DER TOURISTIK FOUNDATION e.V.
In the beginning, there was an idea. The idea gives rise to a project. A project became an affair of the heart. And the realisation grew that the passionate will to do something good over the long term also requires a firm structure: the DER Touristik Foundation!
Since 2014, we’ve shown lasting commitment to less developed tourist destinations through the DER Touristik Foundation by
- giving children in remote areas the chance to go to school
- affording young people with the opportunity of vocational training
- promoting women and
- supporting animal welfare and nature conservation.
What We want: To Combat Poverty, Create Perspectives, Protect Nature and Animals
The starting point was construction projects in Africa and Asia. This was followed by vocational training projects. And of course, it had to include nature and species conservation initiatives.
Together with other associations, foundations and aid organisations, the DER Touristik Foundation champions the promotion of education of children and young people, the preservation of ecological habitats and biodiversity along with sustainable development aid. This creates future prospects for both people and animals. Because the world should offer everyone a decent quality of life.
It is always a case of helping people to help themselves. Always very specifically, on-site.
Achievements since 2014
86 projects in 26 countries on five continents, of which
- 68x school construction
- 10x education
- 4x animal welfare
- 4x environmental protection
More information about DER Touristik Foundation can be found here.
For Example: Emboreet/Tanzania – Focusing on the Big Picture
Animal-human conflicts, discrimination against women, poor school infrastructure or high unemployment: when there is a long list of challenges, individual measures often fall short of the mark. That is when holistic solutions are needed. Like in the Emboreet region in Tanzania.
There, together with its partners, the DER Touristik Foundation has launched a package of educational support, environmental programmes and species protection. ECLAT project partners Philomena and Toima Kiroya are a key factor for success. They are themselves Maasai, are aware of the needs and challenges of their community, are respected by the local population and can therefore specifically tackle problems with their projects and achieve a sustainable impact.
Lots of progress has already been made: women meet regularly at the Maasai Women’s Education Centre and are able to establish their own livelihoods with education and micro-credits. The Vocational Training Centre for bricklayers, carpenters and locksmiths offers highly sought-after, qualified vocational training to 64 young people each year. And chilli paste, of all things, alleviates the conflict between elephants and Maasai farmers. Applied to fences, its aroma keeps the pachyderms with the sensitive trunk in their corridors and at a distance from humans.
For Example: Smiling Gecko – Practical Vocational Training in Cambodia
Especially in the poorer parts of the world, attending school during childhood is not always the norm. This often results in a lack of prospects or (if at all) precarious jobs.
Near to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, socially disadvantaged Cambodians have found a new home on the premises of the non-profit organisation Smiling Gecko. There, they can attend school and learn a trade. DER Touristik Foundation supports the Farmhouse Resort & Spa, where young locals from poor backgrounds receive training in service, cooking, housekeeping and tourism. This should empower them to earn a sustainable living for themselves and their families and lead a self-determined life. This is certainly no easy path – but one that can lead from the slums to international award-winning cuisine.
Want to Take a Look Behind the Scenes?
Since 2020, guests can become acquainted with selected projects such as Smiling Gecko at the local level. This creates remarkable experiences that they will never forget, and raises awareness of urgent issues affecting holiday destinations.
On the DERTOUR round trip “Cambodia’s Treasures”, they can visit the Smiling Gecko Project including lunch.
For Example: Protecting Animals – Women with a Bite!
As one of the most famous game reserves in the world, South Africa’s Krüger National Park is severely threatened by poaching. Here, an exceptional troop is fighting against the killing of animals: the “Black Mambas”. This is what makes them unique: the task force exclusively consists of young women from local tribal communities.
But unlike the eponymous snake, they are not deadly – nor are they even armed. Yet this does not make them less effective: since 2014, the women have successfully destroyed over 1,000 wildlife traps and dismantled 29 poaching camps. Their constant presence in the bush alone has reduced poaching with traps by 89 per cent, and illegal trade in rhinos declined by 67 per cent.
Unfortunately, Corona has also deprived South Africa of tourism revenue and poaching is on the rise again. The DER Touristik Foundation supports refresher training for the Black Mambas – essential for the women, because only by successfully participating in it can they retain their status as wildlife experts! Since 2021, the funding project has also been supported by salary donations from the employees of REWE Group, whose travel division is DER Touristik.
What is more, the DER Touristik Foundation funds the “Bush Babies Programme”: almost 900 children from schools around Krüger National Park obtain information on the topics of environmental education, food security and animal welfare. The project’s aim is to teach young people how to live sustainably and provide for themselves and their families over the long-term.