G Adventures is celebrating International Women’s Day with the addition of four new ‘G For Good’ projects, dedicated to supporting women and youth across Africa.
Joining the existing 70 G For Good projects supported by the operator and its non-profit partner, Planeterra, the new initiatives were selected based on the impact potential of G Adventures’ traveller market on communities in each of the destinations visited, and are a reflection of the increase in travellers seen by G Adventures across Africa over the past 12 months.
With 20 initiatives solely committed to empowering women, and 2,043 women having been employed or trained through G For Good projects around the world, Kelly Galaski, director of Global Programs for Planeterra, says the new projects will continue G Adventures’ mission to empower and support women and youth in the communities travellers visit.
“The tourism industry continues to be one of the largest job creators in the world, with the ability to reach some of the most rural and underserved people across the globe. But, despite 55% of the tourism workforce being made up of women, there is often a lack of women in leadership roles. And, in many countries, women are completely excluded from education and the formal economy because of their gender,” says Galaski. “International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the work still to be done. We are committed to supporting projects, like these new initiatives in Africa, that empower and offer fair employment to women, because when women succeed, we all succeed.”
Amongst the 20 female-focused projects, G Adventures sees many women successfully overcoming social and gender inequality each year. In India, Women on Wheels, the country’s first fleet of female-only chauffeurs has trained and secured employment for more than 650 women from resource-poor areas of urban India. In Monduli, Tanzania, a team of all-women engineers from the Maasai community have installed over 500 clean cookstoves and solar systems, offering safe cooking options to the Maasai areas across the Serengeti.
New projects include:
- Lusumpuko Women’s Club – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Following the inflation disaster in 2008, approximately 95% of the population in Zimbabwe is unemployed or partake in informal work. Despite the traditional gender disparity, many Zimbabwean women are taking matters into their own hands, forming co-operative groups to provide services like tailoring, catering and animal husbandry.
The 20 ladies in the Lusumpuko Women’s Club began as a group of women rearing chickens and providing catering services for local churches and events. The new G For Good project welcomes 1,800 G Adventures travellers visiting Victoria Falls each year, and sees the women preparing a cooking demonstration of traditional meals, much like their grandmothers and mothers used to prepare. The demonstration is followed by a meal served farm-to-table with local, in-season ingredients.
- Princess Sewing Cooperative – Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Faced by the same challenges as the Lusumpuko Women’s Club, the women at the Princess Cooperative were struggling to make an income that could support their families. Offering tailoring services in the township of Mkhosana near Victoria Falls, the women have been provided extensive business training by Planeterra, and now offer a mending and laundry service to all G Adventures travellers travelling through Victoria Falls.
The income increase means the women can now afford to pay school fees for their children and many can continue with their own education, as many only attended primary levels of education.
- AidChild’s Equation Café & Gallery – Kayabwe (Equator), Uganda
With approximately 130,000 children under the age of 14 living with HIV in Uganda, the need for support, medical care and education to help them live long, healthy lives is vital. Working with AidChild, this new G For Good project supports the non-profit’s mission to provide support, medical care and education to the children and youth living with HIV in Uganda. All G Adventures travellers passing through Uganda make a stop at AidChild’s Equation Café and Gallery, located at the equator line.
Here, travellers will enjoy the paintings and crafts made by local artists, as well as a meal made with traditional Ugandan ingredients, but with a modern twist. A grant has also been provided to train the nine staff members working at the café and gallery.