Friends International was in 2014 the winner of Wild Asia award as Wild Asia is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving tribute to the awardees of the Best Responsible Initiatives, they chose to feature EXO Travel as the first ChidSafe certified company in Asia. Vichra Chin Operation manager in Cambodia was brave enough to agree being interviewed explaining what we do at EXO to contribute to child protection.
EXO Travel is proud to be the first tour operator to be ChildSafe Certified.
The ChildSafe Movement is a global movement protecting children from all forms of abuse. It both implements and advocates for child protection policies and practices by giving the opportunity to everyone to take action.
EXO Travel now have 310 guides and around 150 staff fully trained to provide a ChildSafe tourism experience for all travelers. Besides implementing a Child Safe Policy and Code of Conduct in our daily business, we also ensure that our services are not only child-friendly and protective, but also answering the needs of the community, parents and youth. Part of our commitment includes a ban of school visits and orphanages, following the campaign, ‘Children are not tourist attractions’.
The tourism industry represents a key role in protecting children globally and we hope a lot more companies to join the certification in the very near future. To know more consult our page Make a difference and visit Friends International website.
ChildSafe is a network of local and international businesses and groups that protect children from abuse and prevent them from being placed in abusive situations. ChildSafe was created by Friends-International, a social enterprise with its head office based in Cambodia that protects marginalized children and youth, and reintegrate them into society.
What do they do?
ChildSafe aims to prevent urban children and youth from engaging in risky behaviour and/or dangerous situations that compromise their futures, and works at actively involving them in the development of their society. With this purpose, the network runs an ‘always-open’ support centre and 24-hour hotlines to assist the children and youth living and working on the streets. These centers provide social, medical and economic development support to children and to families in which children are at risk of coming on the streets. Childsafe also works with local communities, businesses and travelers spreading the word on the negative impacts of certain attitudes and activities and encourages them to be aware of, and report any situation where children may be at risk.
How can you help?
Do not buy products, give money or food to begging children. These situations discourage them from accessing school or training.
Avoid visits to orphanages, schools or dumpsites as part of your travel activities. These types of tours are voyeuristic and may even exploit children and their families for the financial gain of their organisers.
Use services provided by ChildSafe members, or ask your travel agent to do so. They are equipped to respond immediately to a child in danger.
Purchase products made from parents or youth in training to help strengthen family environments.
Your contribution directly benefits their needs:
US$ 50 buy a dedicated brick for your friends and family in the wall of Mit Samlah’s training center
US$ 127 1 year of covered costs for 1 child/youth.
US$ 200 material for training and monitoring ChildSafe members during 1 month.
US$ 300 1 month salary for 1 ChildSafe hotline worker.
In-kind donations are also welcome by ChildSafe: Rice, bedding, hygiene materials, clothing and shoes for children and youth up to 24 years old, bicycles, sewing machines, computers and printers in working order, second-hand motorbikes or trucks for transportation, obsolete vehicles for mechanics vocational training.
EXO Foundation support
As a certified ChildSafe Network member, EXO Foundation vow not to employ under-aged staff, to terminate staff who do not comply with the child protection code, to promote ChildSafe information to our agents and clients and train our guides in ChildSafe practices.
EXO Travel is part of the ChildSafe network with staff having attended ChildSafe training since 2012, and in 2016 EXO Travel was the first company worldwide to become ChildSafe certified. We reproduce the ChildSafe TIPS in the booklet ‘Tips for responsible Travelers ‘ that EXO distributes to travelers since 2013.
6th October 23. Our colleagues from EXO Cambodia have organized in Siem Reap an amazing and successful event for Tuk Tuk drivers. A workshop to spread awareness about sustainability, child protections and waste management in cooperation with two excellent organizations Child Save and Waste Management by GAEA. Our colleagues have also briefed them about sustainability topics and prepared a nice event including breakfast and some nice gifts as vouchers meal from Sala Bai, an hotel school with whom we also cooperated. 55 tuk drivers attended the event very happy with the time invested.
