Airbnb Community Fund grants awarded to sustainability and conservation programs in South Africa and across the globe

by Media Xpose

When Hosts on Airbnb open their doors to travellers from around the world, they welcome their guests into their communities, too. As part of our commitment to share Airbnb’s success with our stakeholders, we want to give back to the neighbourhoods and towns our Hosts call home. In 2020, Airbnb created the Airbnb Community Fund to distribute USD $100 million through 2030 to help strengthen communities around the world.

Airbnb is excited to announce the 2022 Airbnb Community Fund grant recipients. In 2022, the program’s primary focus was sustainability, with more than USD $6 million in grants awarded to over 20 organisations working to protect our planet and promote environmental sustainability and conservation in 19 countries across six continents. As in 2021, our Host Advisory Board provided important feedback to inform this process.

In 2022, South African grant recipients included Lapalala Wilderness School, Endangered Wildlife Trust and UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere, receiving USD $215,000 collectively. Through these grants, these organisations and Airbnb are continuing to support a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable tourism economy in South Africa, and lower the barriers to becoming a tourism entrepreneur.

For example, in the Waterberg in Limpopo, a USD $75,000 grant will help the Lapalala Wilderness School to strengthen the overall impact of the Airbnb Entrepreneurship Academy and develop skills for local tourism entrepreneurs to benefit from the biodiversity economy.

Other environmental sustainability and conservation recipients across the globe include Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya, Leave No Trace in the US and WWF-Brazil Coral Reef Restoration Project in Brazil.

Many of the 2022 grant recipients shared how this funding will impact their organisations:

The Endangered Wildlife Trust is committed to conserving threatened species and ecosystems in Southern Africa to the benefit of all. To achieve this, we focus on three main strategic imperatives: Saving Species, Conserving Habitats, and Benefiting People. The EWT would like to express a heartfelt thank you to Airbnb for their incredible generosity and support. Their support will assist us in our efforts to ensure our children and our children’s children enjoy the magnificent diversity that Africa has to offer. This Airbnb Community Fund grant will go towards what the EWT does best, Conservation In Action.”Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa

“With the Airbnb Community Fund grant, The Lapalala Wilderness School will continue the essential work we do to help our children and young adults discover the value of biodiversity in our natural world and our place within it, as well as identify and nurture Africa’s future conservation champions. Environmental Education courses are vitally important and teach children that the health of people is intimately connected with the health of the environment. The grant will assist us in setting up gardens in our local communities and also create a space to educate the public on climate change and biodiversity education as it is a core pillar of our work.” The Lapalala Wilderness School, South Africa

“UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere would like to thank Airbnb for aiding our critical conservation efforts and being part of this journey towards Protecting Forever, Together. This Community Fund grant will be used in scaling up our communication with our stakeholders and partners, our environmental education/awareness programmes as well as supporting food gardens in rural schools. Working together with like-minded organisations helps us ensure that more people are included, thus working towards the overarching goal of leaving no one behind if we are to make a meaningful impact.” – UNESCO Waterberg Biosphere, South Africa

In 2022, the Airbnb Community Fund also supported sustainability education and awareness programs, as well as organisations performing home energy audits to help Airbnb Hosts across the UK and France improve the energy efficiency of their homes. 

During 2021, the Community Fund’s inaugural year, Airbnb distributed grants to more than 150 organisations focused on COVID-19 relief, economic empowerment, and education as they worked to meet the unprecedented needs brought about by the pandemic. 

To learn more about the Community Fund and the grant recipients, please visit the Airbnb Community Fund page.

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