We can’t believe our first year in operation is already over. It has flown by and been full of adventure. This week we took some time out to reflect on what we have achieved; as we look ahead to the new year, this review gives us motivation to grow and increase our social impact! It’s been a rewarding exercise to see just how much we have contributed in our first year. We’re pretty proud!

In a nutshell

2015-Ayana-Impact-infographic

In more detail

  • Community Based Tourism – Sleeping in a village with a local family is, in our opinion, the closest thing we can get to ‘authentic’ travel. We support several community based tourism projects that have established an equitable tourism model for rural communities. These eye-opening experiences could take you to an island on the Mekong or a village next to 12th century temple ruins, AND provide sustainable alternative livelihoods for your hosts.
  • Facilitated Fundraising for Education – As an educational travel provider we (naturally) value education, and are proud to generate funding and donors through tourism. All our school trips include a fundraising component, and our guests contribute much needed donations to our sister NGO PEPY Empowering Youth. Whilst this funding is unrestricted (we trust the NGO to channel this money to where it is needed most) the above illustration shows us just how far the fundraising goes! PEPY delivers high-quality youth empowerment programs for rural students, as well as sponsoring their university fees enabling them to build the brighter future they see for themselves.
  • Social Impact Projects – As much as is possible, we build in visits and meetings with inspirational charities as part our tour. Throughout your learning journey with us you’ll meet and learn about some amazing projects. The image above gives you an overview of the themes we have supported this year. To name just a few, we’re honoured to have supported human rights organisation LICADHO, inclusive arts NGO Epic Arts, and Friends’ programs to support at-risk youth (those living on the street, with HIV, and victims of abuse).
  • Training – We believe in continuous training and have offered some interesting sessions for our full time and freelance staff. Sreyneang our Accountant has continued her Masters in Accounting, which we’re happy to fund 80% of, and become quite the expert in tax systems! Our tuktuk drivers have become ambassadors for child protection and improved their customer service skills. Guides have discovered new facilitation techniques and sharpened their knowledge of first aid. Finally, our expatriate management has been improving their Khmer language ability, and deepening a grasp on facilitating ethical community tourism.
  • That’s not all – The above points are the most obvious contributions we have made, but we’re happy to report there is more! We haven’t included the amount of money spent in social enterprise restaurants (more than $2,000), number of nights at locally owned hotels, or our company donations to Nepal after the earthquake…that’d be showing off!

We’d like to thank our team and partners for their collective efforts to deliver unique and immersive travel experiences in Cambodia. Of course, a huge thanks goes to our wonderful guests who have made these contributions to community development work possible, especially those who have worked hard to fundraise for our sister NGO PEPY Empowering Youth. Through responsible travel and investments into the local economy and social businesses, we’re proud to be working towards long-term benefits to Cambodia and its people.

We’d like to wish you all a very happy new year. We can’t wait for what lies ahead…

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