The communities of Cullinan, Dinokeng Game Reserve, and Refilwe were honored to host and welcome the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) Founder and President Louis D’Amore during his recent visit to South Africa. Mr. Dumisani Ntshangase, Deputy Director of Public Participation and Community Projects, and his team with the Gauteng Tourism Authority, hosted the visit to these communities.
Mr. D’Amore was accompanied by Dr. Patrick Kalifungwa, Vice Chancellor of Livingstone International University – Zambia, and IIPT Advisory Board member. He was joined in Cullinan by Mr. Maga Ramasamy, President of the IIPT Indian Ocean Islands Chapter based in Mauritius, and Mr. Victor Mutanga, UNESCO Youth Peace Ambassador for South Africa and Zimbabwe.
Tours through the Dinokeng Game Reserve, Imfundiso Jewellery school, Cullinan Diamond Mine, and the village of Cullinan were followed by a gala dinner at the Cullinan Diamond Lodge where Mr. D’Amore gave an inspiring presentation on IIPT’s history and an overview of global issues which can only be solved by a world at peace with itself.
Mr. Henk Roos, Executive of the Cullinan Diamond Mine, expressed his support for the work of IIPT and the important role that tourism can play in bringing about a culture of peace. Mr. Anthony Paton of the Dinokeng Game reserve quoted Albert Einstein saying, “Peace cannot be achieved through force. Peace can only be achieved by understanding.”
Mr. Dumisani Ntshangase shared a message from Ms. Dawn Robertson, CEO of both the Dinokeng and Gauteng Tourism Authority: “We are confident that the visit by Mr. D’Amore and Dr. Kalifungwa will result in very positive growth in visitation and bring benefits to local communities in the Dinokeng Project area.”
The community of Refilwe welcomed Mr. D’Amore and Dr. Kalifungwa with a cultural event sharing their talents through music, poetry, and dancing. An inspired – and inspiring - village meeting was held during the visit to Refilwe with village elders, NGO representatives, youth groups, and members of the community at large sharing their respective projects, concerns, and aspirations for the future.
There is no doubt that this special visit resulted in a legacy of hope, inspiration, and platforms wherein all can share in creating opportunities that will enhance the communities of Cullinan, Refilwe, and the Dinokeng Game Reserve.
The visit to these communities concluded with a peace tour through Mamelodi, City of Tshwane, and the beautiful capital city of Pretoria, with a final stop at the Voortrekker Monument commemorating the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854. The tour was led by Peterson Mahlungu and hosted by the City of Tshwane Tourism team Wouter Koekemore and Joe Sithole.