A key consideration in our approach to developing Nikoi was to work with the local communities on Bintan and neighbouring islands. Not only do many of our staff come from these communities we support these communities by sourcing our supplies locally.
The picture of Bintan changes once you travel beyond the entrance to the Bintan Resorts zone. The broad population has by and large been left behind by developments in the tourist zones. This is especially true in the coastal areas where fishing is the main occupation and rising fuel costs, over-fishing and sea travel restrictions have taken their toll on local incomes.
Through The Island Foundation we are working to help improve the income, health and education in these communities. In doing so, we hope to address environmental concerns and implement sustainable community-based projects centered on social justice, community organization, micro-finance and entrepreneurialism. We believe that poverty alleviation/eradication is the correct long-term goal, in its own right and because so many other issues flow from it in terms of poor education, sub-standard health care, low environmental standards, lack of economic opportunity, pessimism and fixed local hierarchies. All of these things are evident in the Riau Archipelago.
Nikoi staff take great pride in our involvement in these projects and we encourage them to get involved with the programs run by The Island Foundation.