Life for the majority of Ethiopia’s 73 million people is harsh, even by the standards of Africa’s poorest nations. The average Ethiopian person earns less than $100 per year and will not live beyond 44 years of age. North Wollo is amongst the poorest areas of the country, depending largely on rain fed subsistence agriculture.
Our guide Mark established TESFA - a local charity organisation that was set up in 2003 with the specific aim of developing community-based tourism in Ethiopia WITH communities. By putting communities in charge of their own tourism resources, payment goes directly into the communities - 60% for the communities, 25% to a local guides service (that also transmits bookings to the communities), and 15% to cover administrative costs. After the communities have paid their staffing costs and for the consumables (food, toiletpaper, soap etc) the remainder is split between profit and a fund to allow for reinvestment and depreciation. The profit is then put into a community fund for the whole community to decide how it should be spent, such as the purchase of a community grain grinding mill.
Our Ethiopia trips also fund A-Cet (African Childrens Education Trust) a small independent charity helping young Africans to achieve their maximum potential through education. A-Cet supports 1.000 youths with scholarships, 2 rural primary schools and 2 computer training centres.
When you take one of our trips, we make a contribution to “Carbon Clear” – an organisation who work with hundreds of organisations to measure their carbon footprint and reduce their carbon emissions. We also support several other NGOs around the world such as the Hope Foundation, Tibetan schools trust and Adopt-A-Minefield, which are all carefully selected to improve the standard of living for the communities we visit.