Berlin, 12 December 2022

TUI Colourful Cultures in Kenya and Turkey: TUI Care Foundation launches programme to protect cultural heritage and empower creatives in tourism destinations

  • In Kenya, the Foundation supports the restoration and expansion of an artisan centre for people with diverse physical abilities
  • In Turkey, 50 women from rural areas will receive entrepreneurship training to become weaving artisans and offer their products to visitors
  • The TUI Colourful Cultures Programme protects cultural heritage and empowers creatives in tourism destinations all over the world

The TUI Care Foundation has launched a new strategy, which leads the way in protecting the natural environment and empowering lives in travel destinations. As part of this, the TUI Colourful Cultures Programme empowers artists and artisans to access new income opportunities and promote their cultural heritage through tourism. The programme kicks off with the launch of two TUI Colourful Cultures projects in Kenya and Turkey.

In Kenya the Foundation has teamed up with the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya to empower the Bombolulu Workshops and Cultural Centre in Mombasa, which provides training and employment opportunities for people with different abilities. The workshops focus on the creation of traditional jewellery, textile designs inspired by African cultures, wood carvings, leather work and the production of mobility aids like wheelchairs and tricycles. The cultural centre has eight African homesteads depicting the traditional architecture and way of life of different communities in Kenya. The new project supports the centre with funding to substantially upgrade and extend its facilities. This will allow the Bombolulu team to host more than 200 dancing events and activities, and welcome over 1,000 visitors and local schoolchildren. The project will also connect the centre to the local tourism industry in order to create better awareness for its activities. Visitors will not only be able to visit the workshop but will also have the chance to purchase products made by the artisans at the Bombolulu store. This will therefore also help to increase market opportunities and protect Kenyan cultural heritage. The activities highlight the core value of Bombolulu’s objective: to prove that disability is not inability.

Another TUI Colourful Cultures project has been launched in Turkey. In partnership with Fethiye Lycia Women's Cooperative, the project supports local female weavers with training and marketing strategies to revive the weaving method 'Dastar'. This traditional weaving method was previously long forgotten – but has now received an official Geographical Indication and acts as an important cultural element in the villages where the project will take place. It dates back thousands of years and, in contrast to more recent popular textile products, has survived by keeping its originality and is still in production. The people in the villages keep ‘the dastar’ weaving alive as an inheritance from ancestors and ‘the dastar’ has succeeded in keeping up with this changing world and maintains an important place in their culture.

The reinterpretation of this traditional weaving technique with a new perspective and the development of products suitable for today's trends will make this method more sustainable and help secure the livelihoods of the women involved in the villages Yeşiluzumlu and Incirkoy in the Fethiye region.

About Fethiye Lycia Women Cooperative

Lycian women cooperative was founded as a non-profit organization in September 2020, in Fethiye/Turkey. Its aim is to meet its members’ economic, social and cultural needs and facilitate the production and marketing of goods and services produced by them. The organization opens production-oriented skills courses for partners and non-partner women, such as sewing, embroidery, ceramics, glass making, handicraft design, fashion design, jewellery design, cooking and bakery and organizes various training programmes for its partners. 

About the Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK)

The Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) is a charitable, non-governmental organization established in 1958, with the objective of improving the quality of lives of persons with disabilities using the Rights Based Approach for social inclusion and poverty reduction. Their mission is to strengthen rehabilitation services, mainstream disability for empowerment of person with different abilities and promote an inclusive society where people with different abilities have access to affordable quality rehabilitation services and are able to become self-reliant. Their main activities include centre-based physical rehabilitation, community-based rehabilitation that promotes inclusion through awareness creation, business development and sustainability.

About TUI Care Foundation

Building on the potential of tourism as a force for good, the TUI Care Foundation supports and initiates partnerships and projects, which create new opportunities for the young generation and contribute to thriving communities all over the world. Connecting holidaymakers to good causes, the TUI Care Foundation fosters education and training initiatives to open up new opportunities and perspectives for young people, the protection of the natural environment in holiday destinations and sustainable livelihoods in thriving destinations where local communities can benefit even more from tourism. TUI Care Foundation works global and acts local – it builds on strong partnerships with local and international organisations to create meaningful and long lasting impact. The charitable foundation values transparency and the efficient use of funds. Therefore 100% of the donations go to destination programmes with all administration costs of the foundation covered by TUI. TUI Care Foundation was founded by TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, and is based in the Netherlands.