Explore Audley's guide to eco-friendly holidays in Southeast Asia. View the charities we support, recommended eco-accommodation options, and selected eco-friendly itineraries.
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Paya Ngoto school in Burma
As part of our commitment to responsible tourism, in early 2005 we formed the 'Audley Charity Portfolio', which, originally comprised five organisations we chose to actively support.
It has now evolved into an initiative where we have selected charities that involve countries across our range of programmes. These charities are intended to help a wide variety of causes, from wildlife, human rights issues and education, to the environment and conservation.
STREETS International is an innovative social enterprise initiative with the purpose to develop and operate sustainable programs for street kids and disadvantaged youth in Southeast Asia and throughout the world. STREETS prepares vulnerable, orphaned and other disadvantaged young people for careers in hospitality. In developing economies around the world, tourism is often one of the first and largest sectors to experience growth and expansion. The STREETS initiative is designed to match the resource demands of the growing hospitality sectors with the needs of disadvantaged youth. It provides them with the highest levels of training to prepare them for careers in culinary arts and hospitality service.
The 18-month program incorporates many components, including classroom instruction, hands-on work experience, housing, and all the necessary social and community support. This is the first real chance for many disadvantaged young adults to escape from a life of poverty and on the streets, gaining self-sufficiency through a successful career in hospitality.
The first STREETS Restaurant Café and Training Center opened in Hoi An, Vietnam, in 2009. To date, it has touched the lives of close to 100 young adults. Of the first two graduating classes, 100% were employed within months of graduation at the top resorts and restaurant in Central Vietnam.
STREETS plans on opening its next programme in Sapa, Vietnam, working with children of disadvantaged ethnic minority groups living in the area.
For those who would like to see the project in action, we can arrange for you to visit the STREETS Restaurant Café in the historic central district of Hoi An. Donations are gratefully accepted by the charity. The Southeast Asia team at Audley will be fundraising to add to our annual contribution to STREETS International in Vietnam.
If you would like to find out more about STREETS, please ask your specialist or visit www.streetsinternational.org.
Please note that from time-to-time, Audley's Southeast Asia team will be raising funds through various events and initiatives to further contribute to the good work STREETS is doing.
Another project we support is Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE), "For a Child’s Smile", established by a French-run NGO to help disadvantaged children who had previously lived in squalor, earning a meagre livelihood collecting waste from municipal dumps.
The PSE Centre and School, provides education, but also excellent vocational training from silk weaving to gardening for children and young adults. The project is well worth visiting and the students love to meet people and show them around the school so they can practice their English.
Stop for lunch at the school’s excellent training restaurant, Lotus Blanc (which has several other outlets in Phnom Penh), as all profits are ploughed straight back into the project.
The "Stay Another Day" initiative provides a booklet, available in most hotels, of NGOs operating in Cambodia and information about how to ensure your holiday has a positive impact on the communities you are visiting. We also always strive to work with local businesses to promote the growth of locally led tourism projects and hotels.
Please contact us for further information if this is an area that interests you as there are several other projects in Cambodia you may wish to visit while you are in the country, or continue to support once you return home.
ELIE, with the support of the Bunong minority villagers, rescues and treats domestic elephants that come from abusive backgrounds and have suffered illness or injury as a consequence.
This truly unique experience allows you to learn more about Cambodia's elephants and the efforts to protect them. Emphasis is more about observing the elephants and helping to look after them in their natural environment than actually riding them, but this is a great way to relax, take in the beautiful countryside and learn a little more about the Bunong minority culture.
Trained mahouts accompany you and the elephants during gentle walks through the jungle to waterfalls and if you are fortunate you may also spot some of the wildlife in the area such as gibbons and eagles.
MAG is one of the world's leading humanitarian organisations, providing conflict-affected communities around the world the chance of a better future. It clears the remnants of conflict from some of the world's poorest countries, educates and employs local people, and helps provide solutions for those trapped by poverty and economic devastation through no fault of their own. Operating since 1989 and having worked on a variety of conflict-related projects in over 35 countries, including Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, MAG is co-laureate of the 1997 Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for its work with the International Campaign to Ban Landmines.
If you would like to find out further information, visit www.maginternational.org.
Traditionally, books have been rare in Laos. The number of children who go to school is slowly but steadily increasing, yet many children have never read a book outside of school textbooks. Few Lao people think reading can be fun, can add to their education, or will provide information to improve their quality of life.
Big Brother Mouse is a charity that aims to change this; it's a publisher that aims to make books fun for both children and adults and is looking at ways to promote reading throughout Laos.
Back in May 2008, a number of Audley staff, clients and suppliers decided to raise money to help rebuild Paya Ngoto School.
The school is in the Irrawaddy Delta, Burma, and it was badly damaged by Cyclone Nargis in 2008.
Among the fundraising events was a raffle that had prizes including:
In the end all this fundraising managed to raise a total of £11,000.
The money provided physical improvements to the school, most importantly, a much-needed flood defence wall and a raised-level concrete playground – both used to stave off the annual monsoon flood waters and increase the children’s safety.
Educational items such as a cassette player and tapes, clocks and 10 school uniforms were also provided from the proceeds.
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