Sumba, Indonesia

“Genuine hospitality will take you places you never imagined”. This is the driving force behind the Sumba Hospitality Foundation (SHF).


The Sumba Hospitality Foundation believes that all young people should get an opportunity in life to grow and make a better future for themselves. Sumba is a beautiful, friendly island with a highly distinctive culture, which is slowly developing into a tourism destination. By offering vocational education in hospitality, young Sumbanese people can be provided with the skills they need to create employment opportunities on the island.


Education and awareness raising of the students’ responsibility towards the beautiful environment they live in is a key focus of the SHF. Founder Inge De Lathauwer hopes that Sumba can grow as an example of sustainable tourism development, one that involves the local people and protects the environment and the natural beauty of the island. Education, awareness and responsibility are the three most important keystones of the foundation. The income of the restaurant, hotel and organic farm will enable the organisation to be self-sufficient in the future.


Since the opening of The Sumba Hotel School in 2016, there has been an extraordinary transformation. What once was an arid landscape is now abundant with life; the farm and gardens are blossoming with fruits, vegetables and medicinal herbs, which make delicious ingredients for the meals and drinks served in the Bar and Restaurant. Additionally, the implementation of the solar panel farm and water treatment system allow the school to be self-sufficient and present the campus as a model of conservation and green energy throughout the island. Inge believed that sustainability and environmental awareness were paramount in creating the school; she also believed that this ideology should continue across the island and that something needed to be implemented to ensure that other investors and developers would share this vision.


Check out the website for more information:

project details


When: Preparation Phase: October – June

Implementation Phase: 6-8 weeks in July and August


Applications are closed

Missed the deadline? Send an e-mail to and we will see what we can do for you!

About the project

The scope of the project is very broad. Eight topics are proposed:


  1. A study on water conservation and soil prosperity in Sumba

The soil in Sumba is very dry and therefore more information about the current status of water and soil in the region is needed to indicate the best practices for conservation. Additionally an action plan and timeline to implement best practices can be made.


  1. A study on women’s health and hygiene in Sumba

The status of women’s health, the top health concerns and educational needs within the community need to be determined by the project team. After gathering this information, an action plan can be created in cooperation with community members to implement improved health practices and provide an educational curriculum regarding women’s health. The feasibility of opening a clinic or building on an existing one can be determined by the team, as well as providing an analysis and report on costs, equipment and supplies required, how to train local staff, and standard operating procedures.


  1. Community research and documentation on local Sumbanese culture

Research and a record about the local cultures and traditions (e.g. Marapu religion) can be done. Furthermore the team can create an action plan to educate tourists about local culture and enhance existing cultural centers such as Rumah Budaya. How to positively integrate cultural traditions into the existing sustainable tourism plan is something the students need to keep in mind.


  1. Waste Management and Agricultural Sustainable Management proposal

The team can explore the best practices for waste management and agricultural sustainable management. Based on this information they can create an action plan and timeline to implement best practices specifically in the school and the surrounding region; which include tasks that can be done by the students and community. For the local government a proposal can be prepared on how to implement the above practices on a larger scale across the region; which includes supplies and manpower required, associated costs and logistics (e.g. trash collection scheduling).


  1. A study on agriculture and malnutrition in Sumba

The students can map the current farming practices and document the cases of prevalent malnutrition in the regions in a report. Suggestions of alternative methods for locals to live off the land can be developed. In order to implement these alternative methods, workshops can be organized for local communities across the 4 regions of Sumba. To make this objective self-sustainable, the farming staff at SHF should be trained and empowered to conduct the workshops within their communities.


  1. Creation of a responsible and sustainable fishing program

The benefits for the local population when adopting fishing as a means of economic sustainability (vs. farming) should be studied. This way the best practices for sustainable fishing can be documented and reported as well as research into the local waters to understand the feasibility of long-term fishing. Besides that, an action plan for a fishing program should be prepared, including an analysis and report on costs, equipment and supplies required, how to train local staff, and standard operating procedures.


Who are we looking for?

This project will require 6 excellent and highly motivated students with good knowledge of the English language. Students of all academic backgrounds are allowed to apply. However, for this project we are especially looking for students with backgrounds or special interest in:

Bio-Engineering with specialization in Asian soils to conduct in-depth soil surveying

Engineering student who is able to advise and report on sustainable agricultural management

Medicine to implement best practices for women’s health and hygiene and solutions for opening a clinic

Anthropology to observe and document local practices and provide suggestions for how to avoid cultural commoditization once the tourism boom arrives on Sumba

Health and Nutrition to provide feedback on current “calorie farming” practices and how to mitigate malnutrition

Marine Biology to understand responsible fishing


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