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Paramaribo, 13 August 2013

SKAN Fund supports Tourism Project in Kalebaskreek

ParamariboThe Skanfonds financed a short tourism project in Kalebaskreek carried out by Green Heritage Fund Suriname (GHFS) in the first half year of  2013. The project comprised of an inventory of the knowledge of and interest in tourism of the inhabitants of Kalebaskreek, followed by a training in tourism skills, including basic hospitality skills and cooking lessons. At the end of the project the 19 participants were able to put together a 1 and 2 day tour, paying attention to all needs of the tourist.

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Trainer Chef Rocky van Ommeren gives away his cooking secrets

Tourism in Kalebaskreek

As first step in developing tourism GHFS decided to first measure awareness and create awareness about tourism as sustainable economic alternative in the whole community. Thus the involvement of all households in the intended activities can be ensured. In addition skills were taught to the people willing to participate for the development of a simple tourism product. The people also learned about tourism and basic hospitality skills. Skanfonds was approached as a donor for this short project that would prepare the community for a longer project to further develop tourism and get it going. The project was carried out in the period from the beginning of May to the end of July and was executed by volunteers of GHFS in cooperation with consultants. One NATIN student was offered the opportunity to write a case study about the project as her final exam paper. At the end of the training as 1st exam a group of tourists was received for a one-day tour.

The specific objectives of the project were to increase tourism awareness in Kalebaskreek and increasing the involvement of the complete village. Learning skills to develop a specific simple tourism product based on the six-weekly visits of the GHFS. Providing in tourism awareness training and several basic hospitality skills. In addition to increasing the sharing of knowledge between the stakeholders in the Kalebaskreek activities.

Background

The women's organization Kupa Katong from the indigenous village of Kalebaskreek located on the Coppename River in the district of Saramacca approached the charitable foundation Green Heritage Fund Suriname (GHFS) in 2010 with the hope to be able to develop a sustainable ecotourism product. For that purpose the women's organization was thinking of the carried out by GHFS in the Suriname River with the dolphin programme, where research led to a dolphin-watching activity mostly benefitting the local community. In addition, the women's organization wishes to learn how to better exploit the lodge in their community. For several years Kupa Katong has been active to create a sustainable livelihood, while at the same they were trying to increase awareness about environmental aspects and the rich biodiversity of the region they inhabit, because the income from other economic activities, such as fisheries is declining.

After a visit to Kalebaskreek GHFS identified the community as a good location for activities that should ultimately lead to sustainable tourism from which the indigenous community of Kalebaskreek would benefit, including activities such as spotting en watching dolphins, giant river otters, manatees and birds (as well as research and monitoring activities of the species listed. The proposed activities will be carried out in cooperation with GHFS and the cooperation will allow the community to strengthen and increase their institutional capacity.

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Skanfonds

Skanfonds creates opportunities for people in vulnerable situations by supporting initiatives that reinforce them. And that help to ensure that they belong and have a hopeful perspective. These initiatives are supported with money and expertise of the Skanfonds. Inspired by the catholic roots of the Skanfonds, the fund stands for a tight society in which each person counts and is involved. That is achieved by looking after each other. And by having an eye for what people are able to do. That is the beginning of a just world. Skanfonds is active in the Netherlands, the Caribbean part of the Kingdom and Suriname.

Skanfonds gives people a chance

Green Heritage Fund Suriname

The Green Heritage Fund's vision is to create a society of people who consciously work for continued improvement of their environment, and promote a green, clean and healthy Suriname. The Green Heritage Fund Suriname is a charitable foundation that was set up in Suriname in October 2005. The foundation was established to fund activities that help promote the green image and cultural heritage of Suriname. The project that is being carried out in Kalebaskreek falls under our Programme Culture and Communities.