At COBATI, we started 2020 with great optimism. During our annual management retreat, we gauged our organization’s capacities, identified areas for improvement, and created a sound action plan based on three selected priority areas.
- Building the capacity of COBATI to move from rented office space to owning our premises
- Expanding the network of our community tourism villages
- Scale up sustainable livelihood programs with special emphasis on holistically improving the lives of our partner groups from homestead to community level with visible differences through livelihood options, improved homestead assets, and inclusive community health/well being.
We ended 2019 with some noteworthy achievements! Please check out these experiential tourism photos from our partner villages.
Thank you all who have consistently followed our work through social media. We trust you will continue making COBATI part of your regular community based tourism news source outlet in 2020.
In response to the current world-wide crisis, we at COBATI are not sitting back in hopelessness. Thanks to the Internet our team is able to keep in touch and brainstorm how best to support our partner communities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal focus is to expand our own network of strategic allies to include government agencies and local and international NGOs whose activities can be synchronised with those of COBATI.
We revisited some of the previous community tourism programs and events, particularly the hygiene and sanitation awareness campaigns, to guide our planning. One such campaign was our successful participation in the 2015 Global Handwashing Day event, whose theme was “Raise a hand for hygiene” where we hosted over 100 primary school children, involved community members, local government health officials, National Water and Sewerage corporation officers, a community hospital, media, and hospitality sector operators at the COBATI Life Skills Training Center in Mbarara. School children presented skits about the importance of good hygiene and sanitation practices in homes and schools. Placards depicting good hygiene messages were also displayed around the event venue. At the end of the day, all the children were given hampers with bathing and washing soap. The school children have become our ambassadors in their homes and through them, their mothers are influencers in the community.
This was not a one off event; hygiene is part of our community training program. Whenever COBATI undertakes the development of homestead tourism in a community, cleanliness is a vital component of the training. By the time a homestead starts to receive visitors, proper hygiene and sanitation practices are already being observed by host families and the entire village. When the pandemic ceases and life gets back to normal, we shall scale up our hygiene awareness campaign in rural schools and homesteads. For now, we hope the lessons learned, will carry them through this challenging season of COVID-19.