We set out with a single-minded determination to demonstrate just how successful integrating philanthropy into a tourism business could be. Today, looking at Guludo Beach Lodge and its impact on the surrounding area, we are very proud to see the vision realised.
In 2002 we were looking for somewhere with excellent tourism potential next to extreme poverty. Guludo was the perfect fit. Guludo Beach Lodge is situated on a 12km white, palm-fringed beach in one of the poorest areas of Mozambique. Life expectancy is 38 years and 1 in 3 children die before their 5th birthday. There was virtually no access to clean water, few children went to school, their cultural identity was fading and communities relied entirely on threatened environment resources for subsistence.
Our Model encompasses a commercial enterprise (Guludo Beach Lodge), which operates using fair trade principles and a charity (Nema Foundation), which partners with 16 local communities to implement projects.
The lodge stimulates the local economy and develops skills while the charity tackles the root causes of poverty and environmental devastation, which are funded by donations from the lodge, its guests and our charity partners.
Through our Model we have provided access to clean water for 20,000 people, a school meal every day for 800 malnourished children, secondary school scholarships for 129 scholars, construction of 2 primary schools, distributed 9,500 mosquito nets and household training in nutrition, malaria, HIV, hygiene and sanitation. The lodge has over 150 local suppliers, employs 70 staff and 8 local craft enterprises sell their products to our guests… and this is all just the very tip of the iceberg.
Now, because of the lodge, the local economy is developing, children are healthier, poverty is falling, environmental pressures are decreasing and there is a buzz of optimism in the region. If you are thinking that surely our business must suffer as a result of our philanthropy, you’re wrong. In fact, while our competitors struggled to stay afloat in 2009/2010, we experienced exceptional growth that is continuing into 2012.
We passionately believe that other businesses can adopt the same approach and play a significant part in tackling serious social and environmental issues while continuing to achieve ambitious and profitable growth.
Neal and Amy also founded Bespoke Experience which owns Guludo Beach Lodge.