We have now expanded our ecotourism network into six African countries, as well as to South Asia, and the &Beyond model of community participation has become standard practice within the industry.
Today, &Beyond provides direct employment for nearly 2 000 people, in some cases boosting the employment level on the land by 1 000%.
In some cases in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, &Beyond's landlords are the traditional communities and this is the model we seek to expand to global territories with the help of grant-funders and governments seeking a new model of sustainable rural development.
We recognise that our most valuable asset is our staff. With this in mind, in 2003 &Beyond initiated a Positive Health programme across the group, spearheaded by positive health trainers David Patient and Neil Orr. David Patient is the longest documented HIV-positive survivor in the world, more than 20 years and counting. Neil Orr has a Masters degree in Research Psychology in the area of psychoneuroimmunology (the mind/body effect - the role that attitude plays in maintaining health).
Together they have created a dynamic training course built around natural vitamins and minerals, affordable foodstuffs and the power of positive thinking. It is geared both at preventive health care and at improving the health of people living with chronic disease.
Through this Positive Health training we motivate and empower our staff and neighbouring communities to take positive action in dealing with all current health challenges - not only restricted to HIV/AIDS.
- Knowledge is power
- Health support
- Motivation to live
To date, &Beyond's Positive Health programme has reached over 30,000 individuals amongst staff and rural communities. The programme was voted one of three finalists in the 2005 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the Investor in People category.
"The Goal is Life" Programme
In order to increase motivation to stay healthy and start a culture of developing life goals, &Beyond created our "The Goal is Life" programme - a partnership between the universal game of soccer and the great game of life.
Part of the programme involves working closely with World Wide Sports and many great soccer legends to spread the message that, in order for our soccer players to reach their life goals, they have to look after their physical, mental and spiritual health. Legendary soccer players visit our lodges to hold workshops in surrounding communities to inspire and uplift our staff and neighbours, and to help spread the message of safe sex and healthy living.
With a similar impetus to The Goal is Life, our positive "Sing for Life" programme in Africa celebrates the passion in the choral music of today, as well as the ancient cultural drumming, singing and dancing traditions of this great continent. Across Africa, &Beyond's guests are continually delighted by extraordinary staff performances of song, dance and drumming.
An international competition was created to give recognition to our highly talented staff. Staff members from our lodges gather to compete against each other with virtuoso performances of modern and traditional song and dance. Finalists from each of the six far-flung regions in Africa gather on a single stage and perform as both individuals and massed choirs to celebrate life, heritage and their magical continent.
Our Social Development Partner
&Beyond’s community development partner, Africa Foundation, is an independent tax-exempt non-profit organisation registered in South Africa, the United States and the United Kingdom. Working together with &Beyond and in consultation with the communities themselves, Africa Foundation facilitates the socio-economic development of rural communities living in or close to the continent’s conservation areas. For &Beyond, our involvement with Africa Foundation represents our core tenet of Care of the People.
Sustainability is not always about reduction - it's sometimes about growth.
At &Beyond we believe that we are responsible to the planet and the environment in which we operate our business.
Each &beyond lodge finds practical solutions to managing their impact whilst still creating a magical, luxury safari experience for our guests.
Carlisle on Conservation
Catch up with our Group Conservation Manager, Les Carlisle, on his blog.