We believe in supporting people to support themselves. This project has been established to deliver that goal, focusing on two specific aims: to empower Batwa women and men to participate equitably in decision making at household and community levels; and to have improved sustainable livelihood securities, especially health, food, land and shelter, incomes and education.
We believe in working collaboratively and, to that end, have established a broad range of partners, in the US and locally on the ground in Uganda. Our partners have decades of combined experience of delivering projects like ours. They have also worked with – and built strong, personal relationships with – members of the Batwa community. Operating in this way gives us numerous advantages. We can deliver a new initiative that is informed by what has worked and what hasn’t. We can build on the relationships already formed, meaning that we don’t have to start from scratch – and can deliver positive impact faster. And more problems can be solved by working collaboratively, drawing on the knowledge, skills and personal attributes of a much broader range of people, giving us – and the Batwa – more chance of success.
Sparking Self-Sufficiency in Africa Through Sustainable Income
We want to give the Batwa the tools they need to develop a self-sustaining tourism business. This means that we will work with them to develop the core skills – in business, tourism and leadership – to create and manage a successful enterprise. Training and support will range from marketing to organisation, and from performance to guiding skills. But we will also learn from them; about their culture and beliefs, and about how we can all live in better harmony with the natural world around us.
Our ultimate objective is to support the Batwa to create new opportunities to generate income, so they can access the basic services they desperately need, in housing, education, nutrition and health.
Batwa Eco-Tourism Company
Objectives of Batwa Eco-Tourism Company
The Batwa Eco-Tourism company, responsible for the implementation and management of Batwa tourism activities, intends to develop Batwa communities in Uganda and to promote responsible tourism which conserves the environment and sustains the well-being of the indigenous Batwa people, by striving to:
- Improve Batwa livelihoods through training in entertaining music, dance and drama.
- Empower Batwa with craft-making and other vocational skills.
- Build capacity of the Batwa in welcoming tourists through training as tour guides.
- Expose the Batwa through networking with leading tourism agencies to aide them in development of partnerships and ensuring full economic benefits for participating Batwa communities.
- Establish and manage tourist service facilities source of revenue for the company – including, but not limited to, hotels, restaurants, camp sites.
- Provide quality education and training in eco-tourism, nature-conservation, health and other community based initiatives.
- Train in the management of properties including conference centers, holiday camps, leisure centers, hotels, motels, apartments, lodging, caravan sites and hospitality centers.
- Perform in various Batwa entertainment feats like circuses, exhibitions, sideshows, cinema, television and video performances, stage and variety shows, pyrotechnic and aerial displays.
- Promote active entertainment including sports, competitions, tournaments, outdoor functions, circuses, dancing, skating, as well as aquatic and equestrian events.
- Undertake any or all of the business of travel and tourist agents and to facilitate travel and to promote tourism as the Board of Directors of the Company shall deem fit and proper.
- Advise and consult regarding the promotion of eco-tourism, wildlife and environmental preservation as may be deemed necessary and appropriate.
- Obtain the financial means necessary to implement the company’s development initiatives within the limits of its resources.
The affairs of the company is managed by the Board of Directors consisting of of seven (7) members, all of whom must be members of the company and elected by the company in a general meeting, as follows:
- An elected Batwa representative for each of the Batwa communities mentioned below;
- Rwamahano Batwa Community
- Murubindi Bata Community
- Murambo Batwa Community
- Three (3) non-Batwa community representatives living adjacent to the above-mentioned communities, respectively.
The Batwa Eco-tourism Company Coordinator nominated by the African International Christian Ministry (AICM). Membership into the Company takes three (3) categories, namely:
- Full Members
- These include Batwa community members of eighteen (18) years of age or above who have fixed/permanent residences and/or have resided for at least five (5) years in either the Rwamahano, Murubindi or Murambo resettlement, have bought shares in the Batwa Eco-tourism Company, and have been registered as a member of the company.
- Honorary Members
- Honorary members shall be determined by the company to have rendered outstanding services to the company and whose membership adds prestige to, or advances the interests of, the company.
- Associate Members
- Organizations and associations identified by the Batwa Eco-tourism Company as having similar objectives and/or intents related to those of the company and who are ready, able and willing to work with Batwa Eco-tourism Company in the pursuing those objectives.
Every person or body that meets the above qualifications, shall have a right to be registered as a member of the Company and it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors of the company to determine the procedure for registration of members who meet the above qualifications and to admit them into the membership of the company. A register of members shall be kept up to date by the Secretary of the company and it shall be kept in his or her custody.
We work with a range of partners, in the US and in Uganda itself, to deliver our projects. This approach gives us real knowledge about what the Batwa want, and how we can work with them so that they are equipped to support themselves. Find our more about our partners here.
We expect that the project will mean that:
- The Batwa become empowered to welcome and guide tourists
- The Batwa have the capacity in craft making and other vocation skills
- The confidence, self-esteem and self-worth of the Batwa is improved
- The performance skills of the Batwa – across music, dance, drama and storytelling – are enhanced through practice, and extended to younger members of the community.