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Airbnb launches a brand new initiative to assist South African communities

Airbnb launches a new initiative to support South African communities

Airbnb launches #GetBehindTheMask in partnership with the Western Cape and African Government Maskathon Tikkun

Airbnb The company has announced the launch of #GetBehindTheMask, a host-led movement to support communities struggling with the effects of COVID-19. In partnership with the Western Cape and Africa Government Tikkun Maskathon, the initiative will begin with an online face mask experience, along with a call from the host community to ask others to create masks.

In addition, an aid fund will support tourism entrepreneurs who have participated in the Airbnb Africa Academy and were hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis.

As South Africa is slowly moving out of the lockdown, there is an opportunity to support struggling tourism entrepreneurs and township communities in this difficult time. All South Africans are required to wear a face mask, but not all have access to them and tourism has stalled.

“The spirit and creativity of the Airbnb community inspires again and again, even in times of crisis. We want to support this commitment from Airbnb hosts and to help tourism entrepreneurs help vulnerable communities and guide South Africa through this crisis, ”said Brian Chesky, Airbnb co-founder, CEO and community leader.

At the forefront of the campaign is Tamryn, host to Airbnb since 2013, who will use her online experience to demonstrate creative face mask making skills. Students learn how to cut, design, and assemble masks with colorful patterns, and Tamryn donates two masks to communities in South Africa that are most urgently needed by everyone.

There are multiple experiences each week and Airbnb is offering vouchers to the first 100 people booking to enjoy the experience for free. More information can be found here. For those who cannot participate, Tamryn will provide an easy-to-follow, pre-made mask pattern and instructions.

The idea of ​​the face mask was also inspired by hosts such as Maria from Khayelitsha who participated in the Airbnb Africa Academy program. Although Maria is unable to host due to locks, she is committed to helping the weakest by asking all other hosts in South Africa to "get behind the mask" and start sewing.

“Combined with the golden rules of hygiene and physical distance, cloth masks can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. We therefore welcome the Airbnb "Get Behind the Mask" initiative to provide more masks to the communities in the province and to support the maskathon campaign, "said Alan Winde, Prime Minister of the Western Cape.

"The global COVID-19 pandemic has received a great deal of kindness and support, and we thank everyone, like Airbnb, who are working to smooth the curve and mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in the Western Cape."

To further support the #GetBehindTheMask campaign, the relief fund will provide much-needed support to tourism entrepreneurs who have participated in the Airbnb Africa Academy. A development program that aims to provide under-represented and under-served communities with the tools and resources they need to participate in tourism.

Airbnb will contact eligible participants and invite them to apply for a relief grant of up to R / £ 20,000, which will be awarded within four weeks if successful. Since the Airbnb Africa Academy started in 2017, 220 people have been trained, 70 percent of whom are female micro-entrepreneurs. These funds should help more people to realize their entrepreneurial ambitions.

"The Airbnb Africa Academy is a program that fits very well with what we stand for and it is fantastic to see how Airbnb supports those hosts who currently have little to no income," said Alef Meulenbergi, CEO of Africa Tikkun.

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