Machame Nkweshoo Cultural Tourism Women Group
Established in June 2008 with the vision of conserving the lushness of the environment through agricultural activities and planting trees, the women of Machame Nkweshoo came together to create; ‘Machame Nkweshoo Cultural Tourism Enterprise’. Machame is a typical rural village located on the green slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro with most inhabitants being farmers reliant on their crop harvests from coffee cultivation, the growing of vegetables and fruits. Its location being strategically located made it more effective to start up a cultural tourism enterprise especially for the clients interested in climbing up the mountain for acclimatization purposes. Besides the area being right t Mount Kilimanjaro, there are other historical attractions such as old Chagga caves, Nkosalulu waterfalls, a hot water spring (Kikuletwa) and the oldest churches among other attractions. The exclusive purpose of women coming together to form this enterprise was to improve the community’s economic income as well as empowering the women in the society. This was after women for a long period of time, have been looked down upon and seen as incapable due to their lack of education. With promoting tradition and cultural heritage through cultural tourism, women found themselves roles and responsibilities in the enterprise. Some acted as tour guides to provide village walk services, hikes in the Mt Kilimanjaro forest and give more information about the Wachagga tribe and historical reviews as well as many other activities undertaken within the enterprise. Other women trained and acted as traditional dancers to welcome the visitors as they arrive. Another bunch prepared traditional cuisines for the guests and some focused in the preparation of beads, ornaments and batik fabric for sale to the tourists. It is not only from cultural tourism that the women get their income from. This is a bunch of hardworking women who came up with resourceful ideas and managed to hack various interventions to earn income from. Besides the above, these women also engage in Bee keeping where they harvest, package and sell honey to the people in the village. Coffee growing and processing was also done by another group of women where they harvest and brew it locally and sell it to the people in the community and the tourists who come visiting in their homestay. Some women in the group practiced farming where they plant inorganic vegetables to reduce the costs accrued from buying food materials to cook for the guests. Instead, they harvest directly from their farms. Poultry and livestock farming are not left behind as the immediate products, milk and eggs, are sold within the community for profits. And yet, another group deals with planting tree seedlings to help conserve the environment.
The income generated from these touristic visits and activities are used in ways such as: **School building development **Tree planting projects and initiatives. **Water sources preservation and irrigation channels **Women empowerment talks. Especially amongst the young girls on early marriage, early pregnancies and HIV/AIDS prevention.
Welcome all to Machame Nkweshoo Cultural Tourism Enterprise!