Filter your search
Search for yachts, articles, offices,
team and more...

Yacht charter and corporate social responsibility – how this unexpected pairing is changing lives in Raja Ampat
13th March 2023

CONTACT OUR TEAM Facebook Linkedin Twitter Email Whatsapp

SEQUOIA Luxury Sailing Yacht for Charter | C&N
26.30m | Saleh and D.E.N | 2017 (2022)
3 Cabins | 6 Guests | 12 Crew

From: US$ 87,500 p/w

C&N News

Yacht charter and corporate social responsibility – how this unexpected pairing is changing lives in Raja Ampat

For Yessi Sari, owner of Sequoia, when an opportunity presented itself to pair her luxury charter business with an initiative that stood to benefit children in remote communities across Indonesia, it was an easy decision to make.

“I am Indonesian so understandably the needs of people living in these remote islands and the preservation of this incredible environment are causes that are close to my heart,” begins Sari.

For those living in the Raja Ampat region and the remote islands of Indonesia, access to the day-to-day amenities many of us take for granted is difficult enough, but access to education is in even scarcer supply. “Life here is beautiful, but it’s hard,” continues Sari. “The people here eat what they catch that day, there’s no local store to top-up your supplies from, and any form of healthcare or education is desperately needed.”

It was a European charter guest who, upon completing their trip, asked Sari how they could make a positive impact to the lives of the people they’d met during their cruise. “This charter guest’s eyes had been opened, in a wonderful way, and he asked me how we can make a link between people like him and the Indonesian families living across the many islands,” explains Sari. “There is more than one kind of isolation,” says Sari, “You can be surrounded by wealth and material things and still feel huge disconnect from other human beings. But when charter guests, sometimes with their own children, are face to face with children who live here on the islands, the smiles and connection has the power to unite continents and very different lives in a very powerful way.”

Sari goes on to explain how the meetings and introductions she can facilitate for her charter guests offer a very genuine and rare insight to life on Indonesia’s islands. For this particular guest, identifying a way to make a difference to these children and establishing a lasting link between his life in Europe and the communities he met in Indonesia, became the top priority and Sari connected him with an NGO who operate in the area.

“The NGO helped us work out what it would cost per student per year to provide a basic education in a safe learning environment with the necessary materials, and from there we were able to ascertain an annual figure for helping over one hundred children,” explains Sari. With the annual cost identified as from just $50 per child per year, the Child Aid Papua Foundation was formed and with one clear vision: To provide every child in Raja Ampat with access to the quality of education and knowledge required for a lifetime of learning and empowerment, and the ability to contribute to a healthy and safe environment with long term protection of the natural world around them.

Fast forward three years, and today the Foundation runs educational programmes covering primary and junior high-school ages in literacy, numeracy, health and hygiene, art and culture, as well as lessons in environmental responsibility and conservation. The money goes directly to the school with no middle-man or administrative expense, and it’s used to buy educational supplies like books and pencils, and to pay the teachers a modest salary. “These teachers aren’t government employees, they are freelance, and they share the same vision we do. They don’t ask for a lot, we’re talking just $200 to $300 per month in wages,” explains Sari.

Around 150 children currently benefit each year, and that number is expected to grow with us continuing to share details of the programme and evidence its impact to their guests. “Of course, I want people to contribute, but I also want them to see first-hand why it’s important and what an amazing difference they can make,” say Sari. “Many of our charter guests are involved with philanthropic projects elsewhere in the world and whilst it may be easy for them to make money, giving money away can actually be hard – you need assurances it’s going where it’s meant to, and here is it really tangible – they can see what is being achieved and how we are improving people’s lives.”

And Sari highlights the impact this initiative has had on her own life, too: “It is only right that our success is shared. Everywhere we go and everyone we meet contributes to the experience that guests have when they charter here. Because I am Indonesian, we are often permitted to take the boat and our guests to places that others can’t and I respect that privilege. We operate with a carefully managed eco-conscious methodology, minimising our environmental impact as far as possible, and I want to help protect this special part of the world – it’s an area of immense biodiversity and it’s critically important. This Foundation is just the beginning.”

Whilst she’s not involved with the day-to-day running of the Foundation itself, Sari is committed to championing the cause through her communications. “Whether I am educating our guests about the region in general, telling them about the Foundation, taking them to see it in action, or employing someone from the school to work aboard Sequoia, everything helps – it all combines together to create change.”

“With Sequoia we strive to be different and to show people what’s really happening in the region. We provide luxury, good food, good wine, great service, but the greatest thing we can provide is this opportunity to connect with Indonesia and connect with different lives.”

This year, Sari intends to offer Sequoia for charter in the more remote locations of Solor, Alor, Kaimana, Misool as an alternative to places like Komodo, which receives a higher number of visitors and great influx of money to the local economy. “These destinations aren’t as famous but they are as beautiful, and they are where I believe people should go. I want to help expand the reach of the Foundation and its positive impact, and this is one way I can do it, and the experience for charter guests will be incredible. That’s our unique strength with Sequoia, I’m Indonesian and I can sail beyond the postcard.”

If you would like to know more about chartering Sequoia and embarking on an authentic Indonesian charter experience with her expert crew, please contact us.

For anyone wanting to make a contribution to the Foundation, we invite you to contact us here. The Foundation welcomes support at all levels but encourages supporters to consider their commitment on a per-island basis, with the potential to help hundreds of children at a time.