Impact organizations are normally created by frustration, irritation or discontent that is ultimately transformed into inspiration, ambition and results. In this article you can read how Dilo and I, Patricia, were triggered to start our own impact organization; Experience Africa, responsibly&fair.
“Hey Patricia, would you like to work together? Maybe we can also turn your Ghana coach book into a Malawi variant and even write a more general Africa coach book?’, Dilo asked me some time last year.
Dilo and I met online and soon found out that we have a lot of common ground. We both live and work in an African country and we both have a passion for traveling with as little damage as possible.For Dilo, this is mostly expressed in the green area of sustainability and for me, it is mainly expressed in the social area.
I do not mean to say that Dilo is anti-social and that I am a huge environmental polluter who sits on elephants. I just want to underline that we complement each other very well. Click here to read more about us.
Impact organizations start with a problem or dissatisfaction
While writing the Ghana coach book ‘What you need to know when travelling to Ghana’ I realized that I wanted to tell so much more about topics like social sustainability and volunteering in Africa. But I also realized that a very deep exploration of that area wasn’t the purpose of this book.
Dilo and I discovered during our conversations that we had joint irritations. The many misconceptions about the continent of Africa, how many people are exploited by large companies, how tourism can cause huge problems for people and nature.
The Facebook group ‘Responsible travel to Africa’
As we continued to make plans, we started a Facebook group; Responsible travel to Africa. The aim of this diverse international group is to exchange knowledge about everything that has to do with sustainable and conscious travel. The strength of the group is its diversity. Anyone who has an affinity for travelling in Africa is welcome in this private group. As a result, there is a dialogue between Africans, who live both in Africa and in other countries, tour operators, hospitality companies, foundations, and the travellers themselves.
Together we explore how to deal with certain situations and what responsible travel in Africa actually means? Do you want to be part of this group? Click on the photo and sign up!
We were looking for a way to re-direct our discontent
Both Dilo and I are people of action. We can complain about what we don’t like, or what we don’t find fair, but in the end, that doesn’t solve anything. So what can we do?
Combining our collective knowledge and starting an impact organization, with the aim of redirecting our dissatisfaction.
But how? At the end of the day, we are both small pawns in the hospitality industry in Africa. Although I have already taken a step towards my ideals with my socially involved guesthouse and Ghana coach. Dilo did the same with his conscious tour company.
And then we got the impulse we needed from an unexpected source: the big stakeholders in the travel industry.
Travel needs to be more sustainable, according to the travel industry
More and more voices in the travel industry came out saying that travel should be more sustainable, even the organizations that until recently promoted air travel from Amsterdam to Paris. Of course, we welcome the choice of a more sustainable policy by large organizations, but what are the reasons we were wondering. Are they really changing their ways? Or is it because they have to survive in these difficult times for tourism? In the process, all sorts of questions arose about how sustainable the big companies’ sustainability is. Do the big companies also consider the social aspect of responsible travel, or does it stop at a beach clean action during your holiday?
Sustainable travel comes at a price, according to major travel companies
And then this point came up more and more. Sustainable and far-flung trips are exclusive and there is a price tag attached to them. Air travel is more expensive because of the compensation for CO2 emissions, the salaries of the local staff must go up and the occupancy rate down. All makes sense, right? And at the same time, the organization from abroad still wants to make as much profit as it used to. When it wasn’t so sustainable. This marked the turning point in our thinking. The reasoning of the large organizations gave us the inspiration to actually take the step towards an impact organization.
Where does sustainable travel begin?
Where is the basis for sustainable travel? With the traveller or with the travel industry? We believe that you as a traveller are responsible for your actions and your choices make the difference between living and travelling consciously and unconsciously. So why should we as consumers place the responsibility on the travel industry when we can also make sustainable choices ourselves! And we, Experience Africa, will help you make those conscious choices!
Do you want to make the most of your time in Africa, by having lots of fun and making a positive impact?
Our first course is live now, and a second one on its way. Sign up to our mailing list to get all information!