The 51m Indonesian phinsi Dunia Baru is continuing its work with the communities of Raja Ampat, an archipelago in the east of Indonesia, to improve education and ensure a sustainable future for the locals. Spearheaded by owner Mark Robba, the project started with the building of a learning centre in the village of Saundarek. While fishing sustains the locals, they value and protect the reefs that surround the village and, aware of the benefits tourism will bring to the area, are eager to ensure an economically viable and sustainable future.
Raja Ampat is an area of real significance to Dunia Baru. One of the most diverse marine environments in the world, the yacht spends several months each year cruising among its 1500 islands and limestone karsts. “Raja Ampat is a very special place for me and my family as well as for Dunia Baru and her charter guests,” explains Robba. “The scenery is amazing and the people have always been so kind. It means a lot that I am able to give back to the area.”
It was a meeting between Robba and the Raja Ampat government in early 2018 about the new policies being implemented to increase the benefit of tourists coming to the region that highlighted the need for libraries and sewed the idea for an ongoing education and sustainability project. Robba had been looking for a meaningful way to give back to the area and this presented the perfect opportunity.
“It has given me the opportunity to be involved with the locals; to see how they live and how they can be happy with so little,” Robba continues. “Having also brought guests and the crew with me to see the project evolve, we always left feeling like we had gained something special. Through this, I have discovered a more meaningful way to use my yacht.”
Having made a corporate social responsibility commitment of $10,000 a year to Raja Ampat, Dunia Baru’s work with the local communities continues apace. In the upcoming season, a campaign will be commencing to install solar-powered street lights in 10 different villages that currently do not have electricity. The opportunity to help with the campaign will also be offered to Dunia Baru’s charter guests.
Robba is hoping that other yachts operating in the Raja Ampat area, as well as future charter guests, will follow Dunia Baru’s lead and assist with the building and efforts in the other villages. “Everyone needs to make the environment a top priority, not just yachts,” he concludes. “The yachting community represents a large economic power, so I urge everyone to get involved.”
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