Exotissimo Travel along with the Green Gecko Project and three of Siem Reap’s leading boutique hotels are collaborating to raise funds to provide emergency fund relief to families affected by the worst flooding to hit Cambodia in a decade.
Flooding has spread across 17 of Cambodia’s 24 provinces, killing 247 people, forcing the evacuation of more than 34,000 households, and destroying some 200,000 hectares of rice fields, according to the National Committee for Disaster Management. Vegetable plots have been destroyed, livestock have been lost and the price of rice has gone up by more than 50%. Access to food is critical for thousands of families, and food security will be a vital concern for thousands more over the weeks and months to come.
The inspiration for the relief effort came from the children at Green Gecko, an NGO providing somewhere to live, schooling and foster family for 70 underprivileged Siem Reap children. The kids voiced their concern and laid out a proposal for assistance, “Our plan is to save money from our own food spending to buy rice, canned fish, soy sauce and clean water for families that need help.” In response, Hotel de la Paix, Golden Banana Boutique Hotel and Resort, Heritage Suites and Exotissimo Travel Cambodia offered assistance to the relief effort.
On October 20, 2011, twenty management personnel and staff from Exotissimo Travel Cambodia, together with 16 of the children from Green Gecko worked hand in hand to pack 15 kg of rice, tinned fish and soy sauce and delivered the supplies to three villages and 400 families in the outskirts of Siem Reap. On Friday October 21st and Sunday the 23rd, another 470 families in Kampong Thom Province received the same assistance. Further initiatives are planned for other affected areas in the coming weeks.
“Despite scorching sun and torrential rain, our common goal of delivering much needed food and water to 870 families across 7 villages was achieved. It just goes to show, all you need is some passion and friends willing to work together to achieve your goals. Thank you for supporting our kids in their initiative and involving them in such a great community project, you made them all feel very special and worthy.” said Tania Palmer, the co‐founder and director of the Green Gecko Project.
“The floods have hit Cambodia very hard and Exotissimo were more than happy to offer any assistance possible at this time of great need” said Olivier Marchesin, General Manager of Exotissimo Travel Cambodia. “Inspired by the hard work of the children at Green Gecko, we collaborated with partners from Hotels to give assistance during these particularly hard times.”
The three hotels and Exotissimo Travel are continuously launching appeals to both guests and friends to raise funds for a Direct Action for Emergency Flood Relief program. The call likewise goes out to anyone who can and wishes to assist families in need. Funds donated go directly and entirely to the purchase of rice, fish and water for those families. Anyone wishing to help should contact [email protected].
The Green Gecko Project is a home, school and family for 70 children who previously lived and begged on the streets of Siem Reap, Cambodia. Green Gecko provides security, education, love and opportunities to these children through their formative years and into their adult lives, empowering them to achieve their full potential. The project also supports the children’s families and the broader community through long term health, education and training initiatives.