As travelers, we all have a responsibility to ensure our vacations and holidays don’t cause harm to the people and cultures we are so interested in getting to know.
By traveling with Soksabike, you ensure that you get an authentic experience learning about Cambodian daily life while also contributing to community and economic development. There are businesses around the world practicing responsible tourism principles to ensure local communities benefit from tourism rather than being harmed by it. When not handled correctly, tourism can pollute, destroy cultures, and break communities apart, but when developed responsibly, tourism has the power to provide new opportunities to locals, encourage economic development, and encourage pride in local livelihoods and cultures. Unfortunately, knowing which enterprises are doing good and which are bad is not always easy - especially when it comes to children.
Soksabike has partnered with ChildSafe, run by Friends International. The core of ChildSafe’s mission is to protect children who are some of the biggest victims of tourism’s negative influence. It may not be immediately apparent how tourism is changing children’s lives but in Cambodia an entire industry has developed that utilizes children to draw on tourists’ heartstrings for donations. Have you seen opportunities to visit orphanages? Would you go to an orphanage to take pictures of children in your own country? It’s important to think about the children, they need long term support and development. Short-term volunteering can be more harmful than helpful. In some cases, organizations are formed just to capitalize on travelers’ desire to help for economic gain. These organizations may be taking children away from families to stay in orphanages rather than helping families improve their situation as a whole or they are keeping children out of school to beg on the streets.