COBATI LAUNCHES NUBIAN VILLAGE PROJECT IN BOMBO
Last month saw the launch by another community tourism initiative by COBATI, the Community Based Tourism Initiative founded by Maria Baryamujura. The Nubian villages, over 30 of them are located in the Bombo area outside Kampala en route the highway to the North of the country, better known for the location of the army headquarters than for the Nubian villages in fact, something Maria’s project aims to radically alter. Four of these villages are now directly linked to the project, which was financially supported by the MTN Foundation Uganda, benefitting over 80 group members who in turn support over 600 family members through their work with COBATI.
Maria’s intention was to link the community with the tourism fraternity by creating a model ‘Nubian Village’ where the unique crafts produced by the women in the community are displayed and offered to tourists for sale but also show visitors how village life unfolds day in day out, how food is being prepared and served and allow tourists to sample some of the dishes. Home stay experiences too are possible to let tourists get a hands on and close up experience of how life in rural Africa really is. Folklore displays and performances are part of the ‘organized’ showings for visitors who come for either a home stay or for a shorter visit, a feature reportedly much enjoyed by the ‘wagenis’. Story telling, henna painting and hair braiding too is on offer, and in particular female tourist visitors are regularly taking advantage of ‘getting their hair done’ or have their hands, feet and arms ‘painted’.
On sale are woven mats and baskets of various shapes and forms and colours for that matter, displayed at a ‘cultural centre’ and proceeds are used for the development of a local school and to give the women a regular cash flow to support their families.
All in all a splendid idea, well executed and beneficial for the locals, as it spreads tourist dollars into the grassroot levels of Ugandan society.
Well Done Maria! For more information visit www.cobati.or.ug.