The Backpack and GCU


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As part of the Responsible Cape Town pilot project, a workshop on World Tourism Day 2012 saw several leading Responsible Tourism businesses sharing their practices and recent actions. This presentation highlights the work that The Backpack has been doing with a local NGO called Greater Commission United (GCU).

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The Backpack and GCU

  1. 1. ABOUT BACKPACK• Accredited Fair Trade Backpackers• Invest in people and communities• Provide meaningful and relaxed experiences• Investigate our travellers choices
  2. 2. PHILOSOPHYBy doing one small thing, its ripple effect will lead to bigger change
  3. 3. GREATER COMMISSION UNITED• Met to Mario who is the Founder of an NGO called Greater Commission United (GMU)• where he trains coaches and keeps children off the streets of Heideveld by playing soccer, basketball and rope skipping and not doing drugs.• Started by collecting second hand football boots and soccer kit• Put the request on our website for to encourage guests to bring along and donate
  4. 4. GCU CONT…• Got more involved by paying for skipping ropes for girls and then the whole school every week• This was done for two years• Programme for whole school bombed out, but kept the skipping for girls and tutoring• Also pay GCU towards coaching
  5. 5. GCU LIBRARY• Donations received by Old Mutual to resurrect Library• We painted and built shelves• We also bought books
  6. 6. • We painted and built shelves
  7. 7. • We alsobought books
  8. 8. GCU GARDEN• We started a vegetable garden that flourished• And died, flourished and died again• Now have an intervention by a group of German Landscape architects who planted more indigenous flowers (that will sustain themselves during the hot summer holidays)• And a vegie patch that would be more manageable.
  9. 9. GCU CONT…• The classrooms are over supplied with children and under supplied with teachers• Gangsters often break into the school• The steal the piping for toilets,the sinks, computers, wiring andwhatever else they can lay theirhands on.
  10. 10. GCU CONT…• The children often come from abused homes• Children are given drugs for breakfast to keep the hunger at bay• There are no fun things in the day like gym and art
  11. 11. GCU CONT…• We have twinned the school with a group in Scotland that has donated money and has made contact via Skype with our school and are coming here to interact with them and see what else they can do.• 10 of our skipping girls got their WP Colours and are going to Pretoria to compete in the Nationals
  12. 12. GCU WAY FORWARD• This is about community for community and we hope that fostering a healthier way of life in every aspect will help children to grow in a manner and also that once they have achieved their dreams and goals, they will want give back and make a difference in their community.• In Mario’s words “To Stand Up and Stand Out”
  13. 13. CONTACT DETAILS ADDRESS74 New Church Street, Tamboerksloof Cape Town 8001, South Africa ‎ TELEPHONE NUMBER 021 423 5555 021 423 4530 WEBSITE