We have spent the past week without electricity, running water or connection to the rest of the world, immersed in the rural village of Banda, surrounded by acres of hills, the Nyungwe rainforest and an entourage of curious children.
This is where Kageno has been working since 2007 with the objective to reduce poverty and create economic opportunities in the community by improving water sanitation and providing basic healthcare and education. So far, they have increased access to clean water, built a health clinic and will soon open a pharmacy, a community centre and a nursery school.
In order to create employment and economic opportunities for the local population, as well as ensure the conservation of Nyungwe, Kageno plans to open an eco-lodge. As part of our mandate to develop the business plan for this lodge, we visited local associations and cooperatives with the goal of identifying tourism packages that include both nature trips to Nyungwe and cultural activities that build on local craftsmanship (basket weaving, traditional rituals, dance and music). We also worked with Kageno’s social coordinator, Élisé, to create appropriate jobs based on education levels and local capacity.
The fact that the village is untouched by western influences, coupled with the pristine nature of its surroundings, will provide tourists with a truly unique experience.
The Banda Team (Jessica, Stéphanie, Annie, Félix, Claudel)