BUILDING CULTURAL CONNECTIONS
Uthando (Love) South Africa is an award-winning Fair Trade in Tourism certified non-profit organization creating a unique link between tourism and community development projects. Our Philanthropic Educational Excursions offer meaningful, authentic, engaging, respectful visits to a broad range of innovative and inspiring community projects. All the while, bringing enormous benefits to the local communities we support.
During our non-voyeuristic project visits, we shine a light on the remarkable and courageous community activists driving social change in their communities. Our philanthropic educational excursions reflect a heartfelt desire to showcase the best of South Africa, the positive, impactful, and very often untold stories of triumph over adversity.
The Philanthropic Educational Excursions take place in the expansive townships or informal settlements located in the eastern part of the city known as the Cape Flats. Our expert guides provide an in-depth overview of the history of South Africa and particularly the role that apartheid and institutionalized discrimination and inequality played in creating these communities. Once in the townships, the guide will discuss in detail the challenges confronting the locals concerning healthcare, education, social, political, and economic challenges.
The Philanthropic Educational Excursions run as daily scheduled or private philanthropic educational excursions for groups of any size. On any given trip, we visit three or four diverse community projects to learn about their work. Projects visited include urban agriculture; animal welfare; youth development through the medium of art, dance, choir singing, classical music, drumming or sport; special needs education; assistance to refugees; the environment; economic empowerment through skills development; arts and crafts; prisoner rehabilitation; care and protection for children, women and the elderly and much more. People can request to visit a specific project or projects, but this is subject to availability and logistical possibility.
Uthando only runs one philanthropic educational excursion per day. We are not a mass-market company, and booking is subject to availability. Our philanthropic educational excursions run Monday to Friday, generally in the morning.
Cost: Please contact Uthando regarding updated prices.
Security: The townships are as safe as anywhere else in South Africa. The country does, unfortunately, experience high crime levels; be vigilant and exercise caution. Be savvy and leave any unnecessary valuables like expensive jewelry, wallets with credit cards, expensive mobile phones, etc. in the hotel. Indeed, you can bring some money for any purchases of handmade products in the township. The safety and security of our guests are of paramount importance to us.
Uthando has been certified by Fair Trade in Tourism since 2011, meaning that our philanthropic educational excursions are profoundly respectful and sensitive to how we engage local communities. Please read below our Guest Code of Conduct.
Responsible Tourism Declaration
Uthando subscribes to the principles as set out in the 2002 Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations, which defined Responsible Tourism as follows:
- minimises negative economic, environmental, and social impacts;
- generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities;
- improves working conditions and access to the industry;
- involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
- makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity;
- provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
- provides access for physically challenged people;
- and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
Guest Code of Conduct
Uthando is fully committed to ensuring that the guest experience is as fulfilling, meaningful, and educational as possible, while also respecting local communities we visit.
Below are guidelines which promote this philosophy and policy:
- Local communities are benefiting from Uthando visits. Guests must enjoy the philanthropic educational excursions, knowing that their presence is welcomed, appreciated, and valued by the local communities.
- Guides provide guests with information on local greetings and customs at the outset of the philanthropic educational excursions, so that they may engage with locals respectfully.
- Guides give as much information as possible on local customs, culture, and traditions, thus ensuring a comprehensive overview of the communities visited.
- Donations are not allowed during the philanthropic educational excursions.
- Guests wishing to make donations can obtain information in this regard from the guide after the philanthropic educational excursions.
- No sweets, clothes, or any other items are to be given to children directly, but rather to the Director of the relevant project.
- Uthando does not encourage children to develop a culture of begging, reliance, or expecting handouts from tourists. Please refrain from picking children up.
- Guests are encouraged to be respectful when taking photographs. Taking photographs of people other than at the projects may be viewed as rude and inappropriate. Guides to make clear what is acceptable in respect of photography during the philanthropic educational excursions. If there is any doubt regarding photograph-taking, please consult your guide during the trip.
- Guests are to remain at the project site unless accompanied by the guide. Walking off unaccompanied could pose a security risk to guests and Uthando.
- Guests to avoid excessive displays of wealth (e.g., expensive jewelry), and they are encouraged to wear casual, modest, and understated clothing.
- Guests are to leave excessive amounts of money, credit cards, expensive mobile phones, passports, and other valuable personal items at their hotel.
- If applicable, guests are to dispose of litter responsibly, preferably taking it with them.
HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE
We invite those who value this beautiful country and its people to join our cause, helping to support, protect and nurture it for generations to come.
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