In only a few decades, Cambodia has risen from the depths of almost insurmountable despair. Although difficult to visit, Phnom Penh’s ghastly reminders of the country’s civil war remain important sites to visit. And while many Cambodians continue to struggle under the economic repercussions of it’s destructive recent past, there are many signs of hope, embodied by the efforts of various social enterprises and non-governmental organizations to give opportunities to disadvantaged Cambodians.
MEALS [ L ]
The next stop is one of Phnom Penh’s most impoverished neighborhoods, and yet there are seeds of hope producing fruitful results. L'irresistible is more than just a factory producing fruit jams and flavored syrups, it is the living and working space for sixteen intellectually disabled Cambodians. Otherwise unable to function in society and from families who would struggle to care for them, these sixteen Cambodians have been given jobs and are taught life skills from a handful of caring Khmer and French staff and volunteers from Action Cambodge Handicap. The all-natural jams and simple syrups, which are made from local ingredients such as pumpkin and coconut, are truly delectable, and the warm welcome you’ll receive from the workers will be sure to brighten your day. (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday only)
A short distance away you will visit the organization where most of the workers and staff at L'irresistible started out: Pour un Sourire d’Enfant, meaning “For the smile of a Child”. This organization is helping to improve the lives of the residents of Stung Meanchey, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Phnom Penh. Here you will learn about the struggles of daily life in poor urban Cambodia and how history has impacted the present.
Be inspired by the work being done at the centre through its education, vocational training, and job placement programs for street children. After learning about the school through an informative video, visit the souvenir shop and browse the items made by the parents of the centre’s students. Then enjoy lunch at Lotus Blanc, where you can support the training of these kids by being their guest. (Note: closed on weekends and public holidays).
After lunch, pay a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21. Originally built as a school, the compound was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as its main detention and torture centre. Take a sobering tour of the site, learning about the prison’s history and hear the stories of the people held within its walls. (Note: All visitors to Toul Sleng Genocide Museum are required to wear modest clothing: no short pants or short skirts (knees must be covered) and no sleeveless shirts (shoulders must be covered). See-through clothing will also not be allowed.)
Next, you will learn to understand a different facet of Cambodia’s civil war, forced migration, from Cambodians who were born in refugee camps, grew up in the United States, and have been deported back to Cambodia. Now back in a homeland they never knew, a group of Cambodian-Americans have established a tour company to show you a different side of Phnom Penh including a walk through ‘the projects’ of Phnom Penh where you will discover entire communities living within the expansive rooftops of a 19th century French colonial church and an early 20th century Chinese community center! This “Good Luck City Tour” is certain to give you unique perspective on Cambodia’s past as well as it’s present. (L)
Our services include:
– Entrance fees for the visits mentioned in the program
– Pick up and return from your hotel in private air
-conditioned vehicle with driver
-speaking local guide
– Meal included lunch
– Drinking Water
Our services do not include:
-Meals other than mentioned (B = breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner)
– Any other items not mentioned
– Personal travel insurance
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