New roofs for the pondoks – a community project

  • July 3, 2017

Here at Papua Explorers we work closely with the neighbouring village of Yenwaupnor. A traditional Papuan village, Yenwaupnor is home to around 300 people. Whilst a happy community full of smiling faces, like many of the villages in the region it is still largely undeveloped with limited infrastructure for basic services such as running water, power supply, education and healthcare. Most adults do not hold “paid jobs” as you might know them, but rather live simply; fishing for sustenance and participating in the construction and maintenance of village infrastructure.

One of the greatest things we can do as a resort in an undeveloped area, is help to improve the livelihoods of members of local communities through job skills training and employment. By employing 1 local community member, the wellbeing of an entire family can be improved. 70% of our staff are Papuan, from Yenwaupnor or surrounding villages. The majority of these staff members have been trained “from scratch”, to now hold a respectable set of workplace skills and varying levels of English. Local community members hold positions at the resort in the kitchen, housekeeping, laundry, and as dive guides and boat crew.

We also frequently employ community members to complete special projects. Currently we are replacing the rooftops of all the pondoks. Originally when our pondoks were built, a number of different families from the village completed the construction of 1-2 pondoks each. Now, to change the roofs, families from the village return and once again, as a family unit, remove the old roofs (‘atap’), and replace with new, hand constructed atap. A family affair in every sense of the word, both men and women, young and old, and are involved in this process.

Not only do we (continue to!) marvel at this level of craftsmanship, but we are proud to be able to work alongside members of our local community.

For more information about our community work, please visit: www.seacentre.org/project/community-work

Text: Lynn Lawrance

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