Skip Navigation

Page

Last Post

21. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 9y

Also i am understanding the details correctly? You have to pay up to £540 for a tribal time share that you end up building yourself. You pay for your own transport there. Its all web based so it has low overheads. Where does the money all go?
Apparently the locals benefit economically - is this purely from the tourism this creates or does some of the money go directly to them?
Couldn't people just set up a similar organisation that uses non-paying volunteers to do the same thing? Pehaps one or two may already exist? Doesn't the tourism we all create benefit local economies anyway (especially since a lot of backpackers like to go out of their way to pay money directly to local merchants rather than big companies)?
Besides its not like Fiji is unknown to tourists for god sake! What about doing this somewhere they actually need more tourists? African nations for example. Just don't like the whole enviromentally friendly, "were doing this for the impoverished local population" blanket they have wrapped this little endeavour up in - its bloody Fiji not Malawi or Somalia!!!

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 30, 2007, at 6:57 AM by george1979 ]

22. Posted by sunnydayz2 (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

I have to say that it is very easy to hide behind a computer, make blatant, throw away comments that are based on limited understanding. It is not as if there are people on this forum who are wanting to actually UNDERSTAND this project, you are wanting to knock it without even knowing much about it. That is a great shame.

There is something simple that you are not understanding. Firstly, yes, people are aware of Fiji but they are not aware of the North of Fiji were employment is limited, where finances are limited and were education and resources are scarce. All travellers head to the the South of Fiji which means that the North of Fiji is Fiji's very poor relative.

People go and visit Vorovoro (in the North), as part of their visit they help to build basic infratstructure, yes this is accommodation for them but the bigger picture is that this infrastructure is being built for the people of Mali (over 300 people) who know that they have an island and the alternative to this is that a commercial business comes on to the island and builds a cement structure and develops a full scale tourist operation which is completely in contrast with the island and the history of the island which has been owned by the people of Mali for many years. So... where does the money go.. it allievates two current problems: 1) Employment for the natives of mali to help develop the land (it provides jobs) 2) Money goes into the local schools to help develop and build education, teaching and investment into the future of these people.

The money goes towards the accomodation for tribe members now, however, long term a eco-tourist restort is being built that will be handed over to the people of Mali at no cost who will then use this resort to develop, provide long term employment and will bring in finances for the long term benefit of Mali.

I am sorry but you cannot knock that. Many people travel, many people visit the World, most stay in hotels and come back and share pictures. If people are really touched by poverty they may give away a few of their clothes. But not many will head to an island in order to build an infrastructure that will benefit the locals for generations to come.

You can sit behind a computer and comment, with little information, it doesnt matter what you think of this project, it's irrelevant. If your comments about a project that invests in a third world country is negative the question has to be asked.. what are you doing in your life to aid third world problems of unemployment, lack of finances and lack of education? Yes, laugh at the pictures of the white boys who have started this project, laugh all you like. But the funnier joke is the one whereby travellers, travel the world, they show their pictures, they tell their stories but they come home and they dont make a difference, the reason? Because their travelling is for the purpose of them not for the benefit of others.

At least, no matter what people say, these white boys have got off their backsides and have attempted to do something positive. They could have easily have just sat behind their computers, posted anonymous comments and not contributed to life in any particular way whatsoever. I know what I would rather be doing, thankfully, I am doing it.

As others have already stated, if you actually went to Vorovoro, if you could see, feel, touch the emotion and the passion from the people of Mali for this project. If you could talk to Tui Mali, talk to the local teachers, talk to the children and hear them speak of what tribewanted has done in their lives THEN you would understand. But you probably wont, you will probably simply continue to hide behind your computer, in the safety of your own home making comments that are based on limited information. That is very sad.

And before you start I am a tribe member, yes, I have visited the island, yes. It is not one person that has suddenly started posting on here it is a bunch of tribe members who have decided to comment. An earlier poster said that these positive comments are like self-selecting the positive comments in your promotional material. The reason that we are saying something is because for so long people have made negative comments that are based on NO FACT WHAT SO EVER. THAT is biased. We have been to the island and we are merely providing a balance.

Finally, journalists have researched this project, no issue. The Guardian says that tribewanted is an eco tourist project that could change the face of tourism. The BBC are doing a five part documentary on how tribewanted is benefitting the people of Mali. Journalists have actually visited the island and have provided incredible comments because they have experienced it. Those comments have worth and value, comments by people who hide behind a computer are utterly worthless.

