Raja Ampat Community, West Papua

Raja Ampat community found themselves are under a threat when they faced world tourism industry coming at their door. New resorts were built on their land using manipulative ways. They lost their land and were forced to be workers in the resorts owned by foreigners with low wage. Others leased their land and were trapped in debt cycle in order to be able to pay their children’s school and to make ends meet. It is also difficult for people of Raja Ampat to access marine and forest space caused by resorts’ control over the spaces.

Some people starts to see there has been something wrong with their lives. By doing emancipatory research and critical education, they explored what had happened to their lives, as individual and community. They started to see the powers that made them powerless.

With this critical awareness, some people of Raja Ampat built homestay for their livelihood. Finally some of them established Business and Livelihood Association of Raja Ampat People (called shortly as PERJAMPAT) which is a business social organization aimed at improving people’s welfare, preserve enviromental sustainability and strenghten culture and identity of Raja Ampat People.

Today, the Association is trying to build social enterprise whose share are owned collectively by homestay owners in Raja Ampat. The profit generated from this social enterprise is planned to be used to expand economic chance through opening new employments as well as to expand critical awareness among Raja Ampat People through popular education.