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With the aim of creating awareness about the importance of domestic tourism and the need to teach children why it is important to protect and learn about their environment, Travel Ethiopia launched a new project.
The company, a longtime player in the tourism sector with almost 25 years of existence, stated that it will be carrying out several activities to help increase domestic travel by locals and expats as well as work with different schools so that children can learn more about their country and environment.
“We launched this project on January 15th, 2018. One of our aims is to give the opportunity for children and students to learn about the environment, to know about their surroundings and their country. So this week on Thursday, we took our first batch of students from the Edget Behibret School to the Born Free animal sanctuary. These are students that do not have the opportunity to visit such places because they live in harsh economic conditions,” said Samrawit Moges, Managing Director of Travel Ethiopia.
Travel Ethiopia started to work with Edget Behibret as it is a school for many vulnerable children that come from poor families. On the trip the students learned about the importance of protecting the environment, limiting plastic usage as well as the need to keep surroundings free from trash.
“In the Rotary club of Addis Ababa West, which I belong to, there are two Rotarians that carry out school feeding programs. One of the schools where this program is implemented is Edget Behibret; so that is why we decided to work with the children and give them the opportunity to visit the Born Free sanctuary. It was a really heartwarming experience because none of them have actually seen a lion for example. This is true for most children in general. It was an exciting trip,” Samrawit said.
Now Travel Ethiopia is working on collaborating with different institutions such as banks and insurance companies to preach and promote this idea of traveling within the country. “We plan to do this with Castel Winery as well. Most of these companies organize employee retreats, but usually they don’t go somewhere where they can learn something about the environment or history. We hope to change that,” she underlines.
Samrawit says that through the project she plans to reach all 300 students at Edget Behibret with the opportunity to visit the Born Free Sanctuary as well as other places.
“The trip costs are covered by us given the circumstances of these students. We cannot do this for everyone obviously, for schools that cannot afford to send the children on trips we plan on hopefully connecting them with institutions that would sponsor the trips.”
“We all need to collaborate to bring awareness about domestic travel. It shouldn’t be only foreigners that come here and visit places; we need to do this as well. It’s a very important part of tourism revenue and yet not a lot of focus is put there,” Samrawit asserted.
She also pointed out, on the next trip that will be organized, students will learn more about indigenous plants in Ethiopia and will be part of a seedling planting activity.