The house of joy in Ouidah

The house of joy in Ouidah

Benin
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

AFRICA - BENIN - RESPONSIBLE TOURISM, ONCE THE SLAVE TRADE, TODAY THE CHILDREN TRADE, THE HISTORY OF THE AMAZONES, THE LAND OF VOODOO - KNOWING IS UNDERSTANDING, UNDERSTANDING IS SHARING LIFE: WE SHALL VISIT THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS OF NGOs THAT OPERATE IN BENIN

Your idea
This will be the address used to plot your entry on the map.
Street Address

Quartier Gbena

City

Ouidah

State/Province

Benin

Postal/Zip Code

Atlantique

Country
Year innovation began

2006

Geotourism Challenge Addressed by Entrant

Quality of benefit to the people of the desitination

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Indicate sector in which you principally work

Community Organization

Geographic location

Suburban, Rainforest.

Plot your innovation within the Mosaic of Solutions
Main barrier addressed

Cross-cultural myopia

Main insight addressed

Education through hands-on experience

Innovation
What is the goal of your innovation?

We encourage our guests to benefit other native initiatives, besides ours. We are keen of pointing to places where traditional handicraft ma

How does your approach support or embody geotourism?

Ouidah is a historical town. It used to be one the main places in Africa where slaves were exchanged for weapons and loaded on boats to the Americas. Several historical buildings explain how the commerce was organised and how slaves were deprived of their will to resist. We encourage our guests to visit these historical places and to understand how slavery has been possible. We think that understanding historical slavery is important to fight its modern versions

Describe your approach in detail. How is it innovative?

Our enterprise is owned and managed by Beninese women. It is a native initiative that makes use of local providers for all food and services. No foreign company has been involved in the building of our house or in its furnishing. All Beninese workers employed in construction, maintenance and servicing are independent artisans.
The house is devoted to the provision of a viable working and social life to single women and their children. Through the restaurant, a street bar and a beauty shop, a provisional job is offered to single women experiencing financial difficulties.

What types of partnerships or professional development would be most beneficial in spreading your innovation?

Know Africa from the side of Africans. A bitter story says that the world knows very well how the Africans die, but doesn't know how the Africans live. Here is an occasion to know the values, the miseries and the noblesse of a part of this continent, where their history dramatically crossed with ours. We are looking for partnerships for a collaboration

Impact
In one sentence describe what kind of impact, change, or reform your approach is intended to achieve.

so-called "lent children" constitute a major problem in Benin. The tradition of sending children to live with the most affluent relatives....

Describe the degree of success of your approach to date. Clearly define how you measure quantitative and qualitative impact in terms of how your approach contributes to the sustainability or enhancement of local culture, environment, heritage, or aesthetics? How does your approach minimize negative impacts? 200 words or less

AFRICA: NOT JUST PAIN, SUFFERING AND FAMINES....BUT THE DETERMINATION TO LIVE AND TO ENJOY LIFE

How does your program promote traveler enthusiasm, satisfaction, and engagement with the locale?

Tourism is the second economic activity, after oil extraction. Even here, isn't there any possibility for the poor to share this resource? "when you see a boat sailing, remember who built it" (african proverb)
I think yes

In what ways are local residents actively involved in your innovation, including participation and community input? How has the community responded to or benefited from your approach?

The so-called "lent children" constitute a major problem in Benin. The tradition of sending children to live with the most affluent relatives turned today in a real commerce of slave children. In our house in Ouidah we provided a shelter, a family and schooling for several of them. Its atmosphere gave it its name: La Maison de la Joie, The House of Joy

Describe how your innovation helps travelers and local residents better understand the value of the area’s cultural and natural heritage, and educates them on local environmental issues. How do you motivate them to act responsibly in their future travel decisions?

We propose an experience with the people we love, a friendship that distance contributes to build, in a challenging social context. You will be in our home. We would like to make you love Africa as we do.

Sustainability
Is your initiative financially and organizationally sustainable? If not, what is required to make it so? What is the potential demand for your innovation?

Yes.
Voulonteers and more tourists

How is your initiative currently financed? If available, provide information on your finances and organization that could help others. Please list: Annual budget, annual revenue generated, size of part-time, full-time and volunteer staff.

The house is devoted to the provision of a viable working and social life to single women and their children. Through the restaurant, a street bar and a beauty shop, a provisional job is offered to single women experiencing financial difficulties. Work is assured until a woman has found independent means to make a living. Children are offered schooling all through high school. Women who leave the house are offered a possibility to leave their children there, who will receive an education at no cost. All schooling is financed by private donations.

What is your plan to expand your approach? Please indicate where/how you would like to grow or enhance your innovation, or have others do so.

i don't know

What are the main barriers you encounter in managing, implementing, or replicating your innovation? What barriers keep your program from having greater impact?

Try to ask a friend where Benin is. She may guess the continent, but it's rare to find someone who is able to locate it on the map.

The Story
What is the origin of your innovation? Tell your story.

Justice and travel

The Africans say:
“The world knows very well how people die in Africa, but knows nothing of how people live there”. With this journey, we would like to repair a historical and cultural injustice that makes the economic injustice even worse.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers' marketing material.

I don't know

Please write an overview of your project. This text will appear when people scroll over the icon for your entry on the Google map located on the competition homepage.

AFRICA - BENIN - RESPONSIBLE TOURISM, ONCE THE SLAVE TRADE, TODAY THE CHILDREN TRADE, THE HISTORY OF THE AMAZONES, THE LAND OF VOODOO - KNOWING IS UNDERSTANDING, UNDERSTANDING IS SHARING LIFE: WE SHALL VISIT THE DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS OF NGOs THAT OPERATE IN BENIN