For the owner, his family, and the crew of S/Y Dunia Baru, Raja Ampat is a special place, and the Dunia Baru Learning Center they’ve been building since February 2019 officially opened on October 23. Located in the village of Sauwandarek on the island of Mansuar, the Learning Center is intended to serve the entire Raja Ampat region.
It will be an educational hub where people can study, learn about conservation of their local environment and the importance of preserving the unique habitat, seek help for health-related issues, and train in professions that will help them connect with and capitalize on business opportunities from visiting yachts.
The center was designed by highly acclaimed Indonesian architect Popo Danes and constructed with sustainable materials and using traditional techniques. Deckhands Arman, Jamaluddin, and Nurmawan — all fifth-generation carpenters who helped build Dunia Baru — helped construct the center, and the crew have all been involved with the project at various stages, including transporting building supplies and educational tools for the local school.
One of the center’s initial programs will be the implementation of a better waste management system for the Sauwandarek community, which will make an impact on the amount of consumer waste likely to enter the sea and improve health and hygiene.
In addition to the learning center, the Dunia Baru team recently began their “Lighting the Future” campaign, which is installing solar-powered lighting donated by her owner Mark Robba in villages that have no electricity. This campaign is part of the vessel’s wider program of corporate social responsibility.
“Every time I leave Raja Ampat I long to return. It means a lot that I am able to give back to the area with this project,” Robba says. “It is my hope and intention to ensure so that the Learning Center will help to provide an economically viable and sustainable future for the families living here, in harmony with the environment.”
A percentage of all Dunia Baru’s future charter revenue from booking in the Raja Ampat archipelago will be donated to fund the center’s on-going role.
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