The Future For Children’s development program for the arid Muntigunung area of Bali received the 2011 Skal International Sustainable Development Award in Tourism for Cities and Villages at the opening ceremony of the 72nd Skal International Congress held in Turku Finland on Tuesday, September 19.
Future for Children is a small Switzerland based not-for-profit aid organization active in the very dry and remote Northeast of Bali.
Skål International founded in 1934, is the largest organization of travel and tourism professionals in the world. It is the only association which embraces all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, in 90 countries on 5 continents, in over 500 locations, with 20,000 members.
To encourage the conservation of the environment and help to promote the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, Skål International initiated the awards program in 2002. This year, Skal received a total of 33 projects, from 18 different countries.
The projects received were evaluated by 4 independent judges and the scores given by each separately, were added up to find the winners in each category. The primary criteria for the evaluation were contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability, and innovation.
The Future for Children’s Muntigunung program, strongly supported by the Bali Hotels Association (BHA) was recommended for the Skal award by the 171-member Skal Club of Bali, the largest club in Southeast Asia and the fifth largest club in the world.
The Muntigunung program develops and executes strategies for poverty eradication by providing water supply, income generation, and education through projects, which are supported by Bali hotels and their guests.
There’s a breathtaking trekking adventure guided by the women who were formerly beggars; the production of cashew nuts and healthy rosella tea and sweets as wholesale, retail, and minibar products for sale to the members of the Bali Hotel Association and others properties; plus the production of lontar baskets and gourds as packaging.
The result is a sustainable poverty eradication program through partnership, which can be used as a role model in other places producing products that are price competitive and have a high quality to satisfy guests of the hotels as they participate in a joint action, which is visible and supports the development of the poorest region in Bali.
The Bali Hotels Association is a professional group of star-rated hotels and resorts in Bali. Members include general managers from more than 100 hotels and resorts in Bali that represent more than 15,000 hotel rooms and almost 30,000 employees in the tourism sector.
One of the objectives of BHA is to support and facilitate the development of communities, education, and the environment in Bali. BHA has initiated many projects involving the association members, as well as the people in the industry. Only by supporting each other, can these long-term projects be achieved and benefit everyone on the island.
PHOTO (L to R): Tony Boyle, President of Skal International; Urs Klee, President of Skal Bali; Michael Daryanani of Skal Bali; and Future For Children Board member Karin Vogt