Recognising their dedication to memorable incentive experiences and corporate social responsibility programs, Somewhere in Africa was awarded a SITE Crystal Award at the SITE International Conference in Beijing starting on September 14 and concluding yesterday, September 17.
Recognising their dedication to unique incentive experiences, Somewhere in Africa received a Crystal Award at the recent SITE International Conference.
“The Crystal Awards were designed to elevate the global standard of motivational experiences and honour creativity and excellence,” says Blanca Delgado, co-ordinator, SITE Chapter & Member Services. “No other program serves to recognise program planning and execution for experiences individuals would not be able to create on their own.”
“We’re so thrilled that our collaborative project – a day of community service for the Nutrimetics incentive group – has been chosen as a 2012 Site Crystal Award winner in the category ‘Responsible Experiences’, said managing director, Susan van de Merwe. “This recognition is a great compliment and kudos to all involved.”
“Initiated by an opportunity brought to us by Australian incentive house, Unique Group Travel, in July 2011 we set out to create a sustainable community service programme that would make it possible for the women in Khayelitsha (South Africa) to tell a different story – a story that includes pride, self esteem and financial independence,” explains van de Merwe. “Through the Khayelitsha Sewing Project, Somewhere In Africa and has provided a project that enables both international visitors and local businesses to touch the lives of others in a very real way, leaving not money, but a legacy,” she said.
“This opportunity has spawned a wonderful, multi-faceted community enterprise and our vision is one of creating cultural understanding and tolerance through integrating contributions to and participation in the project, into all our inbound itineraries,” says van de Merwe. “The long term sustainability of this project, together with the financial success and independence of each of the women in the programme is an integral part of our bigger vision and company mission statement.”
“Thanks to the interest expressed by Unique Group Travel in creating a genuinely enriching experience in South Africa, we believe that The Khayelitsha Sewing Project and the Nutrimetics Community Service day proved beyond a doubt that social responsibility goes beyond financial support,” says van de Merwe.
“Suggesting that guests collect and bring items from their own country, providing the opportunity for them to work in the soup kitchens, serve the homeless, clean out and plant seedlings alongside the locals, tutor the local women on business and marketing – all these elements worked together not only to support the community of Khayelitsha, but to open up a path for cultural exchange and understanding between citizens of the world.”
“Somewhere in Africa has been established by a team of Southern Africa’s most respected and knowledgeable professionals, each driven by an unyielding passion for the region’s people, places, culture and wildlife,” says Susan van de Merwe.
In her role as managing director of the South African operation, Susan is supported by Sydney based directors, Susan and Barry Wallace of Nemonic Concepts. “From two to 2000, we handle a broad spectrum of customised travel requirements – from individual, leisure travel to MICE projects, including business, incentive and leisure groups,” says van de Merwe.