Introducing the GoodWork Foundation

Written by Evie Ndhlovu – Program Manager, Europe, Africa & the Middle East

Through travel, more and more youth from Kruger are gaining confidence in themselves and their value within the tourism industry of South Africa.

GoodWork Foundation_planeterra

The Kruger National Park is known far and wide for its size, beauty and inhabitants. The wildlife that is found here is spectacular and it draws thousands of travellers yearly to South Africa. 

The park is a thriving financial hub and employs many people. However, in the villages that surround the glamorous fences of the Kruger National Park, thousands of people live in poverty, with no access to education and basic livelihood needs.

Because of this disparity in living conditions, many youths are left with no choice but to leave their homes for bigger cities for employment or engage in criminal activity as a means to financial independence. 

The GoodWork Foundation is a non-profit organization that is providing training to many youths from the villages around the Kruger National Park and creating opportunities. 

Through their bridging academies and Conservation and Hospitality Schools, the GWF trains over 40 youth a year and matches them with opportunities in the relevant fields.

Planeterra partnered with the GWF’s Tourism and Hospitality and Tourism Academy and through a CFLI granted program, was able to provide training and a start-up grant to build an express Coffee Bar at their Hazyview Campus.

GoodWork Foundation_South Africa

The Coffee bar provides delicious coffee and a tasty macadamia snack sourced locally. Planeterra also facilitated an entry to the travel market through a connection with G Adventures’ travellers, who weekly, after a day in the Kruger National Park, get to have a GWF coffee and snack and hear from local young people about how tourism is changing their futures.

The coffee bar aims to provide practical training for youth who are in the Hospitality industry, provide an income for the academy to open its doors to more youth in the area and provide free education while allowing young people to also earn an income from tourism. 

Through travel, more and more youth from Kruger are gaining confidence in themselves and their value within the tourism industry of South Africa. Young women are becoming more and more ambitious and after their training is complete, they’re starting their own businesses in the tourism industry.

Planeterra continues to support the incredible work of the GWF by advocating for travellers to help them, one coffee at a time. 

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Good Work Foundation

Good Work Foundation

Hazyview, South Africa


The Good Work Foundation (GWF) is a nonprofit organization that trains local youth in technology, conservation as well as Tourism and Hospitality. They provide opportunities in the tourism sector for youth in the villages bordering the Kruger National Park. Every year GWF provides free training to 25 youth and bridges them into opportunities in the hotels and lodges in the area.

Thanks to GWF, youth are gaining skills in entrepreneurship and tourism to break the cycle of poverty around the Kruger National Park by generating sources of income. Additionally, through the training provided by GWF, youth are able to access much-needed education.

Youth trained each year
community members benefitting
GoodWork Foundation_planeterra

Critical Need

Youth unemployment rates in communities around Kruger National Park, one of South Africa’s most popular tourist destinations, soar above 65%. Many local people will leave their homes to search for work in other metropolitan areas such as Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The lack of opportunities for employment and investment leads to poor living quality and many women and youth are forced into low-paying menial labor and possibly illegal behavior such as wildlife poaching.

Our Involvement

Planeterra partnered with GWF and their Hospitality Academy to create an express Coffee Bar that serves hot and cold coffee and locally sourced snacks to travellers who are visiting the Kruger National Park.

The Coffee Bar supports covering tuition and is also an opportunity for youth in the program to receive practical training in barista skills as well as earnings for their work. Tourism allows GWF to reduce their dependency on grants to fund the academy, increase class sizes and train more youth.

GoodWork Foundation_South Africa
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Empowering newcomers to Europe through tourism


Planeterra launched its very first project in Europe in 2016, and since then, the refugee and migrant community on the continent has been an important beneficiary of our work. Europe currently faces its greatest migrant challenge since the end of the Second World War, with a large number of people seeking refuge from war, poverty and political instability in nearby regions.

