Cooperation with students/ university
In March 2011 Via Vacare welcomed and hosted students of engineering. They have done research on developing Via Vacare as an eco resort. They have interviewed islanders on Gili Gede in order to orientate on possibilities for eco development, sustainable for Profit, Planet and People. More information: maargroos at hotmail.com (Mr. Maarten Groosman). On Youtube you can find Dutch spoken video's about their visit here.
Plastic waste campaigns
Via Vacare organizes ‘ plastic garbage beach cleaning’ regularly. Like many other islands Gili Gede is confronted with the amount of plastic on the beach, coming from the ocean, especially on certain days with special wind directions. The local people are not really aware of the effects of plastic for their health and own living yet (most of them are fishermen). It is important to keep on looking for a more effective strategy and solution for the waste problems on Gili Gede. So every support and idea from guests is welcome!
In 2013/2014 we were happy to host 2 students from the agricultural university in Wageningen, who stayed for 2 months developing and operating and plastic education program for schoolchildren and their parents, heads of villages and inhabitants. One of the results is a women cooperation, starting to sell succesfully plastic wallets and bags. But of course it is a long way to stabilize awareness of the plastic danger and still beaches are covered with plastic especially in rain season time, when all the garbage from main land and ocean is brought in by the waves.
We hope to realize in near future a garbage team of woman workers(women are searching for employability) who can collect the garbage at beachplaces where no one is living. Important is also a good system to transport and to destroy the plastic. Till now people are burning or burying it or waiting for the sea to take it away to other places.
In via vacare we collect the bottle(hard plastic) and tins to give away to the village where they can sell it for recycling, the paper we burn and the soft plastic we put in rice bags mixed with earth and try to build with it.
Fresh water and electricity
Gili Gede has spare fresh water wells. Fresh water is valuable and Via Vacare has to buy it from the mainland and transport to the resort. Guests are asked to be aware of the value of water and to try to limit their needs for showering and bathing. Electricity comes from generator and is available 6 hours a day. Via Vacare also provides candles, solar lamps, and led lights (and a thousand stars…) , the toilets are flushed with salt water.
The program of Gili Gede is focused on getting access to electricity and running fresh water in 2015…Indonesian time..
In 2015 we will welcome an Australian teacher in Indonesian and English language. He will give a English course (3 periods of 2 weeks) to teach English to children (13-15 year) and adults. For the people who already worked with tourists and also for people who like to work in tourism in future, it is important to speak and understand English. In a very practical and appealing way the program will focus on everyday life and communication.
The resorts on Gili Gede ( 4 resorts) have started in 2012 meetings to discuss the development of ecotourism on the island. On the agenda is amongst others the use of motorbikes on the island, the effect of gold mining on the main land, plastic waste, protection of the coral, responsible employment for the local people, a good relationship between tourist and Gili Gede people.
Offers from guests
Workshops music at Gili Gede school
I had a 6 week sabbatical stay in Via Vacare. It was a wonderful and productive time. A meeting point for people who are able to inspire each other with their life stories and view of life. Also I have great memories about the music workshops I have given to students and teachers at the school
- Frank de Milt, coach/ lecturer and (fabulous) singer and guitar player.
Plastic garbage cleaning action
To clean the beach with the children was a very nice activity, and to see the happy faces because of the reward of a pen and notebook. But it make us sad to realize that this solution is only temporary and probably takes a long time before the local people and government will give priority to clean their island in a more sustainable way.
- Tineke and Bertien, Dutch guests
Sharing baby clothing
We took a big suitcase full of second hand children clothing. It was a great joy and fun for us to give and for them to receive. We have also given the nurse on the health post a lot of baby clothes. And we realize how easily we throw away in the west and how easy it was to collect the clothes. We just took a small backpack for ourselves and that was enough!
- Maria and Catharina