If you are considering joining tribewanted there are certain sources you should listen too: 1) Tribe members who have VISITED the island. 2) Journalists who have VISITED the island. 3) The Native Land Trust Board in Fiji who can tell you exactly what benefits tribewanted is making in fiji (http://www.nltb.com.fj/index.html) And if, after you have looked at all that information and you think that Ben and Mark have scammed credible journalists from around the world, The BBC, The Native Land Trust Board, STA who are partners with tribewanted and over 1000 people who have already signed up then there is only one conclusion.. your deluding yourself and you will continue to state that you think that tribewanted is a scam simply because YOU want to believe that and NOT because there is any proof there whatsoever, in fact the proof says the opposite.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 30, 2007, at 8:16 AM by sunnydayz2 ]

23. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 9y

Quoting sunnydayz2

I have to say that it is very easy to hide behind a computer, make blatant, throw away comments that are based on limited understanding. It is not as if there are people on this forum who are wanting to actually UNDERSTAND this project, you are wanting to knock it without even knowing much about it. That is a great shame.

The money goes towards the accomodation for tribe members now, however, long term a eco-tourist restort is being built that will be handed over to the people of Mali at no cost who will then use this resort to develop, provide long term employment and will bring in finances for the long term benefit of Mali.

I am sorry but you cannot knock that. Many people travel, many people visit the World, most stay in hotels and come back and share pictures. If people are really touched by poverty they may give away a few of their clothes. But not many will head to an island in order to build an infrastructure that will benefit the locals for generations to come.

You can sit behind a computer and comment, with little information, it doesnt matter what you think of this project, it's irrelevant. If your comments about a project that invests in a third world country is negative the question has to be asked.. what are you doing in your life to aid third world problems of unemployment, lack of finances and lack of education? Yes, laugh at the pictures of the white boys who have started this project, laugh all you like. But the funnier joke is the one whereby travellers, travel the world, they show their pictures, they tell their stories but they come home and they dont make a difference, the reason? Because their travelling is for the purpose of them not for the benefit of others.

At least, no matter what people say, these white boys have got off their backsides and have attempted to do something positive. They could have easily have just sat behind their computers, posted anonymous comments and not contributed to life in any particular way whatsoever. I know what I would rather be doing, thankfully, I am doing it.

And before you start I am a tribe member, yes, I have visited the island, yes. It is not one person that has suddenly started posting on here it is a bunch of tribe members who have decided to comment. An earlier poster said that these positive comments are like self-selecting the positive comments in your promotional material. The reason that we are saying something is because for so long people have made negative comments that are based on NO FACT WHAT SO EVER. THAT is biased. We have been to the island and we are merely providing a balance.

Ok - here we go .
First of all i find it diffcult to accept the descrption of Fiji as a 3rd world country. Someting which i think the Fijian government might also take umbridge with.
Now onto your other spurious little comments.
I am not "anonymous" - you'll find a reasonable amount of info about me on this site - i cannot say the same about you.
Also its very easy to say "we are doing something for 3rd world countries" - i suppose its just a happy coincedence that it happens to be a tropical island paradise and not a truly proverty stricken, famine ridden country?
I also don't particulary like the "white boys" reference you used - you certainly are not quoting me there and i think that comment says more about you than me. Also -what am i supposed to do when looking at that picture? If this is a purely altruistic enterprise why all the grass skirts, face paint and spears? Do modern Fijians run about in grass skirts carrying spears? I'll answer that - NO THEY DON'T SO WHY ARE YOU? You basically want the "castaway/shipwrecked" experience but want to convince yourself that you are all being completely selfless in this endeavour.
So please, before you try to berate me and others for questioning this, perhaps look at your own motives for doing this. Would you do this in some rain soaked, windswept island in the North Atlantic? Or perhaps the Ethiopian coast? What about building a medical centre in Sierra Leone?
Don't kid yourself and don't try to insult my intelligence by puporting to be selflessly trying to "aid third world problems of unemployment, lack of finances and lack of education"...
And i don't care what you say - that picture was fucking funny!

24. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 9y

Also one more thing - i did not say it was a scam but am i, and others, not allowed to ask questions about it? I think you'll find i stated that as long as no one is being scammed etc then good luck to you.
The fact that you are all so voracious in your defence of the programme and to state that we just "dont understand it" tends to raise eyebrows. My main point was the supposed eco credentials and the "helping 3rd world countries" thing they have wrapped this up in.
I'll reserve judgement when i see you all handing out malaria tablets in Africa rather than playing "lord of the flies" in a tropical paradise.

P.S. - i don't have to explain myself and what i'm doing for "3rd world countries" - i'm not the one who is making claims about what i'm doing.

So there

Go on - tell me again "you just don't understand what we are trying to do here"

P.P.S - touch wood and all that but won't that island be underwater in 50 years time in part due to the fact you are all flying out there?

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 30, 2007, at 8:50 AM by george1979 ]

25. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 9y

long term a eco-tourist restort is being built that will be handed over to the people of Mali at no cost who will then use this resort to develop, provide long term employment and will bring in finances for the long term benefit of Mali.

