Ibu Bumi Philosophy, our guiding principles for responsible care of Mother Earth

At the Sumba Hospitality Foundation, we have our own unique approach to “sustainability”. Instead of using this term, we prefer to use the “Ibu Bumi Philosophy”, which sums up our guiding principles for responsible care of Mother Earth. But how do we put this into practise?

As an Affiliate member of the Long Run, all our projects integrate at least one of the 6 Cs: Climate, Conservation, Circular Economy, Community, Culture and Commerce. Find out how we tackle these issues.

Our impact in 2023

For the first time, the Sumba Hospitality Foundation has summarised its efforts to promote responsible tourism in an annual report. The report follows the 6C framework and highlights all the different projects that the entire team was able to implement in 2023. In addition, it also serves as a guide for further improvement.

Some key KPI’s:

  • 543 tons of CO2 emissions saved (since 2016) with our 288 solar panels
  • 12 tons of harvested fruits and vegetables thanks to our dedicated garden team
  • 265 upcycled products made by the students, which are available in our gift shop
  • 69 newly graduated SHF and MD alumni, who started their internships or jobs
  • 134 guests went on a Maringi trip to explore Sumba and its unique culture
  • 475 guests welcomed to Maringi Sumba, enrichening our student’s learning journey

Read the full report below either in English or in Indonesian.

Bukit Lendongara

We are facing a climate emergency. A confronting fact that we want our students, staff and guests to be aware of.

The travel industry is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, especially when travelling by air.

As Sumba is a remote island, and getting here generates additional carbon emmissions, SHF wants to ensure that every trip is meaningful, avoiding any additional negative impacts generated by the Foundation.

To further minimise our carbon emissions, SHF has 288 solar panels on-site, which provide the campus and hotel with renewable energy from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day.

Mandorak beach

The Sumba Hospitality School is located on an 8-hectare site. Over the years, we have succeeded in allowing the biodiversity to blossom from a single tree to a green oasis.

Unfortunately, the island has suffered from deforestation in recent decades. Today, only 11% of the island is covered with forest, especially in the south of the island. Traditionally, slash-and-burn agriculture was practised, which contributed to the deforestation. Therefore, SHF wants to spread the principles of permaculture through the alumni who actively worked in the garden during their training and learned more about the key ethics.

Growing foreign investment is another factor affecting the land sovereignty of the local community.

Freshly harvested from our garden

Almost 3 hectares of the SHF campus is dedicated to the growth and nurturing of our permaculture garden.

Nearly 1 tonne of fruits and vegetables are harvested monthly, served at Maringi Sumba’s Restaurant and Makan Dulu, and also incorporated into daily healthy meals for students and staff.

On the farm, we teach students organic farming methods that are designed for long-term sustainability. Traditionally, slash-and-burn farming has been practised on the island, which is one of the main causes of deforestation. By teaching students how to make natural fertiliser from food waste and old leaves, we will hopefully help to counteract this practise.

The Sumba Hornbill, an endemic bird of the island which is now threathened with extinction

In their weekly sustainability lessons, all students learn about the wonderful biodiversity of the island, which hopefully encourages them to contribute to its protection.

Historically, Sumba was called “Bird Island” because there are over 180 different species of birds here, 12 of which are endemic. 6 of them are now threatened with extinction, mainly due to habitat loss.

SHF has just started a research project to record the biodiversity of the internal fauna and flora. Based on this data, we can make informed decisions for the future development of our garden.

Students help make compost from food waste

“There is no such thing as waste” is a key belief at the Sumba Hospitality Foundation.

This principle is nothing new for the local community. Traditionally they mastered using everything as a resource, not generating any waste.

However, with the rise of imported goods on the island, namely plastic waste has become a big issue. The foundation is therefore aiming to become a circular entity which eliminates single-use plastics. To succeed in our journey we need the support of our students, staff and guests.

Reusable market bag from old bed linen

Indonesia is facing a plastic waste crisis. It is the world's third largest contributor of plastic to the oceans, with disastrous effects on ecosystems.

Every day, the Foundation works hard to make and keep our premises free of single-use plastic. We have implemented a ‘Single-Use Plastic Free Purchasing Policy’ that all our departments and suppliers must adhere to.

We have also banned certain plastic items and replaced them sustainably:

  • Sip your drink through a papaya straw
  • Market produce is purchased using our reusable crates and market bags
  • Reusable containers with lids eliminate the need for plastic wrap
  • Guests can brush their teeth with bamboo toothbrushes

Upcycled scrunchie set available in our gift shop

The environmental and social impacts of the textile industry are often forgotten. That is why the 2022 Foundation opened its own sewing workshop on campus.

Here, all students have the opportunity to unleash their creativity with various upcycling techniques to create handmade products.

Our “Bags with a Story” are designed, cut and sewn by one of our students, while the spa department has been actively working on our “From Sarong to Scrunchie” project, transforming our old and damaged spa sarong into scrunchies for our guests.

Damaged T-shirts from uniforms are used to create market bags, while small scraps of fabric are either made into a hand-woven tapestry or used to fill pillows.

Students enjoying a volleybal game

Everything we do on Sumba is for and with the local community. We love the people of Sumba and we care for their needs.

SHF is a close-knit community for which we wish to foster empowerment, emancipation, and change through collective action. It’s all about creating opportunities for growth and change through employment, education, crafts, farming, music, and so much more.

“Bags with a Story” showcased by our students

Our students are continuously looking for ways to channel their creativity, and share it with the community.

The gift of music has been granted generously to our students. They compose their own songs and spread happiness while performing. Our official school choir not only energizes but is also a fun way to train their English.

Our SHF sewing workshop offers our students another opportunity to let their creativity run free and upcycle donated clothes and old bedding into handmade products for the gift shop.

