Our SEA Centre is supported by amazing people that are in love with the beautiful nature in Raja Ampat and appreciate the work we do here to preserve it. They are the secret heroes that go the extra mile or climb the highest mountains to support us. Meet some of our wonderful donors;
“When I visited Raja Ampat in April 2017 I realised I’d found the most beautiful place on earth. Never before had I seen such vivid colours, such abundance of colourful, diverse, sea life and corals. I was fascinated with the work the SEA Centre were doing to restore the damaged and preserve the coral reefs and training the local villagers to get involved too. So, when I decided to climb to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania it wasn’t too difficult to decide who I wanted to raise money for while embarking on my challenge.
I ascended the mountain via the Rongai Route which is on the northwest side of the mountain, starting off winding through rain forest and what’s known as the vegetation zone. We slept in two-man tents and had a hole in the ground for a toilet. Food was simple, but nourishing. However, as we got higher, I lost my appetite. I had to ensure I drank three litres of water each day.
Breathing at altitude got harder the higher we went. When you get up in the morning at altitude it’s hard to get going. Even the smallest movement can get you out of breath, it doesn’t matter how fit you are. Once you get going, though, your body acclimatises and trekking becomes easier. “Pole pole” our guides kept telling us, “slowly, slowly”.
As the days continued, we climbed higher and eventually reached Mawenzi Tarn at 4,315 meters above sea level. Here we stayed for two nights to acclimatise before our push to base camp at Kibo.
On our way to Kibo the terrain became more barren, moon like and dusty. Finally, we reached Kibo at 4,720M and had an early night before we began our final ascent before midnight.
The terrain to the summit was the most difficult yet. Steep, slippery shale. Taking three steps forward and slipping one step back. We climbed single file in the dark with head torches. The sky was clear with the temperature well below freezing. It was by far the toughest thing I’d ever done.
At 6:30am I reached Gilman’s Point at 5,685m. We’d been climbing for nonstop for 8 hours, we still had another two to three hours before we reached the summit. It was tough going, cold and getting harder to breathe. But the scenery was mind blowing.
Finally, at 8:30 on Friday 18 October 2018, my birthday, I reached the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895m above sea level, the highest free-standing mountain in the world."
Rachel and Allen Penn
“After our first visit to Papua Explorers and experience of diving Raja Ampat in April 2016, we were hooked. As avid divers, we knew that Raja Ampat was a special place and experienced some incredible diving and interactions with underwater creatures. Staying at Papua Explorers also allowed us to witness and become big fans of the work underway by Papua Explorers SEA Centre. After we became engaged in December 2017, American wedding tradition would typically dictate creating a registry for wedding gifts that the to-be-married couple would like or need -- typically gifts for the home. Given we were fortunate to have already lived in a home for a few years we lovingly furnished, we knew it would not be a great use of generosity from our friends and family. But we knew that family and friends wanted to celebrate with us as we started this new chapter of our lives.
When we learned about the Papua Explorers' 2018 Coral Explorers trip, we decided we definitely wanted to participate and thought 'wouldn't it be nice for us to attend the trip, see the work and then fund a project?' We ultimately decided to leverage platforms like Honeyfund and The Good Beginning to set up a wedding registry and collect 'donation gifts' from friends and family if they insisted on buying us a wedding present. Knowing how passionate we are about ocean conversation and having loved ones who are also passionate about giving money to a greater good, led to a truly heart warming response of generosity from our friends and family. We collected $5,000 USD of 'donation gifts' and were able to present this to SEA Centre at the end of the 2018 Coral Explorers trip. Moreover, in January 2020, we were able to dive Sawandarek jetty to see the fruits of our coral planting efforts from 2018 - it was a special experience!
We love the Raja Ampat region and the amazing work being done across its marine parks. It will always be close to our hearts and protecting it will be something we will always support.
Teresa and Carl Wild
“We support the Sea Centre because we think it is a very worthwhile cause. It’s important to educate local communities to the invaluable resource of the sea.”