Ummm-No.

That's Not What's Happening at All.

Some buildings are being erected but the marketing infrastructure and more importantly the Staff training isn't being undertaken in any significant manner.

After the funky white folks leave-taking their grass skirts and face paint with them-the Mataqli (clan) might just decide to let the island be-they don't necessarily want/need to run a resort.

I'd like to talk to some local Fijians and see what they have to say.

26. Posted by sunnydayz2 (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

But thats my point - you dont have to prove yourself and neither does tribewanted, when its down to people's ignorance. Climate Change is working on this project, the University College of London is working on this project with respect to the environment.

You say you will reserve your judgement, your judgement is not required anyway. Do you not see that.

Contribution to other people's lives takes place whereby people see a need and fill it, that is what tribewanted is doing and it is making a real impact in people's lives over there. It would be great if people feel that they should hand out anti-malirial tablets nevertheless the changes that tribewanted are making in the lives of these people is awesome. That again, is my point, you do need to speak to the local fijians.

Once again, you are wrong, training is being given to the local fijians who will be set up to adequately run the island, they are recieving training which is all official and above board and more importantly they are teaching tribe members too.

Again, you dont seem to understand.. the people of Mali do want to run a resort that is the whole point, they knew that the island was worth money to them and so instead of a corporate company coming in and building a concerete hotel tribewanted is building an eco resort. This is in response to their needs. It's a direct respone to their needs.

Your arguments are flawed, you really need to see this with your own eyes rather than comment from a distance.

Ultimately this does not come down to 'is tribewanted a scam' it quite clearly isnt. It comes down to people's individual tastes and interests and thats fair enough but if you dont like it dont wrap it up in 'it's a scam' when there is endless proof to suggest otherwise.

If you dont like it, fine, I dont like many things that other people do.. its the nature of humanity.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 30, 2007, at 9:26 AM by sunnydayz2 ]

27. Posted by george1979 (Full Member 101 posts) 9y

Quoting sunnydayz2

But thats my point - you dont have to prove yourself and neither does tribewanted, when its down to people's ignorance. Climate Change is working on this project, the University College of London is working on this project with respect to the environment.

You say you will reserve your judgement, your judgement is not required anyway. Do you not see that.

Your wrong - if an organisation makes claims it has to back them up otherwise how can anyone take it seriously? Thats what our questions were for.
I also never said my judgement was required did i? You however seem to think you can judge other people for simply asking honest questions.

I also note you neatly side skirted my point about whether so many people would be interested if this wasn't on an island paradise. Whats wrong did i hit a nerve? Why can't you all just admit that your motives for doing this were not totally selfless?
I'm all for helping people who may be less fortunate but why can't you admit that the fact that you all get a nice little "castaway experience" out of it? Why do you feel the need to convince yourself that your actions are completely altruistic when we all know there are no completely altruistic acts in this world?
You also side-stepped the point about why there were photos of you in grass skirts etc. Realised that perhaps it was a little stereotypical but don't want to admit that either?
Perhaps you should get down off your high horse and give these evangelical responses a rest.
Anyway if this was all completely selfless and you had nothing to prove why do so many of you feel the need to come on this site and berate us for asking a few questions? Can i suggest its that you feel a wee bit guilty at the fact that you are all getting a nice wee holiday out of it and its not purely to help others?
its alright to enjoy it and admit that you did it as much for yourself as you did for those fijians.
Just don't dare come on here making comments like " the funnier joke is the one whereby travellers, travel the world, they show their pictures, they tell their stories but they come home and they dont make a difference, the reason? Because their travelling is for the purpose of them not for the benefit of others".
Why the hell shouldn't people travel the world for the benefit of themselves? It will, in turn benefit others.
Pompous, jumped up, bunch of self indulgent little half wits.

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 30, 2007, at 10:12 AM by george1979 ]

28. Posted by SteveCro (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

Woah, this is getting a bit out of hand. I will try to steer this thread back from the ledge.

It makes me sad when I see people saying TW is a scam, just because I've had really good experiences with it. I don't mind if people don't like the idea and don't sign up - perhaps it's not their kind of thing - but it is sad to see people being put off immediately when they inquire about it by stories of scams and misguided intentions.

I too felt the grass skirt pictures were a bit silly and not really representative of what we were doing (though it was quite fun doing the shoot). It's just publicity (the locals do wear that on special occasions also). And at the end of the day, I agree with George that it's not some selfless mission to save the world.

For me, it is an opportunity to have a great holiday AND get to know some locals more than at your average resort AND help them out. At £180 a week it's pretty cheap for full board and much much cheaper than many volunteer projects where most of your cash seems to go on marketing. Plus I've met some great people on the island and off, done a bit of carpentry out in the sun and had some amazing moments on an isolated lil island.

