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Responsible tourism in action - Mumbo Island
Posted on: Friday, May 28, 2010
Blog Category: 'Responsible Travel'

On Mumbo Island, responsible tourism has always been at the core of their operations. This month we have a couple of wonderful examples of how the local communities are supported by Kayak Africa.

Last month, Billy Bwanali, the local tailor at Cape Maclear, re-upholstered every cushion on Mumbo and Domwe islands. He completed this epic task in three long days, setting up his Singer treadle machine on the deck at basecamp and sewing all day. Everything now looks fresh and gorgeous in the new chitenje colour scheme of green, blue and black. But (and this is the is the really good part), some of the old cushion covers were still in good condition, so Billy used them to make one hundred new dresses for the orphans in Chembe village. How is that for a great story of reducing, re-using, recycling and the support of local communities by tourism?

And it doesn't stop there. A local humanitarian, appropriately named Vision, looks after these vulnerable  orphaned children on an entirely informal basis. He and his wife feed over two hundred children daily on money donated by a number of people in the village, including Kayak Africa. Vision has an admirable vegetable garden where he grows food for the orphans, teaches them gardening skills and sells this produce to the local lodges: some of Mumbo’s delicious salads come from this garden – food with a conscience!

The orphans aren't the only ones to benefit in Cape Maclear. On the 1st May, the larger than life “Grey Beard of African Adventure”, Kingsley Holgate, visited Cape Maclear. He and his entourage of volunteers are journeying north through Africa from South Africa to Uganda, taking in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi, as part of the United Against Malaria initiative, an umbrella partnership of many interested parties aiming to eradicate malaria in Africa. This is one of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. They were distributing mosquito nets, predominantly to pregnant women and to women with babies and toddlers, as they are most susceptible to the disease. Insecticide impregnated nets are shown to greatly reduce the incidence of malaria. Kingsley came to Chembe Village, Cape Maclear at the invitation of Kayak Africa, who arranged this visit and his previous visit in 2008.

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