Many times new visitors are surprised to learn that there are people living within the boundaries of Bunaken National Marine Park. Although the park has now been around for a long time (established in 1991) there were already several communities living on the 5 islands of Siladen, Bunaken, Manado Tua, Mantehage and Nain. Many of these communities previously relied heavily on fishing and farming, however most now work closely with tourism. As we also rely heavily on the support of the locals, especially those living on Siladen, we feel that it is equally as important to help the community as it is to provide our guests with the vacation experience that they have dreamed of!
We have several ongoing social commitment projects, ranging from providing electricity to the village, to collecting stationary for the local school. Recently, we have had Leonor from Portugal staying with us. She is a fully qualified medical doctor, and has been sharing her wisdom throughout the island. She has been busy refreshing all the staff at the resort with their CPR and first aid training, as well as teaching all the local children about the importance of hygiene. This is very important, as sicknesses can spread very quickly on a small island if nobody knows how to manage it.
For those who have been to places such as Indonesia, you may have noticed how many stray dogs and cats there are. This is because of a combination of the lack of a pound service, lack of access to sterilisation programs, a lack of waste disposal service (lots of food!), and a climate that allows the animals to comfortably survive without shelter. It is a problem that plagues many place around the world, especially in developing countries in the tropics. Luckily on a small island, it should be an easy problem to manage, as the large water barrier that surrounds us prevents further animals from moving in.
Recently we have brought a vet in from Manado, and she has been vaccinating as many animals as she could get her hands on. This of course prevents disease from spreading between the animals and thus improves their quality of life, but also prevents diseases spreading to humans too. She also neutered as many of the male dogs that she could get her hands on, which should help slow the growth of the animal populations. As there were many that she couldn’t get to, or many that were not old enough for the treatment, she will return in a few months to continue her work.
These are just a few of our many social commitment projects. If you would like to help contribute towards any project, learn about other social projects, or have any ideas yourself that may benefit the island or Bunaken Marine Park, we would love to hear from you! You can contact us directly as [email protected]