Covid-19 has Brought Tourism to a Standstill
Our holidays have been high on the agenda in the media and in many of our lives; but the forecasts for the world to reopen for international tourism are bleak. The consequences for people all over the world who depend on hospitality and tourism have been very grim. Naturally, this has impacted upon our Tanzanian project as visitors to Tanzania have dropped considerably and many hotels have closed with a damaging loss to the tourism sector.
As our Wamboma Co-op farmers have been geared to supplying hotels with their fruit and vegetable produce it has been, you will understand, a tough challenge to resolve what to do with their crops which were ready for harvesting.
The only other way the women can sell their produce, is to return to the local markets and the exploitative dealers that they had moved away from. However, the beautiful butternut squashes, cauliflower, broccoli and red cabbage that the hotels had requested they grow, failed to sell. These vegetables are not known locally and they perished.
Amazing help from supporters has brought both hope and resilience to the Wamboma Co-op
We came up with two solutions that would diversify the Co-op’s market and add another string to its bow even when hotels reopened. We would create farm boxes. Farm boxes are a completely new idea for Tanzania, so it was a risk. We created recipes to encourage sales, a website and, using WhatsApp, it has taken off. Collecting or delivering their orders enables customers to avoid the crowded markets as well as get first class produce. The second idea was to train the women to dry surplus produce for sale to supermarkets.
The success of our Big Give Christmas Challenge appeal, together with the support of the Eva Reckitt Trust and the Halcrow Foundation, have enabled these new enterprises to move forward. Our wholehearted thanks to every one of you who responded so generously.
And you can even check it all out on a preview of the brand new Wamboma website – although it’s still not fully up and running yet: http://wambomatz.org/