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Women Making a Difference

National Women’s Day is celebrated on the 9th of August in South Africa. This public holiday pays homage to the women who fought tirelessly against the tyranny of the Apartheid government. Wives, daughters, mothers, sisters and friends are celebrated through the month of August for the role they play in the lives of their families and communities.

”If you educate a man, you educate an individual. If you educate a woman, you educate a nation”- African Proverb

We take a look at a few of the women who are actively involved in changing their environments and impacting their communities through various sustainable initiatives in South Africa. We are proud to be associated with them and support the wonderful work that they do.

Corne Havenga | Eco Children

At Eco Children we believe that all children should be given the best possible start to life and that education is a fundamental human right. Our mission is to sow seeds of change, empowering children in rural Mpumalanga province by increasing their awareness of conservation, stimulating their desire to learn, improving their learning environments, improving the quality of their education and providing opportunities for talented learners.

I believe wholeheartedly that education is the most important pillar in South Africa’s development and a quality education is the only way to break the cycle poverty and underdevelopment a great number of South Africans are still caught in.  The development of schools and communities is a relentless and tireless job but every now and again, something or someone come along that encapsulates everything that were believe in and invigorates us to keep on giving our all.

Corne Havenga Eco Children

Sally Petersen | AWOL Tours

AWOL Tours is a responsible tour operator, based in Cape Town; speciliazing in private hiking and cycling experiences. We encourage genuine and real interactions between locals and tourists, and assist disadvantaged individuals to become self-employed through the AWOL Tours cultural Township Bicycle Tour partnerships.

In 1998 I cycled through Africa and received so much hospitality from communities en route that I decided to commit to helping communities back home in Cape Town. Thus I developed AWOL around responsible principles to give back to communities. Today the Cultural Bicycle Tour based in Masiphumele is thriving, with supportive partnerships with MASICORP and the local cycling academy.

“Find your passion and develop a strong and supportive community to share your enthusiasm.”

Phaphama Initiatives

At Phaphama Initiatives we have been organising daily tours and immersion with local women for the past 20 years. Most of these women come from households were they are the only breadwinners. They assist with cooking lunch on our tours and host visitors when we have immersion. We have also trained them on cultural discussions and encouraged them to keep in touch with current news. A percentage of money paid by tourist goes to these women and our other community based projects such as AVP, Gender based workshops and partnering with a group of pensioners. This makes a lot of difference in their livelihood. They have managed to take their kids to school even tertiary. Some have extended their houses.

The positivity and the encouragement that our workshops provide the women makes us proud and happy to know that young and old women can build better homes and continue to be happy with their love ones. The work that we do motives women to work together, resolving conflicts non-violently and uplifting them despite their different situations. Letting people into our world and knowing that South Africa has hope despite of all the challenges affecting us, inspires us to continue doing what we do. More so when we receive positive feedback from happy customers.

Phaphama initiatives

Jasmina Davids | Malay Cook-up

I am the hostess of the Malay Cook-Up, which means I welcome both local and international visitors to my home in the Bo-Kaap, a little community situated on the slopes of Signal Hill. It is one of the oldest and culturally rich areas in our country. What’s unique about the visit to my home? I teach guests how to prepare a popular, traditional 3-course Cape Malay meal from scratch in my kitchen.  After spending roughly 1.5 hours behind the stove and getting our hands dirty, we sit down to enjoy the food and some good conversation.

The opportunity to start this venture came by chance. It was meant to be just a few demonstrations for one month, but it’s been six years and I’ve not looked back. And the best part is – I indirectly get to travel the world in my kitchen, not to mention all the new friends my family and I have made along the way.

Jasmina - Malay Cook up