Last night, hosts on Airbnb, along with friends, family and members from different communities in the Western Cape, South Africa, came together to launch Africa’s first home sharing club in Khayelitsha. The Club already has exciting plans in place to launch a number of volunteer activities to support different communities in the Western Cape. This community-led work is reflected in the club’s name, Tirisano, which means ‘to work together’ in Tswana.
The club was launched by home sharers from underserved communities across the Western Province, Mawande Kondlo, Lydia Masoleng, Juliet (Tiny) Gobeni and Maria who met on a pilot programme run by Airbnb in partnership with Open Africa, South African College for Tourism and Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) which focused on fostering entrepreneurship, technology and hospitality skills. Tirisano’s Home Sharing Club Leaders have since recruited other hosts to join the club, making it the first of its kind in the region.
Hosts and members of the Khayelitsha community also had the chance to welcome Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Communications at Airbnb who is visiting South Africa this week.
Maria, a host from Khayelitsha spoke about what this club means to her and other hosts in the Western Cape:
“It is so great for me to be a part of this home sharing club. I just see myself as being a part of the whole world. It’s opened up so many doors and I can already see I have such a bright future. I’m looking forward to seeing our new club grow, to welcoming new people and being able to help different communities.”
Chris Lehane also had the opportunity to thank hosts and the whole community for their warm welcome:
“Nelson Mandela, who travelled a lot in his early years, said that, when you travel, you should take something from the place you visit and, in return, you should leave something behind. I’m not yet sure what Airbnb is leaving behind for you but I hope that it’s a lot. What I do know, is that I am taking so much from being here with you all tonight.”
Airbnb is supporting the creation of Home Sharing Clubs around the world to help hosts come together to share advice and best practices, meet other like-minded people in the community, to support volunteer activity and advocate for fair home sharing laws. There are more than 200 Clubs operating in communities around the world and new home sharing clubs launch every week. Sign up to create your own home sharing club.