Today is International Women’s Day. Women’s rights have improved over the years, but its not perfect anywhere, and the improvements are not evenly distributed around the world. Women’s rights are particularly lagging in Asia and Africa. Read below for details of how you can make a difference for International Women’s Day, in Kenya and Zambia, or participate in a unique itinerary in Malawi.
It is a travesty that women continue to face income disparities, and are in the minorities in government and leadership.
As awful as that is, there are also women around the world who suffer Female Genital Mutilation (“FGM”), forced early marriage, domestic violence, rape, and slavery – living truly miserable lives. Tragically, women in Africa are the worst affected by FGM.
Here are three ideas for how you can make a difference for International Women’s Day, in Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi.
1. In Kenya, you can stay near a community in the Masai Mara that has become a beacon for young women fleeing FGM and forced early marriage; meet women who have escaped, hear their stories, and become advocates for eliminating these practices in other parts of Kenya, Africa. and even worldwide.
You can even help build a classroom in the local school, or teach in a classroom educating boys and girls. These opportunities to make a difference blend perfectly with experiencing a safari in the Masai Mara, and more of Kenya’s extraordinary wildlife reserves, and beaches.
2. In Zambia, you can help build a home for a widow and her family – constructing a home that withstands the heavy rainy season, meaning the widow and her children are healthier, able to attend more days at school, and thus receive a better education, with positive employment outcomes. Combine making a difference with safari, Victoria Falls, white-water rafting, and more on your 100% customized luxury vacation.
‘There is no tool for development more effective than the empowerment of women.’
3. In Malawi, we have created a unique 14-day itinerary where you can gain an understanding of the role of women in rural Malawi and make time for inspirational relationships to be formed. Each segment of the expedition also ties in with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to properly recognize International Women’s Day.
The UN Global Goals Sustainable Development Goals are:
1. No Poverty
2. Zero Hunger
3. Good Health and Well Being
4. Quality Education
5. Gender Equality
6. Clean Water and Sanitation
7. Affordable and Clean Energy
8. Decent Work and Economic Growth Industry
9. Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
11. Sustainable Cities/Communities
13. Climate Action
14. Life below Water
15. Life on Land
16. Peace and Justice – strong institutions
17. Partnerships for the goals
You get to visit various rural communities in central Malawi, meeting women and learning more about their roles within their communities, as a mother, grandmothers, caregivers, and business owners.
The trip price is $8,995 per person excluding flights.
This trip can also be customized for your exact requirements.
Arrive into Lilongwe. Meet your expert female guide and drive 2 hrs north to Luwawa Forest Lodge. Arrive mid-afternoon and take a short walk through the surrounding forests and return to the lodge for sundowners and a chat about the next day’s plans, the area and the role of women within the surrounding community. Evening orientation briefing over dinner.
Luwawa Forest Lodge is a mid-range hotel based in the heart of Central Malawi. Surrounded by forest plantations and adjacent to a beautiful dam the lodge is a picturesque base to explore the local area. Accommodation is in twin rooms or family cottages sleeping up to four.
Rise early and take a 1-2 hour guided walk through the local villages. Life here is very simple and families live from what they can grow in the surrounding fields. You will be guided by two female village guides plus a translator and visit a family home to learn about the various roles women play in this traditional village setting. Your walk will finish at the chief’s house where you will be treated to a traditional welcome, dancing and a village lunch. Return to the lodge mid-afternoon and have a chance to take a kayak out on the dam or head back to your room to reflect on the day. Spend the evening in the lodge with a presentation from the lodge owner about the local area and the effect the mass logging and deforestation is having on the traditional way of life for the surrounding communities.