Our amazing colleagues at EXO Cambodia hosted a remarkable event in Siem Reap. They organized a workshop for Tuk Tuk drivers, spreading awareness about sustainability, child protection, and waste management. They even teamed up with incredible organizations like Childsafe and Waste Management by GAEA. 🚲🌏 Our colleagues also shared insights on sustainability, best practices, and other tips as tricks on how to deal with foreign customers. To top it off, treated the drivers with some fantastic gifts, including meal vouchers from Sala Bai, Spoons and Haven– some fantastic hospitality projects we’ve partnered with. And special thanks to Lotus Blanc hotel that sponsored the room and coffee break Kudos to EXO Cambodia! 🙌
Aziza’s Place (AP) is a non-profit learning and development centre for underprivileged children established in 2007 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
What do they do?
The children from around Phnom Penh live in local communities and come from vulnerable families who have been marginalized from society. They are often struggling to earn a living and provide for themselves.
Aziza’s place aims to support vulnerable children in close collaboration with their families and communities by providing a range of programs from educational and developmental services to nutrition programs.
Education: The centre covers all school fees including primary, secondary, vocational training and university and other school-related expenses (uniforms, bags, stationery and books). It also provides daily classes focusing on Khmer, Math, English and Computer skills.
Health Care: Aziza’s Place furnishes health insurance for all of its children, to cover hospital and medication costs. Children are also able to visit a doctor on-site each week and can receive vaccinations, dental care and prescription glasses.
Sports: The centre offers the discovery of different sports to children through karate classes, weekly skateboarding classes through a partnership with Skateistan and swimming instruction in a sports club located nearby.
As a result, six of their students have earned a black belt and fifteen a brown belt. In 2017, one of their female students placed third in an international karate competition as part of the Cambodian National Team.
Arts: Through art projects, children learn about the culture, art and music of Cambodia and other nations. Children can practice traditional Khmer Apsara dance and learn to play Khmer music on traditional and contemporary instruments kept in our music room.
Nutrition: Aziza’s place provides three nutritious meals per day, including fresh fruit and water from a local market throughout the children’s stay.
Social Work and family support: The centre provides regular visits to the communities which they serve to monitor the progress of the families and to assist them to improve their living standards. They also coordinate school, Aziza’s Place and parents to share results and issues to find coordinated solutions.
EXO Foundation support
With our support, they have been able to purchase a new school bus and have adopted a child protection policy. Nowadays, each staff member of the organisation is a certified ChildSafe Agent and they ensure to provide a safe environment for the children.
“Carefully consider your every action. This is your holiday but it is their everyday lives.”
I pledge to be a responsible tourist.
I take this pledge as a guest to your home, to preserve and protect your beautiful and unique Asia.
I vow to tread lightly, act kindly and explore mindfully.
I shall not take what is not given.
I shall not harm what does not harm me.
The only footprints I shall leave are those that will wash away.
Learn how to say ‘hello’, ‘goodbye’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language. People highly appreciate it!
Asian societies remain fairly traditional and are attached to old customs.
Avoid showing affection in public as it is considered quite offensive – sorry, no kissing! Don’t touch people of the opposite sex. Avoid touching someone on the head
Don’t curl your fingers to beckon somebody over or point it at another person’s face. Asian people generally use a subtle downward waving motion to summon someone.
When using a toothpick, use one hand to cover your mouth.
Present money and gifts with both hands and accept them the same way.
Always let the oldest be served first and bend slightly in front of elders.
Be sensitive to local cultures
Each country has many different ethnic groups, each of which may have its very own etiquette and taboos. Always listen to the advice of your guide.
Cultural diversity and exoticism is what you came looking for so accept the differences and enjoy it! Do tell locals about your own culture, most are just as curious as you are to learn about other cultures.
Learn about culture and customs, the more you know about your destination, the better you will appreciate and understand it.
Take some time to chat with the locals first. The photo will become a shared memory which you can send back to them.
Connect with people before taking pictures
Be prepared to answer, on numerous times, personal questions like: “Where are you from? Where are you going? Are you married? How old are you? etc…” Most people are simply trying to be friendly, to practice their English skills or start a conversation.
Do note that privacy has a very different meaning in Asia. Locals will never criticize you, but will be embarrassed and politely keep their opinions to themselves.
Respect cultural sites
Many cultural sites, even those in ruins are sacred grounds.
