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TThe way people travel has changed significantly over the last few years; long gone are the days where travellers want to drive around aboard a tour bus only to get off at tourist hotspots to take a few photographs. Travellers now want to be part of a much more sustainable way of travelling, where they get under the skin of a destination and contribute to making a difference within the destination.

Based in Cape Town, Uthando, has responsible tourism and social transformation at its core. The organisation works to support a variety of community development projects, charitable organisations and social entrepreneurs across a wide range of sectors. These projects are community led and managed and Uthando seeks to connect these organisations to tourism, in order to uplift those in need. The projects include a wide range of social challenges including education, housing, domestic violence, sustainable economic development and unemployment.

Travellers are invited to book a Uthando tour to visit a few of these awe-inspiring projects and to witness the essence of Ubuntu (an African ancient which means “humanity to others”).

GGreenpop is a catalyst for greener spaces within some of Cape Town’s poorest communities. The organisation recognises the lack of green spaces within poorer urban areas and their green initiatives helps connect people to more responsible ways of living. Green festivals and workshops are run throughout southern Africa, which focuses on educating people on green sustainability challenges and getting the wider society involved in their various initiatives.

AAfri-Creative Hub is an art centre where the youth come together to develop their artistic skills. The project was launched in 2019 by Fine Arts graduate, Nwabisa Nkonyana, and was opened with the goal of introducing more disadvantaged communities to art. The project also focuses on bringing art into the local communities and making the communities more characterful. Students are not only taught how to develop their creative skills through various art forms, but are also introduced to software and technology which many artists make use of today.

Hout Bay Music Project was founded in 2003 with the aim of connecting disadvantaged children to instruments and music. A community centre in Hout Bay is used as a base for the project where a wide range of instruments are taught including violin, cello and drums. The project also incorporates Life Skills into its programme by using the arts as an avenue of expression and self-development.

AAbalimi Bezekhaya (Xhosa for “Farmers of the home”) is a sustainable urban farming community project with sustainability and community upliftment at its core. The organisation teaches people to grow and manage local urban gardens, enabling them to grow their own fruit and vegetables. This fresh product is then sold within the local community in order to create employment and also encourages the local community to support local businesses. Gardeners can purchase seeds, compost and gardening tools at an affordable price and they also receive training and lessons on how to garden effectively. The project creates employment and skillset development for many within two of South Africa’s poorest townships.

Uthando work with most DMC's within South Africa. More information on Uthando and they projects they manage can be found on their website - www.uthandosa.org

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