Although Suriname has profited overall from consistent economic growth (averaging around 4.4% since 2008), the fact remains that there are several underserved areas in the country, which do not instantly benefit from all this growth.
Especially the tribal and indigenous communities of the remote interior regions face many challenges, one being the lack of facilitation to develop entrepreneurship. But what the communities lack in facilitation they certainly make up for in perseverance to improve their living conditions.
This became ever so clear when the Bank on October 1, 2007 approved the ”Sustainable Livelihood Program for Saramaka (Maroon) Women” for the amount USD 80,000. The objective of this program was to design and develop a community-owned eco-tourism cultural village rest-stop and gift shop managed by all women community based organization.
The project consisted of four components:
1. Development of business plans for an eco-tourism rest stop and gift shop;
2. Design and construction of a green eco-tourism facility;
3. Develop and establish an enterprise to process and package herbs and teas for the gift shop and external organic market; and
4. Design and conduct training of women to manage and run the operations of the eco- tourism rest stop and gift-shop
The executing agency , de National Vrouwen beweging ( National Women’s Movement ( NVB) based in the capital Paramaribo , partnered with the women of Saamakka Maroon villages Godo & Solang to implement this initiative. The women organized themselves in a community based organization called “Hoi Tanga” meaning “Keep Holding on”. This Video blog tells the story of these extraordinary women from the upper Suriname River, who were determined to make a change in their lives despite all of the adversities and how, with a relatively small contribution, IDB was able to help this community to fulfill a dream.