Show respect to monks, novices and nuns, don’t offer to shake hands, avoid stepping on a monk’s shadow. Ladies, do not sit next to, or hand anything directly to Buddhist monks. Show respect by not taking photos or disturbing monks during prayer times. Don’t sit with your back or feet towards Buddha’s image. Handle Buddha images or sacred objects with respect; avoid placing them in inappropriate places (on the floor for example).
It is forbidden to walk or climb anywhere out off regular footpaths, to scrawl or scribble on monuments, and to collect stones or any parts of the monument or site.
Do not give gifts, money or sweets to children or buy anything from them – although you might think it helps. It only encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope of a better life and are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse. These children are often exploited by local mafias.
Do not give gifts or buy anything from children
Children are not tourist attractions. Visiting children centres, orphanages or schools is forbidden in western countries.
Research has shown that short-term visits (including volunteer tourism) can be harmful to a child’s development and emotional balance. UNICEF, Friend’s International and an increasing number of children organisations are now campaigning to stop what has become an exploitative practice that turns children and disadvantaged communities into tourist commodities.
Ask yourself: would you allow complete strangers to approach your children, take pictures of them, or give them candies? If you wish to learn more, please visit: www.thinkchildsafe.org
Support the local economy
Buy locally made food & handicrafts directly from local craftsman and markets.
The diversity of local modes of transport adds to the charm of travel. You might be annoyed sometimes by endless calls to use tuk tuks or cyclos but be patient. A polite ‘no, thank you.’ will suffice. Be sure to always agree on the price before taking any form or local transport. For the best sightseeing experience, walk, cycle, take a cyclo or a rickshaw.
Click on the picture to access a list of shops supporting community projects that help to directly improve the livelihoods of the most disadvantaged people.
With patience and a broad smile you will not only get a better price but also enjoy the art of negotiation – that is very much part of markets in Asia. Whatever you buy, be mindful that it is part of their livelihood.
Bargain within reason and with a smile
Whatever the situation, try to stay calm, firm and courteous and speak without raising your voice. Becoming angry is considered a major weakness and local people will be embarrassed for you. ‘Saving face’ is a subtle but important aspect of personal dignity and smiling often can help to open cultural doors.
Criticism is not as easily accepted as it is in western countries and should only be made when also giving praise.
Protect the Wildlife and the flora
Do not buy any wild animals either dead or alive.
Do not purchase historical artefacts, souvenirs made of shells, corals, precious wood or any endangered species. Trading of elephants, tigers, primates, marine animals alive or dead and animal parts such as meat, ivory, bones, shells is illegal. Other wild animal parts such as turtle, pangolin, monkey, red tuna, seahorses, shells, coral and more should not be purchased.
Do not buy any furniture made of timber or other natural materials taken from the forest and the natural ecosystem.
For example, sometimes local people will try to sell you caged birds to be set free that helps to bring good luck. However, by paying for it you only encourage them to capture more.
This includes the various shows in hostess bars, street prostitution etc…
Do not support the sex industry
You risk putting money into the hands of the mafia and catching diseases. What you may see as a glitzy entertainment has a gloomy backstage. Most men and women involved are part of a larger network of human traffickers.
Pedophilia is strictly forbidden. Violators will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, even after they return to their home countries.
Plastic disposal is a major problem in Asia.
When ordering a drink, ask your guide to help you order without a plastic straw. If a glass is not clean using a straw does not make it any safer.
Avoid wrapping your luggage in kilometres of plastic wrap; protect them with locks and carry precious items with you.
Take your own bags with you when shopping – Say no to any kind of plastic or styrofoam food boxes.
Waste is a waste
Avoid leaving any rubbish behind, especially when trekking or visiting rural villages. Ideally pick up any rubbish you see littering the forest, the sea or beach, protect Mother Nature. Smokers, please keep your cigarette butts with you until you find the next dustbin.
Organic waste such as food scraps should not be scattered or buried in National Parks and any natural areas. This may introduce non-endemic seeds into the local ecosystem. Carry back all your waste with you.
Bring back used batteries to your home country, there is no reliable recycling processing here.
Please always use the toilet facilities provided. If there are none, go at least 50 metres away from water sources and people’s homes. Cover everything and carry any sanitary napkins or baby diapers back with you in a bag for appropriate disposal later.
Avoid throwing waste on a fire as it might offend the local community – many locals consider fire to be sacred.
Save energy and water
In your room, use air-conditioning sensibly. Turn it down when you leave your room or even at night when a fan is sufficient.
