A writer and lecturer who lived amongst a group of indigenous people in a remote part of Africa has embarked on a fundraising mission to help feed and educate their children.
Candi Miller immersed herself in the lives of the San (Bushman) people, building her own grass hut, learning to make a bow and arrows and listening to stories of close encounters with lion around a campfire in Namibia.
She has visited on various occasions and worked as a tutor for the children there, as well as embarking on plans to turn their folktales into a digital app.
Candi, a Senior Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at the University of Wolverhampton, saw first-hand the poverty and hunger endured and is now campaigning to help provide food for the children and allow them to pursue an education.
She said the children faced many challenges, including a long trek through the Kalahari Desert and hitch-hiking, to make it to village schools, and were often stigmatised because of the low social standing of the tribe. When attending, they live in rudimentary hostels and are dependent upon government handouts of maize meal, which frequently does not arrive.
“The children are hungry, sometimes too hungry to concentrate in their tented classroom,” said Candi.
“They have amazing bush skills and can deal with wild animals, and they are determined to get an education and master technology, while retaining their traditional hunter-gatherer culture.”
She is ‘passionate about trying to help them interface with the modern world on their terms’, she says.
Candi was born in Zambia and brought up in South Africa. She has worked as a journalist and advertising copywriter both here and abroad.
She first undertook an expedition to the Kalahari Desert in 1994 to visit groups of San (Bushman) people. There she was caught up in a huge veld fire, charged by a bull elephant and enchanted by San story-telling around a campfire.
Her visits inspired her ethnologically-informed novels, Salt and Honey and Kalahari Passage, set in the African world she is so attached to.
To donate to Candi’s appeal, please see https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/VillageSchoolsfeedingscheme
For media inquiries please contact the corporate communications team on 01902 322736.