By Lucie Gil, Institute for Cultural Diplomacy
Since his early childhood, Hamish Douglas has been fascinated by Africa. In 1998, when he went to Malawi to work as a volunteer, his love for Africa firmly established itself. Since then, he has traveled in various African countries, both as a tourist and as a worker. He eventually decided to settle down in London in 2012, where he founded the association Africa Adventure Aid. Combining the expertise he had acquired about Africa and his knowledge and skills on Tourism but also activities such as diving or navigating, he launched an original initiative, in line with the solidarity tourism trend that has been flourishing for a couple of years.
The idea is to enable people to go to Africa both for leisure and development purposes. Nonetheless, there is no doubt that the local population has to be fully involved too. “A Grassroots organization helping grassroots charities”, that is how Hamish Douglas describes Africa Adventure Aid. Contributing to the sustainability of Africa while developing oneself could be a further motto of his. He especially focuses on the preservation of the continent’s very rich and diverse nature.
The adventure does not only take place in Africa, however. The next step will be in Europe, more specifically in the United Kingdom, from June 15th to 22nd. A new challenge awaits Hamish Douglas and his organization, as he will join a group of people kayaking the Thames. He plans to paddle 135 miles, the length of the non-tidal flow, in seven days. Beyond the sports performance, the objective is to raise money for four grassroots African organizations:
- Baphumalele Orphanage, a children’s orphanage based in a South African township
- SOS Village, an organization helping children, based in Cape Town, South Africa
- Greenpop, an environmental organization acting in Zambia and South Africa
- International Anti Poaching Foundation, an organization acting is Zimbabwe against widespread poaching
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