I was travelling for 4 months last year and the two highlights were the weeks where I was actually engaging with the local surroundings rather than travelling around: volunteering at a jaguar reserve and staying on the Fijian Island. Excluding travel, the 2 week jaguar stay cost me £800 and almost none of that went to the locals. The 2 week TW trip cost me £240.

If anyone out there is thinking of joining TW, I will always be happy to answer your questions in a calm and rational way, because I've enjoyed it and I hope you will too.

SteveC

29. Posted by edaifx (Budding Member 7 posts) 9y

Agreed that the grass skirt thing was pretty stupid, but you seriously can't think that we actually get around wearing those things. It was actually part of a photo shoot (very common in magazines and newspapers, I believe), and definitely not a 'snapshot' of island life.

I'm all for helping people who may be less fortunate but why can't you admit that the fact that you all get a nice little "castaway experience" out of it? Why do you feel the need to convince yourself that your actions are completely altruistic when we all know there are no completely altruistic acts in this world?

Why do people travel anywhere? They do it for the experience, and possibly to immerse yourself in a different culture. There is nothing different with what we are doing here. It's about mutual benefit. The people visiting the island get a really cool and unique experience, while the people of Mali get reliable employment and are creating a future for themselves with our help. They couldn't do this on their own, and we wouldn't be able to have this experience if they hadn't agreed to the concept. It's a win-win situation and we get to promote other ideas like responsible travel, carbon offsetting and sustainability in the process.

As for our Climate Care Partnership, they have changed the link for their press announcement but you can still see a sentence about Tribewanted on the google search preview (3rd major link from the top of the page). Alternatively, we are on their list of businesses
http://www.google.com.au/search?hl=en&q=climate+care+tribewanted&meta=
http://www.climatecare.org/business/we-work-with/

As for our relationship with UCL, here's their press announcement and an example of the preliminary work they have been doing
http://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/news-articles/0607/06071804
http://www.tribewanted.com/assets/downloads/UCL-Sustainability-Plan.pdf

George, hope this is enough to back up our claims to your satisfaction. I'm sure I could find more supporting documentation if needs be. Cheers

30. Posted by fijibound (Budding Member 4 posts) 9y

Wow, things are getting a little out of hand here...yes, when people care about something responses tend to get a little emotional, but the whole point is that Tribewanted is not at all a scam. There is no way to get "taken" for anything. You pay one membership fee and you know up front what you get in return-one week accomodation on the island, meals, and transport to/from Labasa/Vorovoro. Beyond that, the experience is entirely what you make of it. Some people want to wait to travel until their is more infrastructure, others have gone a while ago and slept in hammocks...but regardless, they did what they wanted to do with it. That is part of the greatness of this project...you can go and enjoy vacation with no demand for "work" (although, I don't know of any who have actually gone and not been an integral part of whatever is going on while they were there) or you can go immerse yourself in a different culture and work cooperatively to produce something beneficial--yes, beneficial to the Mali tribe in the end, but we are aware of that up front as well. And while similar to other on-line communities, there really isn't any true comparison. We vote on every single issue before it is carried out, we have members from all over the world offering input to problem-solving situations, new ideas offered up almost daily on things we could do in addition to the status quo, and more than all of that, when we finally get there, we get to see it all come together in REALITY.
And as far as Fiji not being a third world nation, well maybe true and untrue...the more developed parts of Fiji are highly modernized and already economically viable, but yet still there is a large percentage of the population living in third world conditions...many indigenous tribes living life as if it has stood still for decades. I believe the latest census showed 80% of the entire population functioning in sustenance fishing/farming villages. There are hundreds of islands and we have chosen one small part to work together with to help improve their sustainability. Just because it is not Africa, does not mean it isn't a worthwhile effort on the part of all the people involved...aside from that, at least one member of tribewanted is heading out to Africa in two months to spend 3 weeks working at an AIDS orphanage in the largest slums of Nairobi. (that's me:) There are many tribewanted members that are involved with a score of other organizations that are doing work for the greater good somewhere. It just shows that the people involved with the project tend to be people who want to take part in making a change...very different from solving all the world's woes, but every little bit helps, right? Steve C. (previous post) has been involved from the start, he is an excellent reference for anyone wanting honest details about the project.
And yes, many of us have come on recently to defend the project we are involved with, there is nothing fishy about that...after all, we are simply trying to help the first poster get better, first-hand info about something they were asking about, that's the whole point of this forum, isn't it? graemewh, I say go with your first impression! It is a great project! Wow, sorry for the length, guess I, too, get out of hand sometimes!