One key aspect to the engagement with the local community was to establish The Island Foundation. Registered as a charity in Singapore the Foundation has been able to attract external donors that has allowed the Foundation to have a much larger reach than might have been achieved by a small resort operation on its own.
The Island Foundation works with the local community on Bintan and neighbouring islands to help them to help themselves. Initially the focus of the Foundation’s efforts has been to establish a network of libraries so that the local children can learn English and IT. (If you have any books suited for children below 10 and would like to donate them, please bring them with you and pass them to our Manager when you arrive. Please, no books with religious stories or themes.)
Since establishing the first learning centre the Foundation has been approached by other villages to help establish more centres. The Foundation’s education programs are designed to supplement the local school education and the focus on English and IT is so that they will have opportunities to benefit from the growing tourism industry in the area. A full time independent CEO and independent directors have been appointed to run the Foundation.
The Island Foundation
Like Nikoi, Cempedak aims to become a Long Run Alliance Member (LRAM). This means that we directly manage or significantly influence the management of a natural area of conservation value with defined geographical boundaries, have signed The Long Run Charter and are committed to achieving sustainability through a holistic balance of the 4Cs: conservation, community, culture and commerce.
Being part of the Long Run Initiative means applying The Long Run approach to life of acting today for a better tomorrow and aspiring to become a Global Ecosphere Retreats® certified Long Run Destination, actively demonstrating innovative approaches to sustainable business and providing practical examples of sustainability in action.
More information on The Island Foundation
A key consideration in our approach to developing Cempedak was to work with the local communities on Bintan and neighbouring islands. Not only do many of our staff come from these communities but the island supports these communities by sourcing supplies locally.
The picture of Bintan changes once you travel beyond the entrance to the Bintan Resorts zone. The broad population has by and large been left behind by developments in the tourist zones. This is especially true in the coastal areas where fishing is the main occupation and rising fuel costs, over-fishing and sea travel restrictions have taken their toll on local incomes.
Through The Island Foundation the island is working to help improve the income, health and education in these communities. In doing so the goal is to address environmental concerns and implement sustainable community-based projects centered on social justice, community organization, micro-finance and entrepreneurialism.
The approach is that poverty alleviation/eradication is the correct long-term goal, in its own right and because so many other issues flow from it in terms of poor education, substandard health care, low environmental standards, lack of economic opportunity, pessimism and fixed local hierarchies. All of these things are evident in the Riau Archipelago.
Cempedak staff take great pride in our involvement in these projects and are encouraged to get involved with the programs run by The Island Foundation.
Cempedak has a Responsible Tourism Policy which is reviewed and updated annually – here is a link to the most recent version of that document.
If you are interested in finding out more about our programs or would like to help out then please do get in touch with us by emailing [email protected].