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G Adventures Launches Five New Planeterra Projects to Empower Women

New ‘Project 100’ community tourism projects will positively impact more than 2,800 women

On International Women’s Day, March 8, 2020, community tourism pioneer G Adventures and its non-profit partner Planeterra announced five new projects which put a focus on empowering women and their communities. More than 2,800 women will benefit from the 3,000 travellers expected to visit these projects annually.

With a strong focus on empowering and supporting women, the new projects include a visit to a cultural and craft experience in Jerusalem where stories are shared and local handicrafts are showcased, as well as a stop in Kerala, India where 10 local women create community through hospitality and traditional food.

The new projects are part of the Project 100 initiative, a commitment to have 100 Planeterra projects built into G Adventures tours by the end of 2020. With these projects, the total number now included in the company’s tours has reached 85, just three-months into 2020. Each year, more than 100,000 travellers visit Planeterra projects impacting the lives of more than 60,000 local people.

Jamie Sweeting, President of Planeterra Foundation and Vice President of Responsible Travel at G Adventures, says these projects support G Adventures’ purpose of changing people’s lives through travel, while empowering women, youth and Indigenous communities.

“Supporting the local communities we visit is at the forefront of everything we do and these new projects continue our mission of turning travel into impact. I’m proud of projects like these that put the spotlight on the women in these communities and all the amazing work they’re doing,” says Sweeting.

All G Adventures and Planeterra projects are selected to ensure the largest benefit to the local communities based on traveller numbers. There is a focus on projects which positively impact women, youth and Indigenous people. The next five Project 100 projects are:

Berracas de la 13 – Comuna 13
Medellin, Colombia

Once a city under the control of groups loyal to Pablo Escobar, Medellin was rife with crime, violence, drugs and political unrest. Much has changed since then, with the city now a popular tourist destination and regarded as one of the most innovative cities in the world. Even with a decrease in crime, there are still barriers which exist for those that live there however. Berracas de la 13 was created by a group of women with the goal of empowering women and youth in their community. With Planeterra’s support, Berracas de la 13 has improved its restaurant, developed a local tour and meal service and grown local infrastructure to create a sustainable income stream which welcomes travellers looking to learn from local guides, purchase unique handicrafts and try new food. The experience is available on the nine-day Colombia Express tour.

TWE – Together We Earn
Kerala, India

There’s no doubt incredible strides have been made for women’s empowerment in Kerala, which now has the highest rates of women empowerment based on education and health indicators. The state, however, still struggles with women’s participation in the labour force – agriculture is the main source of income for families and women often don’t have the opportunity to gain skills and find employment beyond the fields they work in. With Planeterra’s support, TWE (Together We Earn) was able to bring its women’s empowerment to the next level by providing tangible skills-training opportunities, a guaranteed customer base of travellers and a sustainable income source. This was accomplished by investing in training and the construction of a kitchen in rural Alleppey – used for hospitality training and hosting international travellers. Travellers can visit and experience this project on the seven-day National Geographic Journeys South India: Explore Kerala tour.

Domari Culture & Craft Experience Jerusalem, Israel

The Dom community in Jerusalem faces regular discrimination due to not being fully integrated into either Israeli or Palestinian societies. The Domari Community Centre was created as a place where Dom women and children could be supported and provided vocational training while gaining the confidence and independence to thrive. Planeterra has supported the Domari Society of Gypsies by helping to create a tourism experience for G Adventures travellers – traditional food is served, cultural stories are shared and local handicrafts are showcased to help further positively impact the community. Travellers can visit this project while on the 15-day Jordan and Israel Adventure tour from Amman to Jerusalem.

Shedia Home – Athens, Greece

Homelessness continues to be a significant social issue in Greece with youth unemployment surpassing 50%. Shedia Home is a not-for-profit organization working to employ and empower those experiencing homelessness and social exclusion in Athens. More than 150 people have been provided the opportunity to earn an income to cover their basic needs on a daily basis. In fact, 43 individuals now have homes thanks to their connection with Shedia. Planeterra partnered with the organization to provide valuable sustainable income for its programs – bringing travellers to the brand new Shedia Home, which features a cafe, educational talk from one of the Shedia’s guides currently experiencing homelessness and the option to join a tour of Athens which “makes the invisible (homeless), visible.” The 15-day Best of Greece tour from Athens to Santorini includes visits to Shedia Home.

Maldives Plastic Program
Malé, Maldives

Pollution of the oceans directly impacts the Maldives, which are made up of 99% water and only one per cent land. Without the proper infrastructure or awareness for proper recycling, the country’s imported plastic items sometimes end up thrown in the oceans or on land. Partnering with local travel company Voyages, Planeterra has now integrated plastic pick-ups into all G Adventures tours traveling through the Maldives. Planeterra provides the equipment necessary for travellers to engage in plastic clean-ups on beaches, with the goal of mitigating tonnes of plastic waste from ending up in the ocean. A local nonprofit also assists in the processing of the collected plastic to be used for upcycling in countries which have the proper infrastructure to do so. The Maldives Plastic Program can be experienced on the eight-day Maldives Island Hopping trip.