During my recent visit to Cambodia, I fell in love with this amazing country and its people. At the same time, I was heartbroken by the country’s horrific past and prevalent poverty. I wanted to help out in any way I could and was happy to find that there are many NGOs doing amazing work in Cambodia. These organizations make it easy to help make a difference, even simply by making smart choices as a tourist. Here are three simple ways you can help a good cause as a tourist in Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh.
1. Shop for a Good Cause
When shopping in Phnom Penh, make a small contribution toward positive change in Cambodia by purchasing a handcrafted souvenir made by Watthan Artisans Cambodia. This cooperative is run by Cambodians who have been disabled by polio and landmines. Purchasing their products helps these impoverished and marginalized people improve their quality of life. Watthan Artisans’ small shop in Phnom Penh sells a variety of clothing, blankets, purses, ornaments, silk scarves, and more.
2. Eat for a Good Cause
Enjoy lunch or dinner at one of Phnom Penh’s TREE restaurants. These popular eateries help improve the lives of street kids by providing them with training that will give them the skills and confidence they need to pursue a bright future. Friends serves up innovative fusion dishes, while Romdeng specializes in traditional Cambodian cuisine.
3. Watch a Show for a Good Cause
In the evening, enjoy a Traditional Dance Show at the National Museum of Cambodia, which helps support Cambodian Living Arts. This NGO works towards restoring Cambodia’s artistic heritage after its survival was threatened by the Khmer Rouge genocide. It also helps empower young people in Cambodia to pursue the arts, carry on their cultural traditions, and support themselves financially by doing so.
As you can see, it’s not difficult to help make a difference in Cambodia. Every small contribution helps.
As always, happy travels!