As tourism arrives to their shores they are often left behind, not knowing what the possibilities are or how to take them. Land grab, outside developers and operators, and inexperienced local governments alongside a very low standard of education are the reasons.
How do you prepare communities that have never used a laptop, seen themselves in a video or photo, acted independently of others in their community, seen a map of the world or know how long an hour feels like, for 21st century tourism and the expectations of visiting foreigners?
To enable local communities to realise their visions of their future along tourism lines, programmes that encourage self-expression, confidence and thus self-worth along with relevant knowledge and skills are critical.
To meet these needs we use our unique SENSE syllabus consisting of three complimentary and interlinked programmes: Communication and Creative Media; The Ocean; Technology, Social Media and Entrepreneurism, created over the last eight years of operating amongst isolated coastal communities in Indonesia.
Without support local communities will not have the courage nor means to engage and step forward, but remain confused, in the shadows and with a loss of identity and degradation to marine ecosystems.
The current state of our planet desperately needs empowered local communities acting in their and their natural environments’ best interests with women playing a prominent role.
Our SENSE syllabus encourages values of self-expression, self-belief, gender-equality, imagination and collaboration while providing critical skills and knowledge that students can not access anywhere else. It is taught by a combination of local staff, overseas volunteers who are critical to facilitate cross-cultural understanding, and trained local school teachers.
Students learn conversational English, how to take photographs and make videos, and storytelling/documenting skills.
Students learn how to surf, swim, snorkel, take photographs and make videos underwater, develop a passion for the marine environment and its protection, and understand the diverse and sustainable use of the ocean environment for marine tourism.
Students learn how to use computers, email, edit photographs and videos, how to use Facebook and Instagram and create digital products, and and how to set up entrepreneurial initiatives and
reach an international audience.
We create them with the local communities we are involved with, who identify these centres as “their place”. They enable a collaborative process to evolve and flourish with committed, long-term engagement. Our partners use our centres and they are bases for some of the local entrepreneurial initiatives we help to set up.
Currently we are partnering with Conservation International and Save The Waves to develop Surf and Nature Tourism Parks across Indonesia with the goals of increasing community development and saving marine ecosystems.
Learn more about the project here by watching a short film from January of this year:
We work with Locally Managed Marine Areas Indonesia, and local, provincial and national government, elementary and secondary schools and universities.