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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.