Planeterra works with communities that are in need of support, whether to preserve an ancient culture, create revenue for community infrastructure and healthcare, or to provide employment to a community with high unemployment. As we have grown and expanded through our 50 in 5 campaign, we have undertaken projects that not only support Indigenous and rural communities, but also at-risk communities like people living with disabilities, migrants and refugees.
Planeterra launched its very first project in Europe in 2016, and since then, the refugee and migrant community on the continent has been an important beneficiary of our work. Europe currently faces its greatest migrant challenge since the end of the Second World War, with a large number of people seeking refuge from war, poverty and political instability in nearby regions. According to UN Refugees, at the end of 2016, nearly 5.2 million refugees and migrants reached Europe, and in 2017 alone more than 170,000 risked their lives trying to reach the continent by sea. Migrants arrive to the continent with little to no prospects for jobs, and that’s where Planeterra fits in.
Although Planeterra has a number of projects around the world that benefit migrants or newcomers to a country, this World Refugee Day we are highlighting three of our projects dedicated exclusively to helping newcomers integrate into society and benefit from the European tourism industry.

magdas HOTEL - Austria

Magdas‘ HOTEL is a social enterprise hotel – the first of its kind in Austria – with a mission to empower and educate refugees and migrants in the hospitality and tourism industry. The hotel, located in a heavily frequented area in Vienna, provides ten newcomers to Austria with placements at the hotel, allowing them to shadow ten industry professionals. This job-shadowing and mentorship between refugees and professionals in the industry is an important part of the program, alongside magdas HOTEL works their non-profit Caritas, which has initiatives like language lessons and other services. The idea here is that refugees will later be hired by other hotels in tourist-heavy Vienna, allowing a steady stream of refugees to gain hospitality skills at magdas.

Migrantour Rome - Italy

Planeterra provided Migrantour Rome with a link to small group travel operator G Adventures, who bring around 500 travellers to take part in this alternative tour of Rome. The Migrantour shows the multiculturalism, and hidden gems of Rome that make the city unique and diverse. Guests participate in a tour led by a newcomer or a migrant to the city, who leads the group to various shops, associations, and places of worship. This intercultural experience that is rarely seen by tourists also benefits the traveller as they learn about the migrant crisis and how they can help while visiting Italy. It also benefits the guides by providing an income, and building their skills in storytelling, public speaking and English.

Migrantour Naples with Casba - Italy

The Casba Social Cooperative runs tours led by migrants to Naples, with a main goal of trying to improve the lives of migrants by educating local Napolitans about migrants to the city. Tours are created for local Italians to get to know newcomers, and through tour guides who are migrants themselves, local Italians are exposed to the beauty created by a melting pot of cultures, languages, and religions living together harmoniously in Naples.

Casba also has tours for newcomers to the city which educates refugees and migrants about what it’s like living in Naples – everything from how to use the metro, to the layout of the city and what markets they can visit to find familiar food for cooking traditional meals. These two types of tours are incredibly important, and Casba is continuously working to support incoming refugees and support the community in an effort to create a more cohesive, accepting society. Planeterra partnered with Casba to provide training to their guides, by hiring a local tourism professional to conduct lessons and training in guiding and storytelling. Now, G Adventures has 750 travellers who take a migrantour of Naples – injecting money directly into Casba’s programs.

Next month, representatives from Planeterra are returning to Europe to forge partnerships with potential organizations assisting those affected by the migrant and refugee crisis, among other at-risk groups on the continent. You can support this work by donating via our website, with the knowledge that 100% of your donation goes directly to our global programs, where it’s needed most.
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Training Underway at LinkAge Restaurant

Planeterra has been working hand-in-hand with Friends International to launch their first co-financed social enterprise restaurant in Burma/Myanmar. LinkAge Restaurant will help support at-risk former street youth find training in the tourism industry.  LinkAge will start hosting G Adventures’ National Geographic Journey’s trips starting October.

July was a busy month for the students at LinkAge, as they welcomed their trainers to learn more about the fine details of hospitality to make the visitors experience better than ever. Check out the progress the trainees are making as they prepare to welcome travellers:

LinkAge head chef, Koyee standing in his kitchen before renovation. Koyee will also act as the lead trainer for the students at LinkAge.

LinkAge Restaurant is a small, cozy cafe featuring local art. In partnership with Planeterra, the interior of the cafe will upgraded with new chairs, tables and decor.

In partnership with Friends International, students were given training on how to properly welcome and serve guests at the restaurant.

The students enthusiastically learned new skills from their trainer and are excited to welcome the first G Adventures travellers in October 2017.

Students worked very closely with their trainer to gain new skills.

Planeterra’s Field Manager, Panot Pakongsup poses with the students after a busy week of training!

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