Back in November 2014 we were delighted to report on a formal partnership with AWOL Tours, who run bicycle based tours of Masiphumelele from the BEN bicycle shop in the township. AWOL generously agreed to donate R50 per paying guest on each of their tours, which is used to support early childhood development projects in the community. After a successful summer season we are pleased to report the donations received have exceeded R18,000.
The funds are used to support our Seedlings program that provides support to the pre-school children in the community, including the school visited on the cycle tour. In particular, the funds received so far have been used to support our “stay & play” initiative. The scheme is a mother & toddler club held at the Masiphumelele library. The funds from AWOL provide craft materials, equipment and the costs of support staff from the community.
As part of the tour, AWOL guests also visit some of Masicorp’s business entrepreneurs including Nonny’s bakery for refreshments and Ndileka Biyo at the Pink house for souvenirs.
Our relationship was further strengthened when AWOL recently employed Zizipho Silwana as a sales consultant at their office in the V&A Waterfront. Zizi is a graduate from our bursary program and recently completed her studies in HR Management at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Zizi is seen here with her mother at her graduation ceremony in March of this year.
Hopefully it is a great help to have a resident of Masiphumelele to talk to potential clients at the offices. If you have not done the tour yourself yet why not call in for a chat with Zizi and book a place? There are more details on the cycle tour – and online availability checks – on the AWOL website HERE.
We look forward to continuing our partnership with AWOL and our thanks to all the tourists who take time to visit Masiphumelele on their travels through South Africa.
This month sees the beginning of a partnership between Masicorp and AWOL Tours, who operate cycling tours of Masiphumelele in association with the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN). The relationship will see both organisations working together in the long-term to identify and support specific projects in the township. The AWOL tour currently visits educational sites such as the library and a pre-school as well as taking in wider aspects of community life, such as a visit to a traditional healer. The tour has proved to be very successful with international tourists and has received some excellent Tripadvisor reviews.
AWOL have generously agreed to donate R50 per paying guest on each of their tours, which will be used to support early childhood development projects in the community. This is in line with the company’s position as a leader in responsible tourism in South Africa. They have previously been awarded Fair Trade in Tourism status due to their work with local communities and their preference for training and employing local staff.
Earlier this year several of the Masicorp team joined AWOL bicycle guide, Zwai, to experience the tour. Zwai lives in Masiphumelele and has worked for AWOL for many years. It was immediately apparent that there are many synergies between what Masicorp and AWOL tours are doing in terms of community upliftment and in particular supporting early childhood development. The tours also often start or finish with a visit to Nonny’s Bakery for coffee and so support another Masicorp project. For a review of the visit by the Masicorp team please click HERE.
Township tourism does not always get a good press but the sensitive approach taken by AWOL tours is to be commended and we are delighted to be in partnership with such a respected tour operator. We look forward to a long working relationship and would absolutely recommend the tour to all visitors to the area, local or international.