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As part of our commitment to create social impact, we have a special program for struggling/underprivileged artists/home-based entrepreneurs of a city to earn additional income. These hosts and their activities have been personally designed, vetted and trialed by our product designers in the respective cities. And these Hosts are mostly individuals who work quietly in the underbelly of a city, creating amazing works of art that are often unappreciated and passed off as mass produced souvenirs for tourists. Where most see a souvenir, we see a personal story; a struggle for survival; a journey of self-discovery; years of practice and most importantly an undying passion to create. In addition to artisans and craftsmen, we’ve discovered that the backstreets also hold innumerable home-based workers who have amazing skills or are involved in work that ties in deeply with the culture of a place - they could be anyone from a housewife that can cook up a delicious local fare in Java, a hobbyist furthering the dying art of ancient calligraphy in Vietnam and a local hunter in Laos who loves to share local wisdom surrounding hunting and crafting one's own bow and arrow. These people are masters at what they do and just need an avenue to monetize it and share it with the world!

Most of our hosts have been found by reaching out to various NGO’s and handicraft organizations. Not only do they get a platform through Backstreet Academy to earn additional income but getting to teach their skills to others also validates their efforts and gives them a renewed sense of self-confidence.
The labels over listings that state "Backstreet Experience" shows that it is a signature activity of Backstreet Academy, where our team has assisted in the sourcing, creation and training of the host. These experiences are the most representative in showcasing the Backstreets and the intangible cultural heritage of a place and we personally guarantee that you'll enjoy them! The hosts are also part of our social impact program, where we assist people who can't speak English or access technology to create these amazing activities and provide them with a Backstreet Facilitator to translate the experience. They thus become micro-entrepreneurs who generate additional income from running these experiences, helping themselves move out of poverty.
Since most of our hosts cannot speak English, we have recruited and trained young and energetic facilitators to ensure that our hosts are not limited or denied an opportunity because of language or technology barriers. Facilitators are not tour guides and only provided for hosts who do not speak English. They are simply translators who are currently studying English at the local universities or English schools. Most of these young people are struggling to pay their school fees and living allowances after coming into the city from the provinces and need a job to upkeep these expenses. The school schedule however prevents them from being able to hold a full time job and a flexible part time job is often hard to come by, and Backstreet Academy’s program allows them to take up translating jobs anytime they want so that they can not only generate additional income for themselves, but also practice English and learn customer service for preparation of their career in tourism and hospitality.
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