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Oct 12, 2017
Written By Claire Casher

It’s been an exciting few months at Mad Monkey. Our first Thai hostel opened its doors in Bangkok in July, and we just rolled out the red carpet for our first guests on Nacpan Beach in the Philippines this week! The times they are a changin’ – but one thing that stays constant is our commitment to social responsibility.

The best part of these expansions is the opportunity they present to have an impact in new communities, and to reach even more travelers interested in creating positive change wherever they and their backpacks go.

Here are a few of the highlights from our community projects in July, August, and September…

 

We Joined Forces with Trailblazer Foundation to Spread Access to Clean Water Across Cambodia

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A Cambodian woman draws water from a hand-pump well supplied by Trailblazer Foundation

 

Mad Monkey has a new partner in our Clean Water Project! We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be working with Trailblazer Foundation from now on to deliver water wells and water filters in rural areas around Siem Reap.

Clean water is a basic human need, and yet far too many families in the Cambodian countryside struggle to survive without it. Current figures estimate that between 50 – 60% of Cambodians don’t have access to clean water. The ripple effects of this are far-reaching, as it affects everything from the spread of disease to a child’s ability to attend school.

Trailblazer Foundation are addressing this issue one well and one filter at a time. The NGO was founded in 2004, and has been supporting sustainable community development ever since. Its clean water projects are allocated according to requests from villages themselves, and implemented by the all-Cambodian Trailblazer Angkor Team. This ensures that projects are undertaken with a sensitivity to local needs and culture, and that all economic stimulus is kept within Cambodia.

 

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A member of the Trailblazer Angkor Team teaches a family how to use their new Bio-Sand Water Filter

 

Where does Mad Monkey come in? We’re dedicated to raising funds for clean water, which Trailblazer will use to build wells where they’re needed most at the time of donation. Our guests have an option to donate $1 to our Clean Water Project Fund at the time of our booking, and we run regular events at our Siem Reap Hostel to add to this fund. We’re also raising funds for clean water filters through our Kamikaze Tour of Kampot.

Each of these donations adds up, and together we are making a difference. If you feel moved to make an even larger impact, though, consider doing what so many of our guests, friends, and family have done – donate a whole well! Just $290 will entirely fund a well that will provide water to a family for generations.

See our Clean Water Project page and the Trailblazer Foundation website to learn more.

Click Here to donate a well – and change a family’s life – today!

 

We Delivered Water Filters to 12 Families

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Together with the Cambodian Buddhism Association for Vulnerable Children (CBAVC), another long-time partner of our Clean Water Project, we delivered water filters to 12 families in rural Cambodia. These filters are the final step in clean water access for a village family, as they remove harmful substances from the water drawn from the ground with a water well. The families will use this filtered water to drink and cook with.

We dedicate $14.50 from every Kampot Kamikaze Tour that we sell to our fund for clean water filters, which are donated and installed once every quarter. If you joined this tour in the past few months, cheers to you – you helped bring safe and clean water to a family’s home!

 

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Our Bangkok Team Became ChildSafe Certified

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Staff studying the ChildSafe “7 Tips for Travelers”

 

As an official partner of the ChildSafe Movement, Mad Monkey made a commitment that all of our staff would complete ChildSafe Training. They are, after all, on the front lines of the tourism industry – a prime position to make a difference for children at risk.

Our Bangkok team was the first to dive in, completing their ChildSafe Awareness Training in August. The sessions sparked a lot of interesting debate, and the Trainers complimented our team after the fact on their genuine interest and active participation. Now we’re excited to share what we’ve learned with our guests.

 

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The team, all smiles after completing their training

 

If you’re wondering what child protection could possibly have to do with hostels, we really encourage you to check out the ChildSafe website and 7 Tips for Travelers.

The fun and education will continue as we run this training with our Cambodian teams over the next few weeks.

You can learn more about the ChildSafe Movement at thinkchildsafe.org and Friends International, its parent organization, at friends-international.org.

 

We Sold Out Of These Beautiful, Locally-Made Bracelets

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A few months ago, Life Project Cambodia (LPC) approached us with a proposal we couldn’t refuse. If you haven’t heard of LPC before, they’re an awesome organization in Siem Reap empowering disadvantaged students and their families to create their own solutions to poverty. One of these solutions is entrepreneurship – the students’ parents have taken up weaving intricate, colourful bracelets to sell.

LPC asked us to offer these bracelets for sale in our hostels. We were keen, but even we didn’t realize what a hit they would be! Our stock sold out in record time, and now we’re on our second order. Stop by Mad Monkey Siem Reap or Phnom Penh to snap one up for just $1 – while you still can!

You can learn more about Life Project Cambodia at lifeprojectcambodia.org.

Mad Monkey Hostels CSR

 

That’s all for now, but even as we write this, more awesomeness is in the works. Thanks to all our supportive guests and friends for making these projects possible! As high season comes back into full swing in Southeast Asia, our community work will also be gearing up. See you in December for another action-packed roundup!

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