Asanda Daraza

Khwela Womxn

What does your company do?

Khwela means “to climb” in isiXhosa, one of the wider spoken languages of South Africa, and the mother tongue of one of Khwela’s co-founders, Asanda Daraza. At Khwela, we believe in the power of women to change communities, and we believe that travel can be transformative - that’s why we focus on experiential learning and peer-to-peer growth. We create safe spaces for Womxn to meet around the country in sisterhood circles, and we share learning content with Womxn through our WhatsApp bot, Alora.

What is your biggest success?

In the first two years, 80% of the Khwela participants on average went from being unemployed to finding work in the tourism industry. We have won the Booking Cares funding twice in a row (2018 & 2019) and had an opportunity to travel to Amsterdam to pitch our program to the Booking.Com judges. From the launch of Khwela womxn, we have trained over 174 womxn from 4 regions (Western Cape, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, and Durban) to become moderators to start their circles in the communities and from this training, 32 circles are running in these regions and we have 10 womxn every day are signing up to join our circles.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

The biggest hurdle has been mostly finding the engaged womxn, who show up for themselves to join our program in order to scale to other regions in South Africa. The second biggest hurdle has been getting more funding to sustain our program to reach more womxn to get self-empowered

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