After breakfast head north in the beautiful rolling hills of Ntchisi. The cooler fertile land here is home to Malawi’s last remaining rain forest and the base for the next three days. Ntchisi Forest Lodge is based in the heart of the region and over the next few days activities will include:
– A morning in the life of women in rural Malawi: Accompany a group of ladies as they travel into the forest to collect fallen wood, used for firewood, before learning how to carry water on your head and traveling on foot to the local well to collect the day’s water. Return to the family home and prepare lunch with your hosts and eat with the family. The afternoon will be spent tending to the fields and pounding maize and cassava for the family.
– Visit the local school: Spend a morning at the local school. Meet the teachers and have a small seminar session on the challenge of keeping girls in education in the region. Join a school netball match and run an art workshop with the girls in form 4- the final year. This workshop could be designed to leave a mural at the school about gender.
– Women in Business: Visit a number of women-headed businesses- these will be very basic and based around selling honey, coffee, fruit, and vegetables at the local market. Find out how these women run their companies, what the money goes towards and the inspirational barriers they have overcome to be part of the local economy.
– Rainforest and Traditional Healer: Take a female village guide and translator and head into the rainforest. Learn more about healthcare in the village and the role of the rainforest to provide traditional healing for families in the area. This will be followed up by an evening seminar with the lodge owners about the debate over traditional versus modern medicine.
– Evening Meditation: Visit Sunset Rock and be led in a meditation session.
– Evening Music Event: The local women’s choir will come and sing for you at the lodge and teach you a traditional local Malawian song- perhaps even with some dancing!
After a final breakfast at Ntchisi Lodge you will transfer (4hrs) to the shores of Lake Malawi. You will be greeted by your hosts at Makuzi Beach Lodge and have your first lunch in the beachside restaurant before an afternoon learning how to use a traditional dugout canoe and trying a bit of local fishing in the lake! In the evening there will be a talk by a local charity about the role of women within fishing communities and the effects of HIV/AIDS on the surrounding communities.
The next day you will rise early and head into the village. You will learn how to prepare a traditional fish lunch with a family before joining the village children in a swim and dugout canoe race! The afternoon will be spent with your host families on the beach, mending nets, playing with the children and understanding more about life in this area. In the evening there will be a yoga session on the beach as the sun is setting.
Transfer south to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve and Bua River Lodge. Arrive in time for lunch and an afternoon game drive in the reserve. Relaxing evening after a bush dinner.
The next day you will rise early and join your wildlife guide on a guided walk and a visit to a local village. Here you will speak to a group of women who are benefitting from tourism and selling their handmade products to the surrounding lodge. After lunch, you will head to a local pottery cooperative where you will try your hand at some traditional clay port making and learn more about how this business is providing local women with employment. Return to the lodge for the evening and a presentation on wildlife conservation by African Parks Conservation Organisation (who have recently taken over the reserve).
Depart after breakfast and transfer south 4 hrs stopping on route at Mua Mission for lunch and a visit to the cultural museum. Arrive at your lakeside hotel, Makakola Retreat, in time for sunset and a talk by the local youth group about the plans for the coming days.
The next two days will be spent with a Youth Group. Activities can include:
– Joining the youth group at the secondary school as they mentor the students, discussing what they will do after leaving school and workshopping issues such as teenage pregnancy, school attendance, and working on a sanitary project with the final year girls.
– Join three female youth group members as they work with groups of students at the village library, providing after-school support mentoring sessions to girls.
– A day trip can be organized to Cape Maclear where you will work with a group of women who are selling locally made crafts to visitors and supporting their children through school.
– Visit a local material center that is selling items to support the village orphan center.
– Evening entertainment will include a beach barbecue, local dancing, an interactive workshop with the youth group debating gender issues amongst your people in Malawi- could be lively!
After a morning of farewells, you head back to Lilongwe and check into your city hotel, Kumbali Country Lodge. Final evening meal with your guide.
A morning visit to a local market to pick up any gifts before transferring to the airport.
To help you get started on this journey of uplifting women in Africa for International Women’s Day, we are offering a 10% discount on all bookings made this week (offer ends 13 March 2022).
Email me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or reply below and I will personally handle your inquiry!
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