Indonesia, a country of thousands of islands, is like a global village with diverse cultures and races in a microcosm! Every island seems to independently exist. All together they form a tourism network that provides people rich travel experience. However, many small islands are not even developed. Large territorial size and complicated social systems shape the local economy, education, and living standards.
Nihi Sumba Resort is located on Sumba Island. Its picturesque scenery with breathtaking seascape has attracted celebrities from all over the world. Local communities also have benefited from the operation of the Resort.
The Sumba Foundation, the Hope of the Sumbanese People
James McBride, CEO of Nihi Sumba Hotel, comes from South Africa. When he landed on Sumba Island, he was immediately drawn to its beauty. Meanwhile, he lamented about the living conditions, especially water shortage, poverty, and lack of education. After he started to run the hotel, 95% of his employees are local residents. In addition, he set up a foundation, whose operation relies on the revenue of the resort, to help solve various issues that the local people are struggling with, including education.
Before the establishment of the foundation, Sumba residents had been drinking groundwater, which caused the spread of many diseases with the most serious being malaria. There were no hospitals and clinics, and people’s lives had been constantly threatened. The Foundation raises more than US$600,000 annually. The fund is used to treat malaria, purchase mosquito nets, educate children, and provide clean potable water. They are also used to build clinics and hospitals among other infrastructure. After years of efforts, the malaria infection rate is reduced by 85%, more than 60 wells are constructed, and 240 water supply stations have been installed. Additionally, 16 elementary schools now have running water, toilets, tables and chairs, library books, and other supplies.
Charity Tourism A Positive Cycle
Guests of the Resort will be recommended to participate in a village tour to get a better understanding of the projects in which the Foundation is involved. This is also an opportunity for visitors to be part of the charity program.
During the visit, guests get to experience a different culture and how local education becomes possible through funds raised worldwide. A visit to the school allows first-hand information about the impact of poverty on education and daily subsistence; some families only have one meal a day. Children now have lunch in the school and some of them will only eat a portion of their meal and pack the rest back home for their family. The way they cherish food leaves an indelible impression.
The itinerary also includes a visit to the village. The trip provides a good opportunity to learn different cultures and customs and the importance of preserving them. Thatched houses characterize the local communities. Residents here own the land and have preserved their traditions. Each handicraft they make tells a story of local customs. There are many of them for purchase as souvenirs.
The innocent smiles of the children do not cease in a poverty-stricken place. Most of the visitors have a better understanding of the situation on the ground after the exploration trip, and thus are more willing to donate to keep the Foundation operated.
Heart With Love The Most Beautiful Place in the World
A short charity trip is also an educational trip about cherishing resources that we have in the world. Interactions and warm exchanges between people are not to be decided by the level of wealth. What we provide may be seen as gifts, but for us, we have learned and gained in giving. Participating in public welfare and interacting with local residents allow us to understand that a wealthy life is not merely about individual enjoyment, but also the feel of gratitude and the ability to contribute in return for the freedom that we have to interact with nature.
As their culture is protected, the Sumbanese people get to preserve their way of life. They sing traditional songs, ride horses, and dance to the traditional rhythm. Guests and locals enjoy the sky and oceanic beauty of mother nature. People here live sustainably. Mutual help and love for each other is the norm.
Our hard work in preserving this heaven-like land makes Nihi Sumba Resort the best hotel in the world. The warmth and friendliness of the people make this place the most beautiful retreat on the earth!