Special collaboration between tourism industry and local kids helping to support flood victims Siem Reap, Cambodia. Exotissimo Travel and three of Siem Reap’s leading boutique hotels are collaborating with a local street children’s NGO to raise funds for assistance tofamilies affected by the flooding that has swept across Cambodia. Hotel de la Paix, Heritage SuitesHotel and Golden Banana Boutique Hotel & Resort as well as Exotissimo Travel are working in collaboration the with children from the Green Gecko Project to provide emergency flood relief in Siem Reap and neighbouring Kampong Thom, which have been severely hit by the flooding.
The initial aim is to raise funds for 10 tonnes of rice for distribution to families in need. 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, says 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 for many months to come. The inspiration for the flood relief appeal came about after the three hotels invited children from Green Gecko to share their concerns about the food crisis and to make a proposal on how they would like to help. Responding to the call, the Green Gecko children said, “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. We are looking for partners to join us in our efforts and believe that Hotel de la Paix, Golden Banana Boutique Hotel and Resort, Heritage Suites Hotel would be the perfect partners for this project as we have worked together as community partners before”. This initiative also inspired
Exotissimo Travel Cambodia who are now taking part in the project. Mobilised by the children’s appeal, the hotels and Green Gecko sprang into action and a first delivery of rice, fish and soy sauce was made to each of the 20 most desperate families at a commune in the outskirts of Siem Reap two hours later. A second delivery will take place on Thursday October 20 for another 150 families. In addition to donating and raising funds, staff from the hotels’ and Exotissimo will be working alongside the children and staff of Green Gecko to help with the delivery. “We understand this initiative does not serve as a long term solution; our goals are simply to offer some emergency relief… to buy some time until aid organisations have time to reach them”, said Tania Palmer, the co‐founder and director of the Green Gecko Project. She also thanked the collaborators for helping the children to reach out to their community. “Thank you for supporting our kids in their initiative and involving them in such a great community project… you all made them feel very special and worthy”. Exotissimo and partners are launching an appeal through their guests and friends to raise funds for the Drive for Direction Action for Emergency Flood Relief Collaboration and call on anyone who can to help them help families that are desperately in need. Funds donated will go directly towards purchasing rice, fish and water for those families.
Anyone wishing to help should contact [email protected] or go to https://www.razoo.com/story/Floodreliefcollaboration to donate online. 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.