Traditional Sumbanese houses in a local village

While the Foundation aims to prepare students for the world outside Sumba, they should always carry their culture with them wherever they may land.

SHF therefore encourages students to share their stories and cultural heritage with guests from a perspective of empowerment, not pity.

Maringi Sumba incorporates several elements that are inherently Sumbanese: Ikat as decoration, local handicrafts, using bamboo for our buildings such as the traditional Sumba house for the guest check-in.

In addition, all ceremonies (opening, closing and celebrations) are held in the presence of local government officials and Marapu priests in traditional dress, with dances and music.

One of Maringi Sumba’s bamboo pavilions

Staying in Maringi Sumba or having a meal in Makan Dulu is meaningful.

To ensure the future of the Foundation, all the generated income is reinvested directly into our students and projects.

We keep prices fair while ensuring that they can cover our operating costs.

Discover the Maringi Sumba and Makan Dulu Restaurant

Maringi Sumba’s Bamboo Yoga Shala

Host a yoga retreat with us

Maringi Sumba is a unique location for your yoga retreat. Tucked away in a green oasis, the resort is part of the Sumba Hospitality Foundation (SHF), a vocational hospitality school for Sumbanese youth.

Maringi’s yoga shala offers a 200 square metres space for practising, lectures and workshops. Constructed from bamboo and surrounded by our permaculture garden, reconnecting with Mother Earth is enhanced.

Hosting a retreat with us means investing in the personal growth of the practitioners and that of the SHF students.

Maringi Sumba’s Bamboo Yoga Shala

Maringi Sumba’s Bamboo Yoga Shala Maringi Sumba is happy to host and learn from your own yogic practices.

This can be through retreats or a Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). In addition to full board accommodation, we offer different “yogic blocks” that you can choose and combine according to your needs. In this way, you can create a tailored schedule taking into account your wishes, while respecting the capacities of Maringi.

The following blocks can be chosen:

  • Ibu Bumi, introduction to “Mother Earth philosophy”
  • CircYoular, rethink waste through upcycling workshops
  • Earth Care, introduction to the principles of permaculture
  • Spirit of Sumba, introduction to the Sumbanese culture
  • Discover Sumba, day trips to explore the island
  • Maringi Spa, enjoy relaxing treatments at our in-house spa


Get in touch for more information:


The Sumba Hospitality Foundation at a glance

The Sumba Hospitality Foundation (SHF) empowers local youth through education, providing vocational training in the hospitality industry to Sumbanese high school graduates aged between 17 and 23 from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds since 2016. The comprehensive program offers full board housing, healthcare, internship, and training in our social projects, including a small hotel with 5-star service and a unique restaurant specializing in Indonesian cuisine. Graduates either embark on a 6-month internship or secure immediate employment in renowned hotels or restaurants.

At the foundation, responsible tourism is more than a concept; it’s a commitment put into action. Our buildings are designed with sustainability in mind, featuring unique bamboo infrastructure, a solar panel farm, and wastewater management systems. Sustainability lies at the core of our vocational training program, empowering the next generation to become advocates for responsible tourism.


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A wide range of complementary projects to maximize our positive impact

Our students choose one of the following 5 areas of the hospitality industry: Front Office, Housekeeping, Culinary, Restaurant & Bar, Spa and Wellness. The training also includes English, life skills and environmental awareness.

Located on our campus, “Maringi Sumba” is a learning space for students and a hotel that generates income for the Sumba Hospitality Foundation. The students receive practical training and offer guests a 5-star service.

“Makan Dulu Restaurant” serves Indonesian food with a Sumbanese twist. It provides our students with one year of intensive on-the-job training. The revenue is fully reinvested into the foundation.

At our permaculture garden, we teach students new organic farming methods with long-term sustainability in mind. Its produce is served at Maringi Sumba and Makan Dulu and also incorporated into daily healthy meals for students and staff.

Sustainability is part of our DNA. Projects trespass departments and range from sustainability classes and upcycling workshops to waste management and responsible purchasing.

Since our inception, we have worked hard to create and maintain a strong community within the Foundation and beyond. Students, staff, suppliers, industry partners and alumni together form the SHF community.

Environmental projects that make a difference

We aim to raise environmental awareness with students, tourists, and local communities. We have implemented a number of strategies in order to emphasize environmental awareness inside and outside of our school.

These are just a few:

  • Our whole campus is off-the-grid, powered by 288 solar panels
  • We use sustainable building materials that are locally sourced
  • Our water treatment system allows us to re-use 90% of wastewater for irrigation purposes.
  • We only use natural products that have minimal impact on the surrounding environment
  • We collect non-degradable waste in plastic bottles so it can be re-purposed as Eco-bricks and permanently stored away.
  • In-room air conditioning is limited to only the bed area and only for guest rooms.
  • We organize regular trash walks to ensure our mission extends further than our campus.

Stories that inspire

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Watch this incredible TED Talk from Elora Hardy, sustainable designer and founder of Ibuku. The school, restaurant, and hotel of the Sumba Hospitality Foundation are built by Elora and her wonderful team. We decided to work together with Ibuku because bamboo is a natural sustainable material that grows very fast and is plenty in Indonesia.

Our Projects


Today we are proud to successfully run two independent educational projects on Sumba: a hotel school and a training restaurant.


At the farm, we teach students new organic farming methods with long-term sustainability in mind.


As a real-life study environment for our 60 Hotel School students, we opened a small resort with a big heart: Maringi Sumba.

Makan Dulu

Training restaurant Makan Dulu is a magical real-life study environment where dreams come true for our 20 students.


We aim to raise environmental awareness with students, tourists, and local communities.


Everything we do on Sumba is for and with the local community. We love the people of Sumba and we care for their needs.