Happy New Year to Everyone!
January 3rd was a very special day for the CBT members. The tour guides traveled to Sisophon to meet with the Provincial Governor to receive their official Ministry of Tourism (MoT) tour guide licenses. This is an important step for the guides and will help to ensure the CBT is recognized as a viable business and tourism entity in Banteay Chhmar.
The tour guide licensing process was facilitated by Heritage Watch. Other attendees at the meeting and ceremony included representatives from the Apsara Authority, the Heritage Police and the Thmor Puok District Chief.
Congratulations to the CBT tour guides! 🙂
And, we have more good news. Thanks to the care, concern and efforts of Simon and Sokha Pawson the CBT was able to provide health care for a young boy in the village. Dong has been suffering from a inguinal hernia for quite some time. Simon and Sokha raised some money from their family and friends in Australia. Dong was taken to the Angkor Children’s Hospital in Siem Reap at the end of December for an operation. He is back in Banteay Chhmar now and all indications are for a full recovery.
Dong is 8 years old and lives with his grandparents. Like many rural Cambodian stories, the parents left the village looking for work elsewhere. In Dong’s case the parents have gone to Thailand and have not been heard from in three years. There are many unfortunate cases like this in Banteay Chhmar and throughout Cambodia.
Simon is a scholar and researcher specializing in community-based tourism at the College of Asia and the Pacific at the Australian National University. For the past two years, has been undertaking research at Banteay Chhmar, examining the relationship between our CBT project and the community itself. The research is part of his PhD thesis titled ‘Community development, responsible tourism and community-based tourism in emerging economies: A case study of discourses at Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia.’ His study examines responsible and community-based tourism in Cambodia and specifically uses our CBT project as a case study. Central to his research is documenting feedback from the stakeholders, especially the villagers, concerning community development and the CBT project. His research will conclude with an evaluation of the relative merits and shortcomings of the CBT project from the stakeholder’s perspectives. Simon can be reached at email@example.com .
In addition to helping Dong, Simon and Sokha also donated several boxes of books from the Mount Sinai Preschool in Sydney to the CBT library. Truly, wonderful people. A big THANK YOU to both of them and the students for their donations 🙂
Finally, the CBT has received numerous requests from visitors interested in making donations and helping the community. We are currently working on setting up an online donation page for our website. Please check back in the coming months. Thank you