As the Millennium Development Goals outlined by the United Nations end, people are looking towards the next set of goals, the 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development, to help end poverty, fight climate change, and create more equality among men and women. African Impact contributes to accomplishing these goals with their sustainable community-based projects. One of these goals is Global Goal 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth which promotes sustainable economic development, an increase in jobs and job-related training, and equality for men and women in the workplace. Some of the targets for Global Goal 8 include increasing the number of youth in employment, education, or training; encouraging sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products; and promoting development-oriented policies that support decent job creation and entrepreneurship while also encouraging the formalization and growth of micro-enterprises.
The Msaranga Walking Tour program I worked on as part of the Community Tourism and Enterprise Development project strived to achieve the targets outlined under Global Goal 8. This program taught students business and customer service skills so they could utilize their local knowledge of the village to create a microenterprise, Six Rafiki Walking Tours, which provides fun and informative walking tours to tourists in Msaranga. These walking tours provide an additional income to my students and their families along with more job training in the competitive tourism industry. The skills learned by the students in the walking tour program are also transferrable to other customer service positions within the tourism industry such as working in a travel agency in Moshi. Six Rafiki Walking Tours also benefits the community by featuring local crafts and businesses as stops along the tour. This helps local craftsmen and businesses to gain more customers while also helping the tour guides of Six Rafiki to meet and network with more people in their community.
The Msaranga Walking Tour program is a great opportunity for the young adults in the community because it teaches them skills they may not have otherwise learned. These skills combined with the confidence they gain by completing this program help put them on the path to success in the tourism industry. It was a life-changing experience for me to work with such amazing people on the Community Tourism and Enterprise Development project and to see how far my students progressed from Day 1 until the sad day when I had to return home. I greatly enjoyed getting to know my students and learning about my home away from home from the people who live there. The most important lesson I gained from this experience was that I could still have a positive impact in my students’ lives even though I was only in Msaranga for two short months. This is essentially the core of the Global Goals. If each individual strives to improve their community, it creates a domino effect where we can achieve these global goals together as a global community to help end poverty, improve the environment, and fight inequality in the workplace.
Find out more about the Community Tourism and Enterprise Program, and how to book your place, here.