Cambodia is a land of contrasts: Where modern businessmen who find success in this emerging economy reward themselves “accordingly” yet often still pay their staff at a rate that barely (if at all) keeps them above the poverty line. Since the very inception of Angkor Travel Photography (ATP), one thing has always been constant: Our desire to be different. We pride ourselves in operating in such a way that creates a positive impact in the country that we all love and are proud to call our “home away from home.” We’ve always ensured that our drivers are paid fairly and treated well, and that the local people we encounter during the tours are shown respect. Still, for quite some time we have been looking forward to the day when we could do more.
When guiding our photography workshop participants through Angkor and beyond, a particular topic of conversation comes up fairly frequently: “What can you do to help Cambodia?” We found ourselves advising guests against giving money directly to the children they meet in favour of finding a responsible organisation impacting positive change in Cambodia in a way that is sustainable. We came to realise that it’s not easy to do so when you have such limited time in a country. We were incredibly excited, then, when we were able to sit down recently with a representative from Siem Reap-based NGO, Anjali House, to put pen to paper on an official partnership. Now, for every day you spend with us, we’ll donate $5 to our partners, ensuring that a little of your money finds its way into the right hands: For each day in our company, the donation made on your behalf will ensure that child is provided with two free meals per day for FIVE full days!
The word “Anjali” comes from the Sanskrit word for “Offerings.” Fitting then, that our partner is able to offer so much to local children in need: Anjali House provide a range of programs to ensure the children under their care are happy and healthy, and provided with both education and avenues for creative expression so that they might develop the skills that enable access to the opportunities that will help bring them success and fulfilment in the future. These programs range from Anjali’s basic care scheme – providing two free meals a day, clean drinking water, hygiene facilities and basic medical care to the children who may not be afforded these necessities at home – to their family support services and young adult programs providing basic English skills, computer and leadership skills, and even scholarships to attend university. Originally founded as part of the Angkor Photo Festival, they’ve kept close ties, running annual week-long creative workshops hosted by internationally renowned photographers.
To learn more about Anjali House, you can do so by clicking here.