Uthando Philanthropic Cultural Tour

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Everyone knows about the poverty and inequality represented by the townships in South Africa, and about the recent history of the country: apartheid and the emergence of the Rainbow Nation. Township tours have developed as a way of exploring these issues, but all too often get it very wrong and are simply tours to see how the poorest people live. Uthando is a charity that has got it very right, having been set up by a former lawyer and travel industry professional, James Fernie, to ensure that visitors can see, directly, how the cost of their tour directly benefits projects in these deprived areas. Uthando has a wide range of projects it gets involved in, from a market garden to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for families as well as an income from selling the surplus, to musical and theatre projects offering kids the chance to develop skills everyday life doesn’t equip them with, to orphanages, nursing homes and AIDS refuges to help the most unfortunate members of the community. With a wide range of projects, each tour is slightly different: James does not want visits to the projects to become routine: the activities that take place here are everyday ones, not something laid on for the tourists, and minimising the intrusion caused by tours helps reinforce this: but it also allows you to see exactly how your contributions are giving hope and opportunity to these people. It is a humbling and challenging day, but ultimately hugely uplifting.

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