At only 14 years old, they're spearheading conversations regarding the future of Cambodia, and will be key figures in the formation of a better tomorrow. The group traveled to Battambang to participate in a 3-day workshop organised by Soksabike specializing in our business practices, impact measurement, tour development, and differentiation tactics. The aim of this? To prepare these young minds to launch their own business ventures back home.
Situated 12 km outside of Phnom Penh, the Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) aims to "educate promising youth of today to develop socially conscious, entrepreneurial leaders of tomorrow." And from our experience of working with them this week, they really are what they say on the tin. The LLA places emphasis on learning though experience, and an ability to connect dots in innovate ways. They seek knowledge, ask questions, and are trained to be take calculated risks. And boy were we in for a treat! Over a course of 3 days, Soksabike and LLA worked together to share our expertise in the field of responsible tourism. What does it mean to be a responsible tour operator? What are the pitfalls of poorly planned community based tourism? How can ChildSafe practices be incorporated at a company level? Is riding elephants morally justifiable?! We debated, and despaired, and brainstormed. Aside from Soksabike, the students had an incredibly packed schedule. And yet, somehow, thanks to their discipline and organisation, the students managed to discover a big chunk of Battambang's best highlights (We're looking at you Phare Circus, Human Gallery and Bat Cave).
As a socially minded initiative, Soksabike sees workshops of this kind as an excellent way to fuel young people in their ability to conceptualize and implement their own social enterprise projects in the near future. We are excited and humbled to be a part of something so important. So all in all, at Soksabike we are in love the idea of sustainability. We know that tourism can be a positive agent of change. We also realize that this kind of future is dependent on the change makers we educate today. Education is therefore a huge part of sustainability, and by deafult, essential to progress. The young, bright students from Liger Leadership Academy (LLA) realize this better than most, and having them here learning from us was - an absolute pleasure. They have a keen eye for detail, a mind full of questions, and an enthusiasm that is infectious, and almost - a little concerning. :) We know all 13 of you will go on to do incredible things.
To learn more about the Liger Leadership Academy and their impact, visit http://www.ligeracademy.org/impact/overview/