Sharing our Knowledge: Workshop on Social Enterprise and Responsible Tourism

 Small group working with Phalla to get an understanding of responsible tourism.

Small group working with Phalla to get an understanding of responsible tourism.

As a social enterprise, Soksabike works hard to ensure our guides are receiving training to improve their skill set but what do we do with all the knowledge our guides have aside from running tours?

This summer, the Soksabike staff decided to add a new educational aspect to our recruitment initiatives to pass some of that knowledge along to local students.

The team at Soksabike spent many hours fine tuning our presentation. We wanted to utilize skills our guides had learned over their time at Soksabike, like facilitating interactive activities and connecting with large groups.

We started with a basic, text heavy Powerpoint but through the guidance of guides it transitioned to a fully interactive workshop to teach the principles of social enterprise and responsible tourism.

Thursday before the presentation, Mony and Phalla led a dry run of the workshop to get the rest of us up to snuff on our facilitating skills. The team made sure it wasn't easy for them.

We acted confused, weren't forthcoming, and put other obstacles in their way to ensure we worked through potential issues with our activities well in advance of the actual presentation. Our work paid off!

 Makara presenting on responsible tourism.

Makara presenting on responsible tourism.

Sunday morning we arrived at Build Bright University. The class was ready and waiting for us. The guides took the lead, and managed the presentation without a hitch.

Most of the time we were doing small group activities; In depth discussions about problems in Cambodia and if a business could solve them or about the values of responsible tourism were taking place throughout the room. 

The students were amazing. They were engaged, interested, and had insightful ideas to contribute (all in English!) - not all of the credit for our success can go to our guides great work on preparing the workshop. 

We left the two hour session, knowing those students understood the principles of responsible tourism and social enterprise.

For our staff, that was more important than if any of them are interested in becoming a new guide.

Part of our mission is to work to benefit the community and adding these unique, interactive experiences gives student insights into issues they may not have encountered before and with Soksabike as an example of what the principles look like in the real world the ideas become relatable. 

Our guides also got great experience leading a meeting, creating plans for presentations, and working with and motivating younger students. We hope to continue these workshops at other schools in the future to continue spreading knowledge about social enterprise and responsible tourism throughout Battambang.

What else could we be doing to educate our communities about responsible tourism? Share your ideas with us in the comments.