fees on an ongoing basis.
For this reason the Wild Wings Trust is calling for generous donations to the Trust fund, by our clients, the general public as well as local companies and corporations. As a registered PBO with Section 18(A) status, all donations to the Trust are tax deductible for the donor, and tax exempt for the Trust, which means the full value of your donation will benefit the children we sponsor, while lowering your own tax liability.
The Trust is overseen by a board of four trustees: Onne Vegter, Simon Vegter, Gavin Brown and Barry Muller. Three of the four trustees are also involved in the parent company, Wild Wings Safaris. Below is a short profile of each of the Trustees. We have put stringent measures in place to ensure accountability and safeguard the Trust, its capital and beneficiaries. Some of these measures include multiple signatures for all expenses, full board approval for all funding decisions and operational activities, annual independent audit, and clauses in the Trust Deed limiting the influence of any single trustee. The Trust has been set up to ensure that it remains completely separate and unaffected by the parent company, Wild Wings Safaris. In the highly unlikely event that Wild Wings Safaris should close down or experience financial difficulty, the Wild Wings Educational Trust will remain unaffected and no money can be paid from the Trust to the parent company or any of the trustees. The trustees and administrator of the Trust are volunteers; they are not paid anything for their services, and should a trustee resign, the remaining three trustees will appoint a suitable replacement.
Onne Vegter is the founding trustee and visionary behind the Wild Wings Educational Trust. A qualified teacher with a degree in Biological Science and a postgraduate diploma in Higher Education, Onne has always been passionate about education and has worked in youth development for many years before starting Wild Wings Safaris in 2005, in partnership with his brother Simon Vegter. As training manager at Outward Bound South Africa during the late 1990's, Onne managed a non-profit student instructor program, a two year educational project which identified promising young students from disadvantaged backgrounds to be trained as Outward Bound instructors. Onne also enjoys writing and has published three youth novels, which are currently used as part of the curriculum in hundreds of schools all over South Africa.
Simon Vegter is a co-founder of Wild Wings Safaris and a legendary safari guide in the Kruger National Park. A man of many talents and interests, Simon is a keen photographer, an expert birder and enthusiastic cook. He is no stranger to the world of NGO's and NPO's, having worked in several African countries as cameraman and crew member for a Christian non-profit organisation based in Pretoria. Simon is currently based in Johannesburg and spends most of his time guiding open vehicle safaris in the Kruger National Park. He loves people, different cultures, and travelling to other countries, and apart from his travels to Europe, North and South America, Simon has visited most countries in Southern and East Africa.
Gavin Brown is a family man, travel enthusiast, licensed marriage officer, amateur cook, and also a full time tour consultant at Wild Wings Safaris. Born in Zimbabwe, Gavin has travelled widely all over Southern Africa. He is married to a speech therapist who has developed a range of excellent educational resources for spelling, grammar and language development, which Gavin helps to market. He is an optimistic, inspiring individual who brings a wide range of skills and experience to the board of trustees.
Barry Muller is a lecturer at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, based at the Saasveld Campus in George. A teacher by nature, Barry has many years of experience as an educator and is passionate about seeing young South Africans succeed. A keen sportsman, amateur builder and devoted family man, Barry's energy, wisdom and integrity adds significant value to the Wild Wings Educational Trust. As the only trustee who is not in some way involved with Wild Wings Safaris, he brings balance, accountability and a fresh outside perspective.
How will my money be spent?
The Wild Wings Trust is operated completely separately from its parent company, Wild Wings Safaris. The finances of the Trust are audited annually by an independent auditing firm, Mazars in George.
However, the benefit of the parent company's involvement is that the Trust currently has almost no overheads, and for every $100 that is donated, about $99 goes directly toward our projects. We currently have no salary bill because all the work of the Trust is done by the directors and some of the employees of Wild Wings Safaris in their spare time, at no cost. Currently, all administrative costs such as office space, website hosting, telephone costs and so on are sponsored by the parent company, to ensure that no money is wasted on the administration and running of the Trust. Our only overhead expenses are accounting fees, annual auditing fees and bank charges. This means all funds donated will directly benefit the children we assist. Please see our projects page for details about our projects.
As a registered Public Benefit Organisation, all donations are tax deductible to the donor.
Donate a fraction of your trip cost
If you have booked or are planning to book a trip through Wild Wings Safaris, you may want to consider contributing a small percentage of your trip costs to the Educational Trust. There is no pressure or obligation to do so, of course, but as an incentive and gesture of our own commitment to the aims of the Trust, Wild Wings Safaris pledges to match any donation made as a percentage of your trip cost, up to 2.5% of the total cost we quoted you for your trip. This means, if you choose to contribute 1% of your overall trip costs, we will also donate 1%, so that the Trust receives 2%. If you donate 2.5%, we will match that and the Trust will receive 5% of your trip costs. Please inform your consultant at Wild Wings Safaris if you are interested in donating a percentage of your trip costs to this cause. For more information on how to donate, please click on Donations in the top menu.