Lottie O’Connor from The Guardian (UK) interviewed me last month for a Women in Leadership feature. Here is her article.
DREAMS OF BUILDING A RESPONSIBLE TOURISM BUSINESS TOOK AMY CARTER-JAMES ON A TOUGH BUT REWARDING JOURNEY TO MOZAMBIQUE
My dream of using tourism to aid poverty relief and conservation began to take shape before I started university, when I worked on a tourism-funded research boat in Western Australia, and then taught in a rural primary school in Kenya. When at university I met the man who would become my husband, I told him about this dream, and when I graduated (in marine zoology) he said, “Why don’t we just do it?”
So, in our early twenties we started looking for the right location; northern Mozambique seemed perfect. We moved out there in 2003 to develop Guludo Beach Lodge and then set up Nema (meaning “the happiness felt when suffering ends”) as a charity to work with local communities to relieve poverty and protect the local environment.After many, many dramas and adventures, we opened in 2005 and began to gain international recognition for our approach to responsible tourism by 2009. Guludo provides jobs, opportunities and an economic stimulus while Nema works with more than 36,000 people on grassroots projects in water, education and health.
Thanks to our loyal supporters (mainly past guests at Guludo and JoJo Maman Bebe) Nema now provides school meals to 1,000 children a day, we have given out over 250 scholarships, built four primary schools and provided two ambulances and safe drinking water for more than 21,000 people. Handouts can be essential, but finding ways to give people an opportunity to empower themselves is incredibly inspiring.
There is no such thing as a typical day: it depends which hat I’m wearing and where in the world I am. On the beach in Mozambique, I could be doing department reviews, training with the Guludo team, or visiting and reviewing some of our many community projects. Or I could be somewhere else in the world giving a keynote speech or advising organisations about community development through tourism.
I probably spend the most time in my home office in Italy Skyping the team and juggling all the work involved in running a business and charity in rural Mozambique.
Since our daughter arrived, two years ago, I’ve certainly managed to get a far healthier work-life balance and very much enjoy the dolce vita with her here in Italy!
Originally published at https://www.guludo.com on January 11, 2016.