Barefoot Conservation meets the mayor of Raja Ampat

Barefoot Conservation meets the mayor of Raja Ampat

When Barefoot Conservation first came to Raja Ampat, we organised meetings with the Head of Tourism Board of Raja Ampat, Mr Yusdi in Waisai. We introduced our organisation and explained the community and science work that we would like to undertake in the region.

Barefoot Conservation meets Head of Tourism for Raja Ampat

Mr Yusdi seemed to be very excited about Barefoot Conservation and he even arranged a meeting with the Major of Raja Ampat, Drs Marcus Wanma M.Si.We never expected such a meeting would take place so soon but since it was already planned (and it would be rude to say no to the major), we agreed to see him on the following week.

On the day of the meeting with the major, we put on our smart outfit which meant Barefoot T-shirt, trousers and shoes! Mr Yusdi greeted us and introduced us to the Head of the Homestay Association, Mr Paulus.  After a brief conversation and a quick contact exchange, Mr Paulus left and the rest of us walked to the major’s office which was located just outside his office building. As soon as we entered the major’s room, we could feel a sense of power there. Massive room with classy furniture and carpeted floor welcomed us. Not to mention the gigantic statue of Jesus giving his blessings and plasma TV!

Mr Yusdi nervously introduced us to the major right away and we got to business. Simon then gave a short presentation on the missions of Barefoot Conservation. We essentially stated that we are here to help the community in many different aspects such as education, health services, diving safety, and conservation while still learning the culture and custom of the Papuan community. We also mentioned that the participation of stakeholders is the key to the success of our projects. The major accepted Barefoot Conservation, welcomed us to the region and gave his approval to start running our projects.

Barefoot Conservation meets the mayor of Raja Ampat

Both the major and Mr Yusdi eagerly offered their full support with our work and arranged to write us a letter of recommendation. We then said goodbye after taking some pictures to mark the event.