Advocacy

We are passionate about responsible tourism and as well as advocating for ethical travel as part of our tours, we prioritise collaboration over competition and work with a range of vital partners to help widen our reach and fulfil our mission. Through the power of partnerships we seek to engage travellers, tourism businesses, and locals alike in critical issues existing in tourism. We work together to educate the next generation of change-makers to ensure travel is always a force for good.

We currently prioritise these key areas:

  • orphanages
  • responsible volunteering
  • child protection

Rethink Orphanages – keeping families together

We have partnered with the Rethink Orphanages Network since 2017. We are active members of both the Australian and European hubs, which are cross-sector networks that aims to prevent the unnecessary institutionalisation of children by shifting the way people engage with overseas aid and development. As part of our membership we are continuously looking for responsible alternatives to exploitative orphanage tourism through responsible and transformative educational travel.

Learning Service – responsible volunteering

Our founding team have been involved with Learning Service since its inception in 2013, and as a result the ‘learn before you help’ philosophy is deeply ingrained in our style of travel and core values. We are an official ‘Implementing Partner’ of the Learning Service approach as part of our mission to promote responsible volunteering that prioritises learning opportunities for travellers, and genuine benefits to host communities.

ChildSafe – preventing child exploitation in tourism

As many of our own customers are children themselves, safe-guarding children is our priority. In 2017 we were proud to become the first Cambodia-only tour operator to gain ChildSafe Certified status. Through our partnership Ayana Journeys we educate all our guests on ways travellers can prevent exploitation of vulnerable children on their holiday, and support sustainable solutions instead. It is essential everyone in our team receives annual training on child protection with ChildSafe and becomes recognised Agents in their community.

Lumos Foundation – alternatives to orphanage tourism

With the launch of the #HelpingNOTHelping campaign to end orphanage tourism, Ayana supports the Lumos’ initiative and adheres to their campaign policy…

In recognition of the harm caused by institutional care for children (such as so-called ‘orphanages’), and the growing evidence of children being trafficked to and from such institutions, we commit to the following:

  • Actively support causes that strengthen families and build local communities.
  • Ensure that we do not promote or engage in volunteering and/or visits to institutions for children.
  • Encourage and guide others to plan and redirect existing support to institutions into alternatives that support families and communities.
  • Educate our staff and board about this organisational stance, and the harms of so-called ‘orphanage tourism’ and institutional care.

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