Founded during the homeland war, DEŠA was born when a group of locals from Dubrovnik partnered with refugees and made a small handicraft business. Now, they continue as a women’s centre which provides victim support while acting as a centre of cultural preservation. From the beginning, the founders of DEŠA knew it was important to not just provide emotional support for fellow women but to connect them to meaningful work that would make them feel empowered. In anticipation of tourism’s return to Dubrovnik, DEŠA provided computer and language courses so women could have the opportunity to take part in what was to become a booming tourist economy. Through selling handicrafts made by women across the country, and providing tourists with the opportunity to learn about traditional costumes, weaving, and cooking, DEŠA is contributing to the sustainable and inclusive development of its communities.
Through our Partnership with DEŠA, Planeterra will be providing a small grant to assist in capacity building as well as training and collaboration in developing a new cultural experience for travellers. Planeterra also facilitated a partnership between G Adventures and DEŠA, which means a consistent stream of travelers gaining insight into DEŠA’s mission and experiencing traditional Croatian culture, all while providing sustainable income for the organization’s community work.
The sustainable income generated by G Adventures travellers will allow for DEŠA to expand the reach of its community and women’s projects. The ripple effects from G Adventures visitors will be felt throughout the organization and the communities in which they work. From improving rural employment to empowering female entrepreneurs, DEŠA will be able to continue providing opportunities for those who have been left marginalized in their community.