Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Southeast Asia. Limited education in rural areas is a major impediment to realizing development goals, which does not only affect the quality of education but also healthcare, economic and community development negatively. For long, Cambodia has been a go-to destination for service learning opportunities.

Besides exclusive community-based tourism initiatives and various infrastructure projects through Angkor Educational Experience at Chan Sar Community, Buffalo Educational Travel has been working with different local social enterprises and brought worldwide student groups to visit and have workshops with these local organizations to learn about vocational training as a tool of sustainable development.

Let’s have a glimpse at two of our social enterprise partners that have been playing important roles in uplifting youths at their communities.

Go beyond the circus at Phare

One of the most exciting activities in Siem Reap is a visit to the incredible Phare circus. This inspiring enterprise works with some of the poorest communities in the area to provide young people with arts training. The organization has been running since 1994 and have educated 1,200 young Cambodians, with a further 500 trained specifically in the vocational arts. Phare has a diverse collection of 9 performances on rotation in Siem Reap at their beautiful big top tent.

Take your chance to go behind-the-scenes with the troupe behind the show, and engage in a unique workshop to learn a collection of circus tricks from the talented young artists. Flip, roll, juggle and balance with the help of the inspiring circus students of Phare – each with a fascinating story and talent to share. The workshop starts with some simple warm-up exercises before stepping up the challenge with flips, tricks and even some acrobatics.

EGBOK – Hospitality training for underprivileged youth

EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna Be OK) provides training for underprivileged young adults in hospitality and empower them to become independent. They aim to break the poverty cycle that still exists throughout the country by building up a qualified local workforce for tourism – one of the most thriving industries in Cambodia. EGBOK believes hospitality can build confidence, leadership, and a spirit of service that can go beyond cultural barriers and act as a universal language.

EGBOK full-time vocational training program equips trainees with professional skill sets, life skills and social supports to succeed in the hospitality industry through theoretical courses and hands-on training at hospitality companies.

Sit down with the management team to learn more about the operations and different activities the enterprise has to offer. Also meet up with some trainees and learn more about their journey with EGBOK and think about how you can give a hand to help lift up these disadvantaged lives. And do not miss out the chance to dine for a good cause at SPOON training restaurant and experience the great hospitality from their current trainees.

Buffalo Educational Travel Team and our friends at SPOON Restaurant