Employment and Economic Growth
We believe that now is the time to explore alternative methods of providing aid to the needy people of the Third World.
The Sumba Foundation believes that well managed responsible tourism projects can provide employment opportunities for the indigenous people without negatively impacting their sensitive cultures.
Gainful employment is critical to the success of any long-term aid program. In Sumba, families often pool their resources to pay for their brightest child’s education.
High schools are far from home in the provincial capital and universities are on other islands such as Timor, Java and Bali.
Because there are no job opportunities in Sumba its brightest children must leave the island to seek employment elsewhere. Once gone they rarely return, leaving the unskilled and undereducated behind. This emigration of the island’s brightest minds, of those who potentially could help their people in many ways, is a tragedy that must be addressed.
The Sumba Foundation supports agro-business programs that train and encourage business partnerships with the newly started tourism industry.
We are working with environmental organizations to teach bird trappers the language skills necessary to become tour guides for birding tours.
We intend to provide scholarships for children to attend hotel training schools and to find employment for the graduates in the resort nearby. Our efforts aim to promote enhanced income opportunities for the people of the villages. This will be a long-term commitment that will require us to work closely with the tourism industry as it develops on Sumba in the coming years.
We also see that The Sumba Foundation itself will become a major employer on the island. As the numbers of our water, health and education projects expand we will need to employ an ever increasing number of qualified staff.
We will find some of these staff in the schools that we are sponsoring in the remote reaches of the island. Those that qualify for scholarship and complete higher education will be brought back home to Sumba to help their people by working with us in our clinics and schools.
Many others will be needed to work in the construction and farming projects we develop; in fact there will be a need for hundreds of employees in the near future and a thousand or more within ten years.