Benteng Dewa, located on the southwest coast of Flores Island, was formally established in 2004 and has a population of 1,580 people in 300 households. The villagers are almost exclusively farmers, tending to rice, corn, sweet potatoes and coconut. The spirit of community volunteer work and traditional law is still strong in this village. Benteng Dewa is one of 27 villages located around the 63,738-acre Mbeliling Forest. This forest was first established under Dutch rule and then expanded by the Indonesian government in 1991, but conservation was never enforced. The forest consists of two types of tropical rainforest ecosystems and is rich in limited-range bird life and endemic bird species including the Flores Monarch (Monarcha sacerdotum), the Flores Hanging-parrot (Loriculus flosculus) and the Leaf Lorikeet Trichoglossus weberi). There are also four endemic species of reptiles and the endemic Flores Giant Rat (Papagomys armandvellei) with a combined body and tail length of up to 44 inches, which is a threatened species as villagers often pursue it as food.
The village is about a 30-minute drive from the nearest town and is separated by a river located about 1.8 miles from the village, which is impassable by vehicle. Sometimes the villagers cannot access medical care because of this obstacle. Furthermore, malaria is common and health care for children and pre-natal women is severely lacking. The village places health improvement as its highest priority, but a request to the government for medical facilities has been turned down.
With the support of the Farallon Islands Foundation, Seacology funded a community health clinic in support of 14,826 acres of forest (including about 618 acres of savannah) as a strict notake zone for a minimum of 10 years. As of June 2010, the Naga Lili Health Clinic has been fully constructed and furnished, as well as fully stocked with medical supplies. The local government will fund two medic positions at the clinic.
- Year of grant: 2008 & 2010
- Amount: $10,000
- Grantee: Seacology