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Why is poverty reduction such an important issue for SANI LODGE BACKPACKERS AND DRAKENSBERG ADVENTURES in the destination where they operate?
We feel that it is morally and ethically right to be involved in responsible tourism and to share benefits with impoverished rural communities we live in proximity to. Helping others to help themselves ensures good relations between us and service providers, leading to the development of improved products/experiences. Unemployment, crime, threatened cultural identities, ignorance, poor education, few job opportunities, alcohol abuse, lack of skills, no access to training facilities, are issues inherent in impoverished communities. Our emphasis on placing value on what individuals in communities have to offer via tourism has created hope and opportunities.
Under our system, service providers feel confident thereby giving the clients a positive experience and via word of mouth, leads to the growth and long-term success of the product. Before our pioneering of grass-roots tourism in Eastern Lesotho, there was no understanding that their culture would be of interest to others and lead to a sustainable living even in rural, impoverished areas. We believe self-employment is the key to empowerment and so we have imparted skills in tourism to communities to enable them to become key stakeholders in tourism enterprises. The benefits to Basotho communities are invaluable, tangible and measurable as proven by our records.
We believe that investment in education of the youth is the future; our involvement in 4 schools, 2 in Lesotho, 1 near us in KZN and 1 in the Kalahari, allows us to contribute towards better education for the youth through provision of funds for building classrooms, books and stationery, teaching English, facilitating donation of a library, providing learning aids, stationery, soccer kits, new desks, books, blankets, warm clothing.
The Khomani Bushman children have never had a local school in their community, thus have been denied access to education that accommodates their needs and culture. Our small contribution is helping this happen at last.

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