Turn off taps and switches when not in use. You can choose not to have your towels and bed linen changed daily, just follow the signs!
Wherever water is heated with cut timber, avoid hot showers it will invigorate your blood circulation.
Ask your driver to open windows to cool down with fresh air in rural areas.
WATER IS PRECIOUS, HELP SAVE IT.
When snorkeling, be aware that touching coral formations hinder their growth – and note that coral cuts are prone to infection. Do not collect nor buy any coral or shell.
Animal in tourism
We want to protect wildlife and promote conservation, we therefore recommend a sensitive approach to all animal attractions, such as elephant camps, primate centers, tiger zoos or marine wildlife attractions.
An easy rule of thumb for you: places where animals have to perform in an unnatural way, or are chased or lured are not recommended!
Please do respect animal’s natural behavioral patterns. Animals should always have access to food and water, and live free from pain, discomfort, fear or stress.
Never feed or touch wild animals on land or underwater.
Never stare or smile at primates.
If you visit an elephant camp and you see see an elephant forbidden to eat grass, walking on concrete, under the sun, carrying over 150kgs, or performing unnatural activities such as painting, playing football etc… Refuse it!
Stay on the beaten tracks
This is particularly important during the wet season, when it is all too easy to create new tracks in order to get a better footing. When this happens the trail soon becomes a series of footpaths that turn into erosion gullies.
In limestones caves, do not touch formations as natural body oils hinder their growth and discolour the limestone. These have taken thousands of years to shape into what you can see today!
Reduce deforestation by avoiding unnecessary use of scarce firewood such as limiting beach bonfires.
On nature treks, when you need to bathe in streams or lakes, limit soap usage and/or use organic soap and shampoo. Detergent powder is even more harmful to the natural ecosystem, so avoid using it when possible.
Be aware that some tropical plants are stinging or poisonous, avoid touching what you don’t know.
On Friday 27th September, EXO Travel teams have celebrated EXO Foundation Day. A great opportunity to learn more about our supported projects in each destinations and to meet with their projects leaders or beneficiaries. It was also a time during which we have invited EXO people to express their wishes for the Foundation. Festive events were organized, as well as meaningful activities such as tree planting, building a playground for locals, supporting social enterprises and a lot more!
Vietnam From the kitchen to our office! The young Vietnamese entrepreneurs that are being supported by the vocational training IECD has brought to us delicious baked croissants and shared their stories and efforts to become professional pastry chefs with us.
CHANGE VN, an NGO working towards the protection and conservation of Vietnam’s wildlife, came to our office to show us a video of what they have done so far to create awareness on the protection of endangered species in Vietnam! This year, EXO Foundation, made an artistic twist by inviting our Saigon staff to spray-paint their old t-shirts with animal shapes, with the help from CHANGE VN’s artists.
Our team in Hanoi had a fun and hard-working day building a playground to contribute to young generations well being: beautiful results! A big thank you to all for your contribution!
Da Nang team went to Reform Center to learn about the many things that can be done with plastic that has been used already! Our three special winners for our Kahoot game on EXO Foundation received an EXO lunch box and bamboo toothbrushes!
Our offices in Japan are collaborating with Terracycle and Lion recycling to get rid of our old plastic toothbrushes. Terracycle Toothbrush Recovery Program is a recycling program, collecting used plastic brushes and transforming them into items such as flowerpots.
Rewards points are given to collection partners according to the weight collected, these points can be used to donate to educational institutions and charities. During EXO Foundation Day, all the staff received an FSC certified bamboo toothbrush in exchange for their plastic toothbrush!
In Laos, guest speakers from Lone Buffalo & Laos Cookstove came to present their work to Vientiane staff.
Improved Cookstoves Laos is the recipient of our carbon offset credits. As for Lone Buffalo, it all started back in 2010 when the life of a selfless man, Manophet, inspired his friends to create a place where rural youth could be empowered: English classes, football team, Women Empowerment, Environment Awareness, Coffee Production… EXO Foundation has been a proud support of 2 English classes since 2016.
The very first event of EXO Foundation Day by EXO Myanmar was super successful. The first part of the event was raising awareness to all staff and guests by making the short presentations about EXO Foundation and the current projects contributed by EXO Foundation.
