Our Responsible Tourism Practice
Babel Guesthouse is run with an active focus on Responsible Tourism. We constantly seek to provide benefits from the tourism industry to the local community in Siem Reap, and we are doing our best to cause as little damage as possible to the area in which we operate. We only hire local staff, drivers and guides. They all receive plenty of training, good working conditions, fair salaries and flexible working hours to enable the staff to continue their education. We buy our food for the restaurant at the local market, and we support good projects in town that actively focus on Responsible Tourism.
Babel Educational Program
Trough Babel Educational program, half of our all the staff at Babel Guesthouse and some of our Tuk Tuk drivers work on their Bachelor degrees at Build Bright University (BBU) and The University of South East Asia. The rest of our staff and some Tuk Tuk drivers study English at ACE school and we also give English lessons here at Babel. We have also sponsored the staff with Spanish- French- and German lessons. Check out our Blog with updates on all our work with the Program: www.babeleducationalprogram.wordpress.com
For a Cambodian, it’s rare to finish even Primary school. There are many reasons for that. For example, Cambodian teachers get very low salaries (40 usd a month is normal), so teachers often require extra money from the pupils in connection with tests and exams. Many families can’t afford to send their children to school, as they simply cannot pay these fees. One year at BBU for one person is around 400 usd, a sum that most Cambodians cannot pay. To be able to support the staff with higher education, we are dependent on donations from guests, friends and family to our Fund – Solhaugfond!
Here is a little video of our work with Babel Educational Program.
The fund started with the 60-year birthday of Katrine Solhaugs father, John-Daniel Solhaug. He didn’t need any presents, so he decided to wish for money for his birthday – money to support Education for young Cambodians. And then Solhaugfond was set up.
Solhaugfond has sponsored six young Cambodians from the Young Adults program in the Sangkheum Center for Children. All six of them now completed their higher education in Battambang, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, and have good jobs and a bright future. Solhaugfond also gives great support to Babel Educational Program.
Solhaugfonds webpage: www.solhaugfond.wordpress.com
Babel Educational Stafftrip
Every year we do Educational staff trips to other provinces in Cambodia for the local staff to learn more about their own country and what it has to offer. These trips give the staff the experience in how it is like to be a tourist. And what’s very important – teambuilding! We have great fun! These trips make us closer together, and give us motivation to do an even better job with our guests in Babel when we come back.
Here is a video of the year we went all the way down to Sihanoukville. It was the first time for most of the staff to see the ocean.
And here is a video from the year before, our stafftrip to the Capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.