go green for cambodian kids

green gecko kids in cambodiaThe temples of Angkor and their mystical quality is what attracts many travellers to Cambodia. But what Intrepid’s Anya Hodson discovered on her trip to this beautiful kingdom, is that it’s the everyday people of Cambodia who make this country so special…

“During a recent conference trip, our Intrepid group was able to schedule a visit to a local project supported by The Intrepid Foundation. Green Gecko is an organisation in Siem Reap for street kids of all ages. As a place of refuge from life on the streets, Green Gecko is somewhere that children can go to receive shelter and education, but also have fun with other kids.

We prepared for our visit by scouring through the items on the Green Gecko wish-list published on their website. We managed to gather quite a few kilos of items that included first aid products, tea tree oil, paracetamol, shampoo, toothpaste, sarongs and pyjamas. So off we went, excited to be able to contribute and looking forward to meeting some of the kids who would benefit from our little collection of goods.

The visit to Green Gecko was fantastic. On arrival we were greeted by Clem, one of the wonderful staff members. As we sat around cross-legged on mats, she took us through the history of the organisation and what kind of programmes they run for the children. Clem explained that aside from the usual school curriculum, one of the values they also try to teach the kids is social responsibility.

For our group, (and I’m sure for all of the staff at Green Gecko as well) it was such a heartwarming experience to see the kids packing up kilos and kilos of rice into satchels, to be delivered to rural communities that had been affected by the recent flooding. This was an idea that the children themselves had come up with. It was hot and humid, and the full bags of rice being loaded onto the truck were heavy, so to get the job done required team work. Every one of the children was doing their bit – and doing it with great enthusiasm and pleasure. And best of all – they were having fun! To see these kids, who have come from underprivileged backgrounds and sometimes very unfortunate conditions, helping out the community at large was inspiring.

Every single member of our group was deeply affected by our visit – proud that we had been able to make a contribution to such a wonderful organisation, privileged to see first hand the positive impact that Green Gecko is having on the children of Cambodia, and we were inspired by the kids themselves to be better citizens of the world.”

The Intrepid Foundation – travellers making a difference
Help support Green Gecko and other great organisations via the Intrepid Foundation, plus find out how your donation can be matched* by Intrepid Travel!

* Donations will be matched by Intrepid Travel up to AU$5000 (or equivalent) per donor and a total of AU$400,000 each financial year.

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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Christian Friborg / Reply

I’m planning to visit Siem Reap early next year. It’s nice to know they have this kind of organization to promote awareness to people. Good job!

I have just returned from Cambodia and Vietnam. The youth and children of Cambodia are a true credit to the efforts of the Cambodian people. The warm and polite cheekiness of these children as they swamp you with information about your own country is truly amazing. I look forward to revisiting this country in more depth, its path to a brighter future is a challenge that only these people could conquer with their sheer determination and pride in the country they call home.

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