Sustainable Economic Development
Educaring Africa and its development partner the Africa Sustainable Tourism Care Foundation (ASTCF) promotes
community-level economic, enterprise development and poverty reduction by linking incentives and income opportunities to the adoption of conservation practices. We collaborate and network with a range of partners including the Uganda Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Uganda Tourism Board, Uganda Wildlife Authority, the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development, community based tourism organisations and all other tourism industry stakeholders. Most importantly, we work with local communities to develop and implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions with a view of empowering local communities and protecting nature for future generations in Uganda.
At a local level, some of these initiatives include community and female empowerment targeted projects that aim to educate people on ways they can conserve their local environment and also contribute to a sustainable eco-economy. We have helped established three community micro-finance groups, which each have a strong focus on empowering women. We aim to foster the development of these groups by playing a facilitative role by allowing participants to take ownership of their projects and their businesses. Women meet weekly to not only work on their crafts but to learn about business management, bookkeeping and customer service in the process. Exposed to new business via ASTCF's voluntourism program, as well as local markets, the group's continue to grow through a saving and lending program. Educaring Africa also seeks to expose these groups to new markets to further boost their development and their products are available to purchase via our SHOP page.
Since the initiative was launched in Uganda, participants continue to create an array of wonderful products ranging from bowls and bags to greeting cards and jewellery boxes, which are all made from locally sourced natural materials. Money earned through selling these products have been reinvested in their family for important things such as school fees, which is part of the initiatives other benefits of promoting health and family planning. The meetings also provide a chance to regularly educate locals about hygiene, sanitation and environmental preservation. Volunteers are able to play an active role in helping participants by both assisting with their creative practices and helping teach good business management. It's important to note that while these initiatives place a strong focus on women, men are also very much involved. Sustainable development is about inclusiveness and men play a key role in fostering this environment for all of our projects!
Bringing our efforts to Malawi
Educaring Africa and Malawi Volunteer Organisation are currently seeking to conduct assessments and implement a number of sustainable economic development practices with our local community in Monkey Bay, Malawi. The wonderful lady who is helping spearhead these initiatives is native Malawian Madalo Kamzati! With a wealth of experience, Madalo has previously worked with local communities to implement micro-finance, women and youth driven projects in other parts of Malawi. Educaring Africa and MVO are currently working with Madalo to prepare a project proposal for three of our local villages with the hope of funding an assessment process in the near future. We hope our work with Madalo is just the beginning of some exciting and innovative development projects that will benefit our local communities for years to come!