Fun part was fundraising food market prepared by S-Team and souvenir market by the social enterprises. EXO Myanmar’s local guides, collaborative hotels and all EXO Yangon staff participated in this event and helped to raise funds for EXO Foundation. We provided reusable shopping bags made by used-umbrellas to all our staff as a gift.
After a full belly at their training restaurant, the team went to explore the new “Futures Factory” aiming to train the young generation to access a decent job and to welcome new entrepreneurs developing social and environmental business initiatives.
The luckiest ones get locked in an “Escape Game” to experience the “Child Safe Academy” and have tested beauty salon with Friends trainee.
Childsafe team came to the office to introduce their “Childsafe communities” project funded this year by EXO Foundation and we have also invited for short presentation Ms. Thannakarn Bella Vongvisitsin, Senior Researcher on Sustainable Tourism and Diversity Inclusion. At the end of the day, our teams enjoyed a Thai dessert corner with ice-cream and were given a bamboo toothbrushes!
All our team, in Bali and Jogjakarta celebrated EXO Foundation day through mangrove planting activities. In Bali, mangrove forests are a very important carbon sink. Moreover, they are unfortunately threatened by the Reclamasi project, a land extension whose ecological consequences and the legal aspects were vehemently debated and criticized in Bali.
In Bali and Jogjakarta staff received some zero-waste kits when arriving at the office. They were then asked to share their wishes regarding sustainability in EXO and the projects to be supported by EXO Foundation. Then, the whole day in Jogjakarta and the whole afternoon in Bali were dedicated to mangrove planting and beach cleaning activities. Thank you to our team for their enthusiasm and thank you to our partners Respirasi and Forum Peduli Mangrove Bali.
Our teams both in Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur were pampered by a massage done by people visually impaired, a great way to support their socio-economic inclusion. In Kota Kinabalu, we had invited upcycle sabah to give a talk on waste management.
In November last year, during our annual sustainability workshop we had designed a common action plan enabling us to set our priorities for the year. In each Travelife certified country a Sustainability team is involved in the follow up of the implementation of the Sustainability Action Plan. After 9 months, we start to evaluate our work and achievements. This year, we have also been audited by Travelife in Thailand, Laos, Indonesia and Myanmar!
CO2 – automatic carbon offsetting for all domestic and regional flights booked by EXO for our clients.
Launch of EXO People satisfaction survey and data analysis per country.
Sharing knowledge – serie of events/training/games has been organized throughout the year with a special focus on Wildlife & Biodiversity
Travel Consultants – informed and trained on how to promote responsible options to our clients
Training organized for tour guides including responsible tourism related topics and ChildSafe
Health & Safety standards have been included in our sustainability inspections checklist.
We have lists of responsible suppliers for office purchase & gifts, we use them for 70% of our gift purchasing and we strive to reach more.
EXO Foundation supports bi-annual commissions grassroots projects enabling to give back to local people and/or help to protect the environment
EXO local teams are involved in various sustainability & tourism networks from IMPACT Vietnam to CSR PATA working group etc.
We have applied to Virtuoso award and have been nominated, received a TTG award for the most responsible company and have submitted applications to WTTC, CCIFV CSR category, Myanmar Responsible Tourism award etc.
Targets in progress…
Some may be applied only in some countries or they are on the way of being further implemented.
Thailand & Indonesia have started to design & apply sustainability related tasks/objectives in people’s KPIs and Job Description, a revised list has been worked on and will be shared in countries by beginning of next year,
Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia have met the criteria of having at least 70% of contracted suppliers signing our Sustainability Addendum. In 2019, our contracting teams will send a revised version of our sustainability addendum to our suppliers, including a mention about setting up refill station.
In Laos & Myanmar, 10 experiences newly created include major sustainability elements.
For all countries, we are in the process of implementing newly designed icons that will enable to identify responsible experiences! It will be live before the end of the year.
In Indonesia and Thailand, the objective will be met but it is still unsure for the other countries.
Targets not reached
Paper use – reach below 200 sheets per people per year, we will reach this target for about 50% of our offices (involved in Travelife certification)
Waste generation – reach below 10kg of waste per people per year, we exceed this target for all destinations…even though it has been a major topic raised in our communications.
