At On The Go Tours we take the issue of responsible tourism very seriously, and we try to ensure that the countries that we visit benefit from tourism. Travel should be a rewarding experience, not just for the tourist, but also for the local people that we encounter. One of the ways in which we do that is by supporting the Tourism Community Development (TCD) Trust.
The TCD Trust is a tourism-focused development agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. The TCD Trust’s objective is to make a difference at a grass-roots level in South Africa’s communities by consolidating the fundraising and social investment efforts of companies within the South African Tourism industry. This was sent to us recently by the TCD Trust regarding the Blomvlei Multipurpose Centre in Hanover Park, near Cape Town.
“2010 was an enormously challenging but good year for the TCD Trust. We began construction of the Blomvlei Library at Blomvlei Primary School in Hanover Park in January 2010. Besides enormous increases in the building costs from the original quotes the construction was successfully completed in August.
The library is magnificent and is already receiving quite iconic status in the area. The learners already have such an enormous sense of pride of this beautiful new library on their school grounds even though it is not furnished yet.
Due to the huge building costs we did not have sufficient funds to complete the landscaping, shelving, furniture, computers and equipment for the library. Since August we have been seriously fund raising for these things. In October we received an amazing donation from TICE for R100 000 (€ 10 300) and we also held our own fundraiser dinner which was kindly sponsored by the Mount Nelson Hotel, where we managed to raise a further R125 000. (€12 900)
SATSA members came out to the school at the end of October to celebrate World Responsible Tourism Day – 20 trees were donated and planted by the SATSA members to begin the greening of Blomvlei Library.
In January we used the funds we raised to install the shelving and furniture and we hope to officially open the library in early 2011 which also coincides with the 30 year anniversary of the school.
We have also undertaken to find a librarian for the library and pay her salary during the developmental stage of the library in order to get the facility fully operational and functional. Some of the developmental programmes which will be introduced into the library will include literacy development, computer skills, life skills, career guidance, art and dance workshops.
The Library was our primary focus this year as it is the biggest and most ambitious project the TCD Trust has taken on to date. The project has taken two years of fund raising and will need continued support through their developmental phase and the establishment of the various developmental programs which will be introduced at the school through the library.
At the same time, we still support all our other projects. Recently we repainted and did a minor renovation to the children’s bathrooms at Baphumelele Educare in Khayalitcha. We also be provided the annual Christmas Braai again this year for all the children and staff.
We are also still paying the salaries for the two full time nurses who are at the HIV Respite Center in Khayalitcha which the TCD Trust completed in 2007.
We really try to get all projects to a point that once we have intervened and assisted them that they can be self sustainable in order that we can also help other worthwhile projects in need.
We always keep in contact with all projects and assist them from time to time, when and where we can, and if we have the funds available.”