Crib Takes A Holiday For Hope In Cambodia
With airlines and even trains connecting us to the most obscure destinations around the globe, the world is definitely getting smaller, and there are more reasons to travel—for health and wellness, shopping, adventure, and food. For a growing number of globe-trotters however, travel is no longer limited to personal experience, but a means to give back as well.
This was the premise for Crib’s Holiday for Hope, which allowed these well-travelled individuals to do good while enjoying the best a city can offer, while also empowering charity organisations with sustainable strategies in fundraising.
Crib co-founder Tjin Lee tells us first-hand about the social enterprise’s inaugural Holiday for Hope trip in Cambodia.
“I first visited Cambodia ten years ago and was very struck by how impoverished the rural population was. My Crib co-founder Marilyn Lum and I happened to bid for a trip to Siem Reap at last year’s SNOW Gala, and went there together,” recalls Tjin Lee.
“Marilyn and I were like-minded in wanting to engage meaningfully with the community when we visited Cambodia, and in our trip we came across Ta Snae school. We had gone naively bearing some toys, stationery, snacks and slippers—and I remember feeling an overwhelming sense of helplessness that we could not do more. We were so touched by the warmth and smiles of those who had so little, that we decided to return to do more.”
“Holiday for Hope is built on the premise that people today seek new experiences in travel, a sector which is growing fast in demand—why couldn’t we travel and enjoy the city, while also doing good for the communities we visit? It was this idea of 'travel for good’ that led me to create the concept of Holiday for Hope.”
Tjin shares, “on a deeper level, I wanted to help charities find a way to be sustainable in their fundraising—by equipping them with skills and guiding them towards thinking like entrepreneurs and SMEs. If they can find a 'product’ that appeals to a target audience, they can unlock new 'givers’, who may not previously be donors.”
“Many people want to donate and give back, but are mistrustful of the organisations that collect their funds. With Holiday for Hope, I wanted to let donors see the good that their dollar has done and get hands-on with the community they are aiding.”
“It’s very meaningful to meet with those who are receiving your help and to see the impact that your donation has created. For example, with this project, we donated two toilet cubicles, water filtration systems for eight classrooms and a playground with swings, see-saws and an activity area,” says Tjin.
“We planned the trip for our guests around exploring Siem Reap—with a visit to a temple of Angkor Wat, Tuk Tuk tours of the city and heritage areas, and a sunset cruise on the Tonlé Sap.”
“The most interesting thing we learned, was that our guests wanted to do more. It was only at the end of the trip that we got feedback from the guests that they actually wanted to get more involved with the hands-on social work, such as the sorting and packing of the items we had collected for donation.”
“It would have been very helpful if we had known that at the start, so future trips will be designed with more opt-in opportunities for our travellers to get involved in our philanthropy efforts. It was really heartening to see how generous and big-spirited our travellers were.”
“It’s possible that future editions of Holiday for Hope could take us to other cities and destinations, such as Nepal, where Operation Hope Foundation (OHF) also does community work.”