We believe in empowering the Les villagers to better their livelihoods through our programs. We host groups interested in community service, and create programmes with the village elders that allow the visiting group to give a meaningful contribution to the village's day-to-day lives.
Just by staying, snorkelling and diving at Les Village, you help the villagers with dive tourism and upgrade their livelihoods. US$28 per person goes to Adopt a Coral, which pays for the coral rehabilitation program. On top of that, what you paid in the package price goes directly to the local village supplier for diveguiding, porterage, food and lodging.
In addition we have worked with groups from schools, universities and youth groups to create community service programmes that give a meaningful cultural interaction between the group and the villagers. This could be teaching programmes immersing wih the local schools. Or building facilities needed by Les villagers. The visiting groups fund-raise for the building of educational facilities such as kindergartens and a computer literacy centre. They then join the villagers hands-on in building the facilities. We are also fostering awareness of the damaging plastics litter through creative ideas such as combining village clean-ups with marine debris surveys, as well as facilitating the start of plastic recycling by the village. Read more about our group community action programs here.
That’s why we don’t have a business model relying on grants. We pride ourselves on no-handouts. We want to show that grassroots communities can make a living in harmony with the seas and forests rather than through destructive practices, without government assistance. And we have shown not only Les villagers that. Other villagers in Indonesia have taken notice and are visiting Les regularly to learn from what we have done here.