In 2011, COBATI, with the support of MTN Uganda, launched the Bombo Community Tourism Project. The initiative has empowered the village to become a viable community tourism destination. Over the past few years, Bombo has hosted domestic and international tourists and increased handcraft sales.
Thanks to MTN Uganda Foundation’s continued support, COBATI will return to Bombo this year to scale up the first phase with additional training and support. Phase two of the project will focus on reinforcing and expanding the gains attained in phase one.
Phase two will equip the community with skills and tools to efficiently run a profitable weaving business. We envisage more customers, greater profits, and increased efficiency to improve day-to-day operations. The goal is to grow from subsistence home production to access national, regional, and international markets, enabling the community to enjoy long term benefits that come from greater prosperity.
The weaving groups will expand to include 4 more villages of 10 weavers in each. An eight-month training program will include the following.
- Advanced handcraft skills aimed at improving quality, quantity, and pricing;
- Business skills to improve leadership and business operations;
- And, collaboration to create new designs that tell a story about Nubian heritage.
The first phase focused on showing the community how to realize the tourism potential embedded within their culture – namely crafts, dance, lifestyle, food, language, heritage, and location. The whole community got involved: community leaders, women, men, and youth, to learn how they could tap into their resources to improve their livelihood. We formed targeted groups: dance, crafts, community guides, and homestay, and then designed custom training for each.
The first phase of the initiative achieved great results:
- A craft shop and visitor center
- Two homestays
- Six community guides
- A village itinerary
- Promotional materials
We are excited about the new phase of the Bombo Community Tourism Project the potential for the community!