Women’s network Equality in Tourism today launched a crowdfunding campaign for a groundbreaking initiative in Tanzania that could join the dots between the livelihoods of local communities and lucrative tourism industries across the developing world. Equality, which is dedicated to ensuring that women have a voice in global tourism, is looking to raise £16,600 by 20 December 2017. This will be used to fund the initial six-month phase of training and development for 30 women farmers in Mailisita in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The aim is to form a farming and business collective that will provide the area’s hospitality sector with an easy supply of fresh food. Already, local hotels and tour operators have expressed a keen interest in the project, with the scene set to create powerful and lasting partnerships.
The exciting pilot project will be delivered by Equality’s locally managed team, which will train, mentor and empower these aspiring entrepreneurs. The women will learn how to farm, store and sell their produce more effectively, build their business more efficiently, and become stronger decision-makers with greater financial stability both at home and in their communities. (See Notes to Editors, below, for suggested donations and what they can achieve.)
Thousands of tourists visit Kilimanjaro each year and use the area as a gateway to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Farming families living in the shadow of the mountain and the booming tourist industry that surrounds it currently subsist on work as seasonal day labourers and produce grown on the family plot. A typical family income is about £8 a week. “Most of us expect to travel, go on holiday and see the world around us, but what happens when you live in one of these hot-spot destinations yet cannot afford to take your family to the doctor or buy fertiliser to farm your land?” says Dr Barnett. “Until now, no one has thought about connecting these women to the profitable local tourism industry. This is what we have suggested to them and this is what they really want to do. We also want to make sure that when people go on holiday they can relax knowing that the locals are benefiting from their visits.”
Suggested donations and what they can achieve:
- £5 – Thank you! You win a place in our hearts and our land at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro (unlimited hearts to be won).
- £12 – You will supply much-needed seeds for these women farmers to start sowing the ground and earning for their families’ future (unlimited seeds to be sown).
- £25 – A huge thank you! Your gift will buy the equipment each farmer needs to ensure that her newly grown produce gets to her new market, making it quicker, easier and more likely that the hotels will buy from her time and time again. (Thirty phones and satellite chargers need to be bought.)
- £77 – Thank you! By investing in us, you will help train each woman to save her money, buy books and uniforms for school, and build for the future. (Thirty women need to be trained.)
- £267 – Your donation is enough to pay for one woman to take part in this project for three months, offering her the chance learn, test and refine her new skills in planning crops and planting fields.
- £1,170 – Your investment will make sure that two of our women have six full months of training, advice and support to kick-start their farms and new business.
- £8,300 – Thank you so much. Your gift will enable our local partner to run the whole project, for all 30 women, for three of our planned six months. This will make a huge difference to the lives of the women, their families and the community as a whole.
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For more information, visit the crowdfunding page.