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An enjoyable evening was had by all at Arusha Coffee Lodge in Tanzania, where Land & Life and Elewana Collection hosted a celebration of UNWTO World Sustainable Tourism Day. Approximately 80 representatives from the top tier of Tanzania’s travel and tourism industry came together to celebrate the achievements in community and conservation and the strides taken in sustainable tourism in Tanzania. Live music, canapes and drinks welcomed the guests to Arusha Coffee Lodge as they mingled.

Guests included the Vice Chairman of the Board of Tanzanian Association of Tour Operators (TATO) Henry Kimambo and the CEO Sirili Akko, the Chairman of the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) Julian Edmunds, and the team from Responsible Tourism Tanzania (RTTZ) Damian Bell and Julius Lesanoi.

Government representatives included Mr Michael Ndaisaba Tourism Officer from Arusha City Council and Ms Flora Mwambo from Arusha Regional Commissioner’s office.

The private sector was well represented, with attendees from almost all the large scale and many smaller local tour operators and hospitality companies, food and beverage suppliers, and more.

The guests enjoyed watching the Official Message from the President of the UNWTO Mr Taleb Rifai, who spoke of the need to work together to harness the power of sustainable tourism to contribute to global development. Guests also watched a short film from the International Year of Tourism 2017 team’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect. campaign and heard some words from Elewana Collection’s Hannah Wood on the importance of a sustainable approach to tourism and the activities of the private sector in conservation and community.

A light-hearted “Do-ers and Dreamers” competition was held, for companies and organisations to highlight their sustainability achievements to date and to encourage conversation and sharing of innovative ideas. Prizes were donated by Shanga by Elewana and the Honeyguide Foundation and the judging panel consisted of Damian Bell and Julius Lesanoi (RTTZ), and Tira Schubert (London-based East African and conservation specialist journalist).

First prize for sustainable tourism practice in action was won by Laurens Sans of Nyayo Discovery for their impressive range of community and conservation activities, including donating 10% of all profits to projects supporting local Maasai tribes. The prize for most innovative future suggestion was awarded to Niall Anderson of &Beyond for suggesting banning the use of fins in marine parks as so much damage is done to coral and marine life directly from fin use.

The evening was a great success, generating much discussion of the role of the individual stakeholder in sustainable tourism and the importance of the sector in contribution to regional development. Land & Life and the Elewana Collection are happy to have hosted the event and plans will be made for a follow up event next year.

We are delighted to announce that our sister foundation, Shanga, has been awarded an award for “Outstanding Sustainability” at the 2016 Minor Awards of Excellence ceremony. Being placed 2nd from 32 submissions, Shanga was recognised for its outstanding contribution to the community and positive impacts on business, society and the environment.

Shanga, the Swahili word for bead, is one of Arusha’s hidden gems. It was started in 2007 as a small one person project and has grown into a large and effective organisation today, employing nearly 60 people, over half of whom are disabled. Shanga works to empower people living with disabilities through training and employment, giving them the chance to support their families and develop a successful career.

Shanga is now supported by Land & Life and Elewana as part of our commitment to the people of Tanzania. Shanga is located at Arusha Coffee Lodge where the workshop houses a range of disabled employees and showcases activities including glass-blowing, weaving, sewing, tinga tinga painting, bead-making and metal work, as well as a shop showcasing handmade Shanga products.

We are exceptionally proud of Shanga and all its employees and would like to congratulate everyone once again on doing such a great job. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Over $20,000 for Plaster House!On Friday 24th March Land & Life Foundation co-hosted a Fundraising Gala at Arusha Coffee Lodge. With beer generously provided by Tanzania Breweries Limited and wine kindly provided by Upper Zonal Trading, there were plenty of drinks for everyone, and the lodge provided a fine spread of snacks for all guests. Prizes for the silent auction were donated from a wide range of generous sponsors including Coastal Aviation, Serengeti Balloon Safaris, Elewana Collection, Sopa Lodges, Salt Restaurant Dar es Salaam, Nomad Tanzania, Amani Forest Camp, and many more.

The event was a huge success and we raised over $20,000! This amount is being donated directly and in full to the Plaster House Arusha, a rehabilitation home for children recovering from life changing orthopaedic, plastic or neuro surgery. Plaster House will be using the funds raised at this event to purchase a Toyota Hiace van, and this will be used to transport  the sick children and their carers to and from the hospital for surgery and appointments.  Everyone is thrilled, and the staff and patients and Paster House would like to thank everyone who attended the event and contributed to the successful evening.

Smiling children at Plaster House

Our work at Land & Life Foundation always aims to give help to the people and places that need it most. Arusha Plaster House is one of the best examples where we’ve made a real, positive change for the children of our local communities.

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Working with Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Lodge, we’ve been supporting this home for children who need surgery since 2008 and we’ve seen it grow from a small set up in a guest house to a thriving centre providing surgery, therapy and education.

What exactly is Arusha Plaster House?

  • It’s a medical centre that provides pre and post surgery care for up to 100 children at a time
  • It performs corrective surgery and has specialist orthopedic, plastic and neurosurgeons to help children live the lives they want to
  • It provides therapeutic services for the kids when they’re staying there, to make sure they’re ready to get back to their community after surgery
  • It even has a classroom so having an operation doesn’t mean missing out on vital education

The real success of the Plaster House is that it turns what can often be a negative or traumatic experience for children into something where they receive expert treatment in a clean environment, surrounded by professional medical and care staff. The children leave Plaster House as stronger people, both physically and mentally.

Our efforts in supporting the centre in partnership with Arusha Coffee Lodge helping put smiles on the faces of hundreds of children. Remember, by encouraging people to stay at Elewana’s Arusha Coffee Lodge and support Plaster House, you are also contributing to those smiles.

As always it’s a team effort to be proud of, every day, and thanks for all your support in helping make the difference.

Bringing smiles to children

Land & Life Foundation, through Arusha Coffee Lodge, supports Plaster House – a home in Arusha that enables children from all over Tanzania to recover after they’ve had corrective orthopaedic, plastic or neurosurgery for a disability.

We provide the home with supplies, such as bedding, and contributed to the construction of the beautifully designed building.

We recently gave a donation of 200 bedsheets, 100 pillowcases and 100 towels graciously donated by Sopa Lodges and Elewana Collection.

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Seeing the smiles on the faces of the children upon receiving these gifts was priceless.

The home now has an ongoing programme with up to 100 children cared for at any one time. Medical staff supervise the children’s care, whilst housemothers look after them on a daily basis.

105eYou too can help us promote Plaster House by encouraging guests to visit while they are at Arusha Coffee Lodge.

If you wish to know more about Plaster House, please write to us at info@landandlife.foundation.