From building a school for over 400 students in Mozambique to restoring the natural habitats for wildlife, we are deeply proud that so many members of the JG Black Book Collection are devoting their efforts to enrich and support local communities. Their efforts are not only made possible by the property or tour operator’s staff and leadership but also through thoughtful donations of time and money, big and small, from guests and visitors. We’ve compiled a list to share six examples of how our partners are making a difference by giving back to their local communities and environments.
In an effort to give back, Global CommUnity offers CommUnity Impact Opportunities at their offered destinations, giving travelers insight into cultural sustainability. Through these experiences, Global CommUnity hopes to start a dialog about how travel adds back to the community it impacts, whether it be ecologic, humanitarian, or economic renewal. They have also partnered with the Whole Foods Foundation, Whole Planet, for poverty alleviation. This enables travelers to visit the Whole Planet community partners in participating countries, seeing and learning first-hand how microcredit loans empower entrepreneurs, battle poverty and protect culture in a community.
Each month, The Stafford London welcomes a group of much-loved veterans from the world famous Royal Hospital Chelsea to enjoy lunch in the hotel’s The Game Bird restaurant. The staff is not only proud to have this wonderful partnership with the Royal Hospital Chelsea but they’ve become the hotel’s extended family. In addition to monthly lunches, The Stafford hosts a Christmas Tea Party for the residents of the Margaret Thatcher Infirmary – the Royal Hospital’s on-site care home – who are unable to make it to the hotel to enjoy the festive celebrations.
In a continued effort to support a variety of social and environmental projects both large and small, Azura Retreats has established the first registered charity of its kind in Mozambique – the Rainbow Fund. From supporting the local football team to sourcing their furnishings from craftsmen in the local community, they are always looking for ways to protect the environment and uplift the surrounding communities. What’s one of their biggest projects? They built the first school on the island, which now caters to over 450 children. How amazing!
The Volcanoes Safaris Partnership Trust (VSTP) is a non-profit organization that connects Volcanoes’ Rwanda and Uganda luxury lodges to the neighboring communities and conservation activities. The VSPT aims to create long-term, self-sustaining projects that enrich the livelihoods of local communities, promote the conservation of the great apes, restore natural habitats and work with communities and institutions to reduce human-wildlife conflict.
Other beloved and admirable projects are the Bwindi Bar and Kyambura Women’s Coffee Cooperative. The Bwindi Bar offers training in hospitality to local disadvantaged youths. Their Kyambura Women’s Coffee Cooperative is a community-based initiative designed to provide vocational training to women and an alternative, sustainable source of income.
The Elewana Collection’s charitable arm, The Land & Life Foundation, proudly works with local communities in Barangoi Village. The Land and Life Foundation supports 43 students with school fees, uniforms, and shoes. The local primary school, Esiteti Primary, has become the center of focus and in the last eighteen months has benefited hugely from the kindness of visitors. Over the last year, they have completed two new classrooms that house around 50 students each, and are currently constructing a third. Also underway is the building of an 80-bed dormitory.
The most recent project has been the installation of a new school farm complete with shade netting, fencing, and a complete drip irrigation system. The aim is to provide the community with the tools and resilience to better cope with the long dry seasons. With training and support, the farm should provide enough food to supply the school throughout the year and any additional produce can be sold to contribute to income. In the future, plans are to add a final fourth classroom and to construct a library and vocational training block.
Micato Safaris is a major donor and supporter of Huru International. Founded in 2008 by AmericaShare co-founder Lorna Macleod, Huru manufactures reusable sanitary pads, which are distributed in Huru Kits, to more than 150,000 Kenyan girls. Each kit consists of a colorful drawstring backpack with eight reusable pads, underwear, detergent-grade soap for washing pads, a resealable waterproof bag for the safe storage of used pads, and educational materials on HIV prevention and reproductive and sexual health. Huru Kits have saved girls 3.5 million school days that otherwise would have been lost.