We absolutely loved spending time with our community partner Friends International in Cambodia. From creative cuisine at their social enterprise restaurants to hand-crafted goods at their Phnom Penh shop, Friends showcases a sustainable model for social change in Cambodia. We talked to Friends a bit more about their history and vision, and here’s what they had to say.
You’re seated at a cozy outdoor restaurant, enjoying the balmy night air, the sizzle of a mouthwatering meal coming your way, and listening to the bustle and chatter of a foreign place. Just as your food is served, an adorable little girl who can’t be more than six comes up to you with a tangle of hand-made bracelets. “Good price!” she pleads, pushing the goods on your lap. You hesitate. What to do?
Anyone who visits Cambodia will quickly learn that you’ll find a non-profit around nearly every corner. Not all are created equally though, and it takes a commitment and resilience along with sound practices and a meaningful vision to truly effect change. That’s why we want to showcase our partner Sustainable Cambodia that we visit each time we cycle through the town of Pursat.
Fair trade is a common theme in food these days, but what about in clothing? We've partnered with a fabulous organization in Cambodia, Dorsu, whose motto "Buy Better, Travel Often, Be You" couldn't be more aligned with Traverse. Their eco-savvy clothing line brings both employment and pride to the local economy, and we are super excited to visit their facility on our Cycle Cambodia-Vietnam itinerary. We interviewed Ellen at Dorsu and learned about what ethical fashion really means in the context of Cambodia.