70% of reduction of plastic in our operations – with the refillable bottles initiative we are seriously reducing our use of plastic water bottles however it is not enough to reach our target. Thus, we have decided to stop using another single -use item, wet towels, from 2019 on-wards.
We will be releasing in our next newsletter our yearly objectives for 2019!
We are pleased to announce that EXO Travel and EXO Foundation have been awarded the PATA Gold Award in the CSR category, beating off stiff competition from 71 organizations and individuals in Asia Pacific.
PATA’s Gold Awards recognize tourism industry organizations and individuals making outstanding contributions towards creating a responsible and sustainable tourism industry in the Asia-Pacific region. The prestigious award will be presented at the PATA Gold Awards Luncheon later this year in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The Asia Pacific Travel Association (PATA) is internationally acclaimed for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. By winning the CSR category, EXO Travel and its non-profit affiliate, EXO Foundation, have been effectively globally endorsed from thousands of travel professionals who believe their work and support is contributing positively to responsible tourism.
On receiving the news Olivier Colomes, CEO of EXO Travel, said:
“This PATA Gold Award is one of the most important achievements for EXO Travel. After receiving the Travelife and ChildSafe certifications, it is a major step that reflects and rewards the hard work of all EXO people’s commitment to CSR. We are very honored and proud to receive this Gold Award from PATA. It encourages us to aim for higher standards in sustainability and better responsible tourism practices.”
Christine Jacquemin, Director of EXO Foundation and Sustainability Coordinator for the group, said:
“This is a major step of the EXO journey to improve sustainability in Southeast Asia. I would like to extend my congratulations to the Regional Sustainability Team and to EXO Travel staff for joining this journey. It’s been a steady 4 years of questioning, reflection, change of procedures and mind sets. The PATA Gold Award marks a major milestone of our journey. Our ambition is now to encourage our suppliers, clients and travelers to join us on that path, and promote tourism as a catalyst for positive change, so we can altogether make destinations better places for people to live in and for travelers to visit.”
EXO’s Commitment to a Sustainable Tourism Industry
This award further cements EXO Travel’s and EXO Foundation’s positions as leaders in corporate social responsibility, within the global tour industry. Together, they continue to uphold their vision of a system of travel that maximizes the benefits of local communities and the preservation of their cultural and natural heritage. Their joint-mission aims to improve the livelihoods of the most disadvantaged populations, while minimizing the negative social, cultural and environmental impacts tourism may generate.
This recent award underlines EXO’s commitment to a sustainable tourism industry following on from the Travelife and ChildSafe accreditations.
EXO Vietnam also received the CSR Award from the French Chamber of Commerce (CCIFV),
EXO Cambodia received a CCIF Environment Award and,
the EXO Group has been nominated for a Virtuoso 2016 award in the category of Sustainable Tourism Leadership.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 97 government, state and city tourism bodies, 27 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 63 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond.
There are many children in Asia in need of support, but giving directly to these children or buying items from those that live on the streets or near popular tourist sites is strongly discouraged by the key organizations working to protect these children (Save the Children, UNICEF, Friends International, APLE).
EXO Travel has removed all visits to orphanages and children centers from its tours, especially where the children are under 12 years old. This decision was motivated by reports indicating that such visits along with short term volunteering can be disturbing to the children’s emotional balance and educational process.
A great way to support children is to channel funds into organizations caring for children such as children’s hospitals, as health is a major cause for families finding themselves unable to financially support their children, and one of the main reasons for why parents decide to resort to child care centers. We recommend the following organizations to provide better support:
Kantha Bopha Hospital in Cambodia,
Buckhunger a program feeding Street children of Phnom Penh or APLE an organization supporting children victims of rape and sexual exploitation
In Thailand we recommend Gift of Happiness who secure basic needs (clothes, hygiene, toilets facilities, water supply, etc.) and supply to vulnerable families.
The latest campaign launched by Friends International, ‘Think before you donate, Support families not orphanages’, explains why supporting orphanages actually increases the likelihood of parents placing their children in such institutions instead of caring for them at home. ‘Someone came and told me that if I gave the baby to an orphanage I would get lots of money, I cried when I gave the baby, I cried’ (A mother, Save the Children). Check the campaign here.
To get our recommendations for other countries or should you wish to find out more information please ask your EXO Travel Consultants or contact us directly at [email protected]