The Ray of Hope Expedition is just around the corner and we are preparing for the See and Sea projects that will take place while visiting the Moken in the Mergui Archipelago. The Moken are a seafaring nomadic community, often referred to as Sea Gypsies.

Moken children play on the beach with a bike

The children of Bo Choo Island

Based in the islands that make up the Mergui Archpelago in Burma, the Moken are unrecognised by any government and are therefore listed in the top 5 poorest ethnic communities in the world. Despite their underprivileged standard of living, they always welcome us warmly and are happy with the efforts we make to help their community.

Moken villagers try new glasses

Distributing reading glasses to the Moken

The See and Sea Organisation was created with the intention to improve the quality of life of the Moken and work with them to ensure a sustainable future, both economically and environmentally.

Following on from past years, we are collecting glasses to distribute amongst those with poor eye sight. The Moken are renowned to have poor eyesight on land due to their activities under the oceans surface. Malaria is also a problem in the community, so we are gathering malaria treatment and prevention kits to be given to the local clinic. Of course as an impoverished community, education facilities are lacking and sub-standard, we do our best to take some educational supplies for use in the local schools.

Moken fisherman gives the thumbs up

Encouraging the local fishermen

Encouraging the local fishermen

See and Sea will also provide educational literature for the local fisherman. This is intended to encourage sustainable fishing methods, both for the health of the ocean, and also so that the community has a means of income and food source for years to come.

Delivering wheelie bins to the Moken villagers of Bo Choo Island

Delivering wheelie bins to the Moken villagers of Bo Choo Island

Another effort we make for the environment is a waste management system, this is in the form of litter bins. These were purchased with money raised on previous Ray of Hope Expeditions.

See and Sea and the Moken villagers of Bo Choo Island

Guests of Ray of Hope with the Moken

We will visit Bo Choo Island on the 5th day of the Expedition. We always encourage our guests to contribute and participate in this work; the community work experience here is often seen as a highlight for guests when completing the Ray of Hope.