Projects Koen Vanmechelen @ ViaVia Entebbe

2023 started with major festivities for ViaVia Entebbe, celebrating the cooperation with Belgian artist Koen Vanmechelen (La Biomista) to set up two ambitious art-community-science projects in Entebbe, Uganda: the CosmoGolem Project and the Planetary Community Chicken Project.

Koen Vanmechelen and ViaVia Entebbe will build a giant CosmoGolem with and for the children of the community. The CosmoGolem is a wooden giant that strives to be a symbol of hope and evolution. This giant will be a place where children can dream, play and share their thoughts and feelings. Dance, poetry, stories, visual arts, … every form of expression is possible, combining art with children rights for a more just and sustainable world.

During spring the CosmoGolem will be built together with the children, local entrepreneurs and people from the community. Then several workshops will be organised for the children to stimulate them to express their thoughts and emotions.

At the same time chickens of Koen Vanmechelen’s Cosmopolitan Chicken Project will be introduced in the community. By crossing them with local hens, a more sustainable chicken will be created: the Planetary Community Chicken, enhancing the resilience and diversity of the birds. These Planetary Community Chickens will be distrubuted to local househoulds, providing the with eggs, meat and extra income.

On January 4th the official launch of both projects in Entebbe was celebrated in the presence of Koen Van Mechelen, founder of Joker Reizen Bob Elsen, Pieter & Lobke of ViaVia Entebbe and many local guests.

Both projects aim to address global challenges to sustainable food systems through diversity and activate the power of creativity as motor for development.

Read all about both projects here.

New ViaVia in Benin: ViaVia Grand-Popo

On the 31st of October 2021 the official launching ceremony was held to welcome ViaVia Grand-Popo in the worldwide family of ViaVia travellers Cafés. A Belgian delegation of Joker ViaVia attended the ceremony.

The ViaVia Travellers Café Grand-Popo was established together with Centre Nonvignon, an initiative of Ecobénin, an organization offering sustainable tourism and coordinating large agricultural projects with a focus on ecology and entrepreneurship. At the Centre Nonvignon, Eco-Bénin started a horeca training for young people from poorer backgrounds. These young students can put their knowledge into practice in the ViaVia café and restaurant.

The official launching ceremony was enlighted by a cultural animation of the horeca training students. They decorated the restaurant and the guests were treated to a very extensive buffet of hot and cold dishes, enjoying a fresh breeze and the sound of the ocean in the background. A lovely place for tourists and locals to come together!

Keep an eye on the Joker website to discover more on trips to Benin and the offical opening trip, planned in 2023!

Merhaba, Welcome in ViaVia Marrakech in Morocco

In 2020 Lotte and Rachid started an adventure that would become much more challenging than ever expected. This Belgian Moroccon couple, brought together by travelling, was getting ready to open their ViaVia in Marrakech when the world locked down.

Lotte met Rachid during one of her trips to Morocco. That meeting turned out to be great love and a turning point in their lives. She exchanged her Brussels for his Marrakech, they got a beautiful son Nizar and opened their ViaVia Joker Travellers Café. By combining their travel experiences, enthusiasm and strengths, they are able to create a project with a positive impact, as social entrepreneurs. In the first place for their employees and for the neighborhood where the ViaVia café is located, but of course also for their guests, whom they want to give an authentic, unique experience on their city trip in Marrakech.

The ViaVia Travellers Cafe Marrakech is one of the new spots that has been added to the ViaVia worldwide network. Its opening was delayed from April 2020 to November 2020 due to the strict lockdown. Meanwhile, the ViaVia café has grown into a place for locals and tourists alike who come to enjoy the beautiful architecture, the delicious food, the lush (indoor) gardens and the cozy markets you find in Marrakech.

Lotte and Rachid are looking forward to welcome you in their café: “ViaVia Marrakech is a place to taste the world, to meet people and to discover the city. This café and restaurant is decorated with traditional moroccan crafts and has its own unique touch. In our place you find cosy spots for a tête à tête as well as large tables for big families and groups. The rooftop terrace gives you a nice view over the Mellah and Kasbah area and of course you spot the Koutoubia mosque. We serve different drinks and dishes inspired by world flavors. ViaVia is also your partner to explore Marrakech. We offer city tours and activities.”

Discover ViaVia Harganat in Mongolia

ViaVia Harganat joined the ViaVia community just recently. Belgian born art historian and painter Katrien created a beautiful place in the heart of Mongolië, together with her husband Bat, who grew up in the region as a young boy.

As a place rooted in rich Mongolian culture as well as wild free nature, ViaVia Harganat is a place that connects people from all over the world, in a majestic spot on this planet, where you feel the magic in the air, like it began with two people from very different cultures coming together.

A spacious wooden house, twenty modern relaxing gers with comfortable beds, a refined restaurant offering local produce with magnificent view, a round wellness center with warm showers and toilets decorated with river stones shining like gems, next to a sauna and outdoor swimming pool to refresh on hot summer days, are waiting to accomodate you.

In an area diverse in landscapes, river valley over steppe to mountain range, an extensive variety of activities is available. Horse riding, fly fishing, hiking and biking,…This timeless space is where the magic takes place. ViaVia Harganat will be officially opened with a Belgian delegation in June 2023.

Check out the Joker website for this Limited Edition trip to Mongolië with the opening party for ViaVia Harganat!