Participatory Action Research for Positive Change

Femke de Groot

Femke de GrootI’m currently studying Landscape Planning and Development at HAS University, ‘s-Hertogenbosch. It’s a very extensive study which looks at a lot of different subjects, like farming, nature, watersystems and tourism. A big subject is policy, which leads to a lot of top-down thoughts. Because of that I really miss the bottom-up (community-up) approach, which I believe is an obligation we have these days. I believe ideas coming from enthousiastic locals is the best way to imply change.

Having a love for traveling, camping and seeing the way other people live has been a mayor key for my development. With only the pictures from TV in mind, I didn’t know a lot about Zambia (or Africa in general). The moment I heard about this project, I became very enthousiastic about the chance to help the people with a challenge we as tourist created. My believe is that if you visit another country, you have to respect to their culture and land. Just learning to say ‘Hello’ in their language can put a smile to someone’s face.

I believe tourism can bring something positive for everyone. Working in a intercultural team, we can learn a lot from and about each other. This can all lead to better understanding the different cultures and how to respect the other culture while visiting. I hope to learn a lot about doing research, working in a intercultural team and the Zambian culture. I’m looking forward to the upcoming months being part of the Sustainability Tourism Challange team!