Where there’s love, there’s a ‘Ray of Hope’
Maldives Promotion House – Dusit Thani Maldives lays claim to being one of the leaders of sustainable resort development in the Indian Ocean. And this premier 5-star resort is also helping to improve living conditions for its local community, as well as provide educational and environmental development, through its creative ‘Ray of Hope’ CSR project.
The word ‘ray’ in this case refers to a spotted eagle ray. The reason it was chosen is simply because eagle rays are majestic and gentle creatures often found gliding over the house coral reef surrounding the resort.
“Eagle ray soft toys are placed in all guest villas and the price to ‘adopt’ it is only USD 40, with all of the proceeds going towards the resort’s Green Fund. The fund supports all green environmental initiatives on the island, in addition to various community-based projects,” said Mr. Desmond Hatton, General Manager of Dusit Thani Maldives.
More than half of Dusit Thani Maldives’ employees are local people from the nearby islands, and the proceeds from sales are invested in self-sustaining environmental and community projects. The resort aims to provide necessary facilities, including computers, and improve living conditions on Dhonfanu Island, while also providing educational development.
The resort’s marine biologist Lauren Arthur leads this project. Lauren works closely with the neighbouring Dhonfanu to help implement various projects, such as the implementation of a waste management system, instigating beach clean-ups with help from Dusit Thani Maldives, tree-planting projects, educational and workshops and more.
“A long-term goal is to have the school become free of plastic bags,” says Lauren Arthur. “We have already established an Environmental Club on Dhonfanu that consists of 29 young ambassadors who will help look after their home island. We are also proposing a longer-term plan to build a pre-school on the island, as there is currently nothing available for children of that age group.”