For three years we have been running our innovative project in the heart of the Tanzanian tourist district. Here, women, children, and their families are often living in extreme poverty, earning what they can by selling small produce at market by the bucket, the bushel, or the bunch. The competition is high and the reliability of income is poor.
Flip this to include the luxury hotels, all-inclusive safaris, and nearly 500,000 tourists who, in normal circumstances come to Tanzania every year, and we have stark image of inequality and imbalance.
In spite of 80% of the Tanzanian workforce being engaged in agriculture work, hardly any of these tourist hotspots buy local produce for their hotels. Most of the people who farm are women – and most of these women are the main breadwinner, caregiver, and home maker. Yet women in Tanzania have little decision-making power in either at home or in their communities. This is what Empowering Women Farmers Through Tourism was established to change.
Tourism is not on the horizon of most funders. That the project has achieved so much is through the generosity of its supporters and our successful crowdfunding campaigns that both kickstarted it and got it back on its feet after climate change devastated three cycles of crops. Because we believe so strongly in it, all the time our Equality in Tourism team have invested in it has been unpaid. This includes most of the expenses too. The crowdfunding has been just enough for Women Farming For Their Future itself.