Nihiwatu Lodge Sumba Island Indonesia Ampersand Travel 83
Nihiwatu Lodge Sumba Island Indonesia Ampersand Travel 72
Nihiwatu Lodge Sumba Island Indonesia Ampersand Travel 79

INDONESIA: The Sumba Foundation

The Sumba Foundation is deeply committed to lessening the consequences of poverty on the island of Sumba. Their aim is to provide humanitarian aid by fostering village-based projects that impact health (including access and malaria control), education, water and income-generation, while preserving and respecting the fragile culture and traditions of the Sumbanese people.

The Sumba Foundation was established by Claude Graves and Sean Downs in 2001. Since its inception, water, health, education and economic projects have grown to now cover a 164 square kilometre (101 miles) area in West Sumba. Some key highlights of their work to date include:

  • Five health clinics built and staffed by the Foundation
  • Malaria infection rates reduced by 85%
  • More than 60 water wells and 240 water stations developed
  • 16 primary schools supplied with water, toilets, tables, chairs, library books and supplies
  • Sumba Foundation Clinics provide reliable healthcare to over 20,000 people

Empowering communities is the cornerstone for the success of these projects, which build the foundation for a safer and healthier way of life, while preserving the traditions and unspoiled essence that makes Sumba so remarkable.

Community Development & Malaria Eradication:

More than 90% of all donations go directly to benefit the impoverished people of Sumba. In 1988 the island was stricken with poverty, sickness and inadequate health care. In response to the pressing needs on the island, The Sumba Foundation initiated the first Community Development Program in 2001. This Program was the first phase initiative of a long-term commitment that the Foundation set forth to lessen the impact of poverty and improve the quality of life for the Sumbanese people.

Sumba has one of the highest occurrences of malaria in Asia. To address this urgent problem, in 2004 they retained a world renowned malaria expert, Dr. Claus Bogh, to develop their malaria and health programs. People are now healthier and making money; this is the start of the end of poverty for many people on Sumba. They continue to build their long term plans for each of their landmark programs: water, health, nutrition, and education.

INDIA: Deepalaya

Deepalaya works towards enabling self reliance and is committed to working on issues affecting India’s urban and rural poor, with a special focus on women and children. Ampersand visited Deepalaya on a trip to Delhi and we were moved and inspired by the work that the charity does and their motivation to constantly improve the work that they do. We feel that it is important to support a country that we and you travel to on a frequent basis, and to know that your money is being used for the sole benefit of improving the country and its children.

Over the past 30 years, Deepalaya have established 337 educational centres in the urban slums of Delhi and has also made inroads into rural development in the states of Haryana and Uttarakhand, where 50,000 students are educated through formal and non-formal education. They have set-up four formal schools, a human resources centre, two transit homes for boys and girls and a vocational training institute. Their mission in all of these centres for learning is to promote and provide qualitative education at affordable costs (sometimes free) to children and communities which are socially and economically deprived. They thrive to give these children an opportunity in life, whether it’s nurturing a runaway child into their homes or giving their students proper vocational training to give them a head start in their professional lives. Donating any amount of money to this caring and professionally run charity will be sure to make a difference in a child’s life. To learn more about Deepalaya please visit their website:


Travel With a Smile…

Funding education through tourism is at the heart of ABOUTAsia – it’s the very reason it was founded. With the firm belief that luxury travel can simultaneously change the lives of the world’s most and least fortunate, 100% of ALL profits are donated to local communities through education. ABOUTAsia Schools to date supports over 53,000 children across 108 Schools in Cambodia through targeted educational programmes. ABOUTAsia makes a difference by supporting the following three targeted programmes run by ABOUTAsia Schools. 

1. School Supplies Programme

With no, or extremely limited, Government funding, most rural schools are in desperate need of additional help to allow them to function and cover their basic expenses. ABOUTAsia Schools is committed to carefully evaluating the situation at each school. We buy and deliver materials to facilitate learning such as pens, textbooks and chalk. We donate bicycles, computers and carry out facility repairs and renovations.

2. The English Programme

Currently delivered in 19 Rural Primary Schools, our English Programme employs and trains Cambodian English teachers to deliver free English classes for Primary Students. It also facilitates learning through equipping the teachers with curriculum textbooks and the means to monitor and assess the student's progress. With tourism the main industry in Siem Reap, this grounding in English Language is vital to enabling a student's future chances of employment. Recognising this importance, and the benefits of employing and training local teachers, we hope to expand this programme to more rural schools in 2016-2017.

3. Free Volunteering Programme

Through recruiting, training and supporting volunteer English teachers we are able to assist schools in their bid to raise the quality of English Language teaching. With English-speaking Cambodian teachers and government funded teacher training courses hard to come by, the role of our carefully selected volunteers is crucial to inspiring teachers and students alike. 

ABOUTAsia does not charge volunteers but does insist on a commitment of at least one month and relevant skills. If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sarah Pycroft for further information on how you can help.